On June 18, 1971, the Milwaukee Brewers hosted their first 10-Cent Beer Night at County Stadium. 27,472 fans showed up for the “shitload of dimes” promotion, which was brewed up as a way to boost lackluster attendance during the team’s second year as the Brewers. Predictably, things went awry.

A Milwaukee Journal report from the time details countless fights, countless arrests, and plenty of dubious “drinking games” throughout the park. A terrific retrospective from the American Mustache Institute quotes the Journal:

There were weird contests—and more contests. One man ordered 130 beers and his group finished them by the sixth inning…Four youths still had 24 cups left when the game ended and were last seen finishing them off.

According to AMI, limitations on the promotion were lax. Fans could “only” buy six beers at a time, and a staggering 1,000 barrels of beer were set aside for the Friday-night game. Meanwhile, the drinking age was 18 in 1971, meaning more of the Journal‘s so-called “youths” could participate.

The Journal continues:

Predictably fights broke out in all sectors of the park, usually matching police against an overenthusiastic and slightly polluted rooter. It was usually a one-sided contest and many of those carried away were released without charge. Surprisingly, the only persons entering the playing field were two young men, who moved so quickly and with such reckless abandon that they were practically ignored by the ushers. Once touching the hallowed ground, they quickly retreated and ordered another.

AMI details the legal fallout of the fiasco:

So many people were arrested that an impromptu court was set up to handle the cases—friends described inventive defenses used to try and elude the charges. One man who was nabbed after going into the women’s room to urinate told the judge, “I didn’t see the W-O.” He didn’t get off, but even the judge laughed at that one.

Things could have been worse. The Brewers were expecting 40,000 fans to pack County Stadium that night, but rain and cool temperatures during the day kept attendance relatively low. One might say this simply meant there was more beer for less people, however, so who knows.

The Brewers held a few more 10-Cent Beer Nights in subsequent seasons, but capped the cheap-beer limit at two per fan. Though a big deal back in the day, the Brewers’ 1971 debacle was eclipsed in 1974 by a similar—though much more insane—10-Cent Beer Night by the Cleveland Indians. In that case, a full-blown riot broke out at Cleveland Stadium, and the game was eventually forfeited.

The Brewers were beaten soundly by the Oakland A’s lead by Catfish Hunter 6-2, Hunter also contributed with 2 hits, Dick Green and Bert Campaneris had 3 hits each. Frank Tepedino homered for the Brew Crew.

It was also the Debut game for Rob Ellis who singles in his first at bat!

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Game Ticket 

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Oakland Athletics 6, Milwaukee Brewers 2

Day

Game Played on Friday, June 18, 1971 (N) at County Stadium

OAK A    0  0  5    0  0  0    0  0  1  -   6 10  0
MIL A    0  0  1    1  0  0    0  0  0  -   2 10  2

BATTING
Oakland Athletics AB R H RBI BB SO PO A
Campaneris ss 5 1 3 1 0 0 2 3
Rudi lf 5 1 1 1 0 1 2 0
Jackson rf 3 1 0 0 1 0 2 1
Epstein 1b 2 0 0 1 1 0 5 0
Hegan 1b 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 0
Bando 3b 3 0 0 1 0 1 1 0
Mangual cf 4 0 1 0 0 1 4 0
Duncan c 4 0 0 0 0 2 6 0
Green 2b 4 2 3 0 0 0 3 6
Hunter p 4 1 2 1 0 0 0 2
Totals 34 6 10 5 2 5 27 12
FIELDING –
DP: 1. Campaneris-Green-Epstein.
BATTING –
2B: Green (7,off Krausse).
SF: Bando (1,off Lockwood).
HBP: Epstein (6,by Lockwood).
Team LOB: 5.
BASERUNNING –
CS: Campaneris (6,2nd base by Lockwood/Rodriguez).
Milwaukee Brewers AB R H RBI BB SO PO A
Harper 3b 5 0 1 0 0 0 0 3
May cf 4 0 2 1 0 0 4 0
Briggs lf 4 0 0 0 0 0 1 0
Voss rf 4 0 0 0 0 0 3 0
Tepedino 1b 4 1 1 1 0 0 7 2
Kubiak 2b 3 0 2 0 1 0 3 1
Rodriguez c 4 0 0 0 0 1 6 2
Auerbach ss 4 1 2 0 0 2 3 3
Lockwood p 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0
Morris p 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 1
Kosco ph 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0
Krausse p 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Ellis ph 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 0
Totals 34 2 10 2 3 3 27 12
FIELDING –
E: Briggs (3), Auerbach (8).
BATTING –
2B: Kubiak (2,off Hunter); Auerbach (6,off Hunter); May (10,off Hunter).
HR: Tepedino (1,4th inning off Hunter 0 on 0 out).
SF: May (2,off Hunter).
GDP: Briggs (1,off Hunter).
Team LOB: 9.
PITCHING
Oakland Athletics IP H R ER BB SO HR BFP
Hunter W(10-4) 9 10 2 2 3 3 1 38
Milwaukee Brewers IP H R ER BB SO HR BFP
Lockwood L(3-6) 4.1 7 5 2 0 3 0 20
Morris 2.2 1 0 0 2 0 0 10
Krausse 2 2 1 1 0 2 0 8
Totals 9 10 6 3 2 5 0 38
HBP: Lockwood (4,Epstein).
Inherited Runners – Scored: Morris 1-0.
.
Umpires: HP – Larry Napp, 1B – Jerry Neudecker, 2B – Russ Goetz, 3B – Dave Phillips
Time of Game: 2:37 Attendance: 27474
Starting Lineups:

Oakland Athletics Milwaukee Brewers
1. Campaneris ss Harper 3b
2. Rudi lf May cf
3. Jackson rf Briggs lf
4. Epstein 1b Voss rf
5. Bando 3b Tepedino 1b
6. Mangual cf Kubiak 2b
7. Duncan c Rodriguez c
8. Green 2b Auerbach ss
9. Hunter p Lockwood p

ATHLETICS 1ST: Campaneris singled to center; Campaneris was
caught stealing second (catcher to shortstop); Rudi struck out;
Jackson popped to shortstop; 0 R, 1 H, 0 E, 0 LOB. Athletics 0,
Brewers 0.

BREWERS 1ST: Harper flied out to left; On a bunt May singled to
pitcher; Briggs grounded into a double play (shortstop to second
to first) [May out at second]; 0 R, 1 H, 0 E, 0 LOB. Athletics
0, Brewers 0.

ATHLETICS 2ND: Epstein grounded out (shortstop to first); Bando
struck out; Mangual flied out to right; 0 R, 0 H, 0 E, 0 LOB.
Athletics 0, Brewers 0.

BREWERS 2ND: Voss grounded out (second to first); Tepedino flied
out to left; Kubiak walked; Rodriguez forced Kubiak (shortstop
to second); 0 R, 0 H, 0 E, 1 LOB. Athletics 0, Brewers 0.

ATHLETICS 3RD: Duncan struck out; Green singled to right; Hunter
singled to center [Green to second]; Campaneris singled to right
[Hunter to third, Green scored]; Rudi singled to left
[Campaneris to second, Hunter scored]; Jackson reached on an
error by Auerbach [Rudi to second, Campaneris to third]; Epstein
was hit by a pitch [Rudi to third, Jackson to second, Campaneris
scored (unearned)]; Bando hit a sacrifice fly to center [Jackson
to third, Rudi scored (unearned)]; Epstein was picked off first
(catcher to second to first to second to first) [Jackson scored
(unearned)]; 5 R (2 ER), 4 H, 1 E, 0 LOB. Athletics 5, Brewers
0.

BREWERS 3RD: Auerbach singled to left; Lockwood walked [Auerbach
to second]; Harper singled to left [Lockwood to second, Auerbach
to third]; May hit a sacrifice fly to center [Auerbach scored];
Briggs popped to second; Voss flied out to right; 1 R, 2 H, 0 E,
2 LOB. Athletics 5, Brewers 1.

ATHLETICS 4TH: Mangual singled to shortstop; Duncan flied out to
center; Green forced Mangual (third to second); Hunter forced
Green (shortstop to second); 0 R, 1 H, 0 E, 1 LOB. Athletics 5,
Brewers 1.

BREWERS 4TH: Tepedino homered; Kubiak grounded out (second to
first); Rodriguez flied out to center; Auerbach was called out
on strikes; 1 R, 1 H, 0 E, 0 LOB. Athletics 5, Brewers 2.

ATHLETICS 5TH: Campaneris singled to left; Rudi lined to left;
MORRIS REPLACED LOCKWOOD (PITCHING); Campaneris was picked off
first (pitcher to first to shortstop); Jackson walked; Epstein
walked [Jackson to second]; Bando forced Epstein (shortstop to
second); 0 R, 1 H, 0 E, 2 LOB. Athletics 5, Brewers 2.

BREWERS 5TH: Morris singled to center; Harper flied out to
right; May popped to catcher in foul territory; Briggs grounded
out (second to first); 0 R, 1 H, 0 E, 1 LOB. Athletics 5,
Brewers 2.

ATHLETICS 6TH: Mangual grounded out (third to first); Duncan
popped to catcher in foul territory; Green singled to left
[Green to second (error by Briggs)]; Hunter grounded out (first
unassisted); 0 R, 1 H, 1 E, 1 LOB. Athletics 5, Brewers 2.

BREWERS 6TH: Voss popped to third in foul territory; Tepedino
popped to shortstop; Kubiak doubled; Rodriguez struck out; 0 R,
1 H, 0 E, 1 LOB. Athletics 5, Brewers 2.

ATHLETICS 7TH: Campaneris grounded out (third to first); Rudi
grounded out (first unassisted); Jackson grounded out (first
unassisted); 0 R, 0 H, 0 E, 0 LOB. Athletics 5, Brewers 2.

BREWERS 7TH: Auerbach doubled; KOSCO BATTED FOR MORRIS; Kosco
walked; Harper flied out to center; May grounded out (second to
first) [Kosco to second, Auerbach to third]; Briggs popped to
shortstop; 0 R, 1 H, 0 E, 2 LOB. Athletics 5, Brewers 2.

ATHLETICS 8TH: KRAUSSE REPLACED KOSCO (PITCHING); Epstein flied
out to center; Bando flied out to right; Mangual was called out
on strikes; 0 R, 0 H, 0 E, 0 LOB. Athletics 5, Brewers 2.

BREWERS 8TH: HEGAN REPLACED EPSTEIN (PLAYING 1B); Voss popped to
catcher in foul territory; Tepedino grounded out (pitcher to
second to first); Kubiak singled to center; Rodriguez grounded
out (pitcher to first); 0 R, 1 H, 0 E, 1 LOB. Athletics 5,
Brewers 2.

ATHLETICS 9TH: Duncan struck out; Green doubled; Hunter singled
to center [Green scored]; Campaneris flied out to center; Rudi
flied out to right; 1 R, 2 H, 0 E, 1 LOB. Athletics 6, Brewers
2.

BREWERS 9TH: Auerbach was called out on strikes; ELLIS BATTED
FOR KRAUSSE; Ellis singled to center; Debut game for Rob
Ellis; Harper flied out to center; May doubled to right
[Ellis out at home (right to shortstop to catcher)]; 0 R, 2 H, 0
E, 1 LOB. Athletics 6, Brewers 2.

Final Totals R H E LOB
Athletics 6 10 0 5
Brewers 2 10 2 9

Sources:

Milwaukee BP 

Retro Sheet

Baseball Reference

Milwaukee Record