This Baseball Blog is Rated RWhere were you on April 29, 1983? I would wager an 85% chance you were at work slaving away for the man. Still, there was a 15% chance you were at Wrigley Field watching the Chicago Cubs lose to the Los Angeles Dodgers. I was just a fourth grader with a paper route back then.
Back then, the Cubs weren't the marketing machine we know today. The Chicago Tribune purchased the team and Wrigley Field back in 1981. Harry Caray was still better known as the announcer for the St. Louis Cardinals and Chicago White Sox. Ryne Sandberg, the future-Hall-of-Famer, was beginning his second full season with the Cubs.
Let's set the stage. The Cubs led the Dodgers 2-0 in the fifth inning, only to lose 4-3 in front of 9,391 fans. Lee Smith, the Cubs' closer in those days, threw a wild pitch during the eighth inning which allowed the winning run to cross the plate. Fans began throwing garbage toward Keith Moreland and Larry Bowa as they left the playing field. Lee Elia, the Cubs' manager, blew a gasket during his infamous rant and rattled off 50 obscenities. This clearly ranks among the most famous manager meltdowns in baseball history.
Want to hear the rant?
Happy 25th anniversary, Lee.