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The best 98 cents ever spent

A fictionalized remembrance of the most-hyped rock n’ roll riot in major league history

Paul Natkin/Getty Images

[On the occasion of the 43rd anniversary of the Disco Demolition promotion at Comiskey Park, DSRacer reached out to share his short story set on that day. He was at the game as a boy, and later became a vendor at the ballpark, including the 50th anniversary All-Star Game in 1983. This story was originally published in Aethlon: The Journal of Sport Literature (Spring/Summer 2018).]

July 12, 1979. Woodstock and the moon landing were only 10 years removed, but for young Danny Rasovitz, this date contained elements of both. Late that afternoon he was walking westbound on 35th Street with Brent and Mark, his buddies from middle school. They had just filtered their way out of an overcrowded Sox-35th “L” station. Lacking in breathable air, the ride was oppressive. Twenty-four stops all the way down the length of the city, a ride so stuffy it reeked. Young people packed in tight, standing close and sliding off one another, their black tee shirts able to absorb only so much. Teenage odors commingled, but not necessarily harmoniously.

Each of the three boys carried a disco record. The paper cover to Danny’s 45, soaked from his sweat, melted against the vinyl. Danny’s heart raced as he saw the enormous mass of youth converge on the old ballpark.

“Disco Sucks!”

The 14-year-olds announced their arrival. The three teens took their vinyl 45s and gave them to the elderly man at the ticket window, along with 98 cents, and he handed them tickets to the left field grandstands.

Danny noticed something strange about the arriving fans. He had been to many games before, but these didn’t look like typical baseball fans. Few were dressed in fan gear, and there were only a few families  —  it looked more like a crowd for a rock concert, mostly white teenagers like himself.

“Scorecards programs! Scorecards programs!”

A vendor in front of the stadium hawked scorecards, and Danny thought to buy one. As recently as last year, he knew all the batting averages, all the home run totals. But tonight was different; he didn’t feel like keeping score. Baseball still mattered a lot to Danny, but now that girls, beer, weed and rock ’n’ roll vied for his attention, things would never be the same.

Some people waiting to get into the stadium drank beer out of cans covered in paper bags. Others were less discreet. A few kids threw the records around as if they were frisbees, and Danny could definitely detect the smell of marijuana. He could hear AC/DC playing on a distant boombox.

Danny almost didn’t make it to Comiskey Park; until the day previous he was at scout camp in northern Wisconsin, surrounded by birch trees, mosquitoes, wild raspberries and the cry of the loons. It was the flip side to the scene he was in now.

Danny had feigned illness in order to be sent home early. It worked.

The next morning he felt so much better, and he called Mark Fufkin first. Mark was just as stoked for that evening as Danny was, as the two boys had been talking about the event with heightened anticipation for many weeks, before Danny’s parents messed up their plans and sent their son away to camp on short notice. It was the only thing his parents agreed on since their divorce.

“Hey, Mark, you on for tonight?” Danny asked, as he stretched the coiled receiver cord out of the kitchen and into the living room, where he leaned against the walI.

“Yeah, it’ll be cool,” said Mark. “How the hell did you get home? I thought you were away at camp.”

“I was. Until yesterday.” Danny checked to make sure his sisters Daria and Debbie were out of earshot. “But I pretended to be sick. There was no way I was going to miss this. Mike Marotti’s dad drove me home.”

“Well, you’re in luck now, Danny. I got some great Atari from my brother’s friend. I’ll bring it tonight.” Atari was their secret code word for weed. Nobody called it 420 then. At least nobody they knew.

“Let’s get there early. It’s gonna be packed,” Danny said. “I got my 98 cents and I’ll find a disco record somewhere ... kaboom!!!! You got yours?”

“Yeah, I got mine,” said Mark. Danny didn’t doubt it. Mark had begun to amass an enormous vinyl record album collection.

“Should we take the ‘L’?” Danny was referring to Chicago’s elevated train and subway system. “Brent Shafman wants to go too. I could ask him if his mom or dad will drive.”

“Nah, don’t. His parents don’t want to take us all the way down to Communist Park.” Mark used the same term for Comiskey Park that DJ Steve Dahl often used on his radio show when referring to the White Sox stadium. “It’s too goddam far.” Dahl was the man behind Disco Demolition Night, and their pied piper. “Brent’s parents will just fuck up our plans  —  they’ll call your mom and my mom, and then none of us are going.”

Danny agreed, and rang Brent as soon as he hung up. Brent was a quiet, tall, skinny kid from the neighborhood, and he wasn’t a borderline juvenile delinquent like Danny and his other friends. He loved sports and would go to a baseball game given any opportunity, even if the baseball game one was going to wasn’t the main event.

“Hey, Brent, Mark and I are definitely going to the Sox game, and it’s a twi-night doubleheader, so it starts at 6. We want to get down there a few hours ahead of time, ’cause it’s gonna be jammed. You still wanna come?”

“Sox suck!” replied Brent over the phone. He, like most people in Lincolnwood, was a Cubs fan. “But yeah, I’ll go. Who are they playing?”

“The Tigers, I think …b ut I’m not sure. Does it matter?”

“Not really. But I was hoping it would be the Orioles, because they’re my team now in Strat-O-Matic. The Orioles are great this year … they should go all the way,” said Brent. “But anyway, can your mom drive?”

“Screw that,” Danny said. “Just tell your parents my mom is driving. Just so we keep our story straight, Mark and I are telling our parents that your parents are driving.”

“Well, then, how are we going to get there?” asked Brent.

“The ‘L,’ dude! how else?!?”

“Really, the ‘L’? To the South Side?”

“Come on, nothing will happen. Do you want to come, or not?”

“Yeah, OK,” said Brent. “But the Sox still suck.”

“Be at my house at 2 then. And bring a disco record so you can get in for 98 cents.”

Danny crawled over to the shelf next to his family’s record turntable to find a suitable victim among their motley collection of vinyl. The king of all disco records, the Bee Gees (and others) soundtrack to Saturday Night Fever? Danny visualized the John Travolta album cover, white suit and iconic pose, blown to smithereens, but then thought better of it. His mom would notice rather quickly if it were missing, and she would be angry if she discovered he cast it upon the burning altar of teenage rock ’n’ roll angst.

Danny would never admit it to anyone, but Saturday Night Fever was the de facto soundtrack to practically every bar and bat mitzvah he had attended a year earlier, and songs like “How Deep is Your Love?” reminded him of the wood-engendering slow dances he had danced with girls who were further along into the throngs of adolescence than he was. Tits pressed up against him. Boner City. So Saturday Night Fever got a reprieve. Besides, a 45 is easier to schlep downtown on a hot day than a 33 rpm double album.

Danny considered the contents of his family’s stock of 45s  —  “Boogie Fever” by the Sylvers? You may live. “Hotline,” also by the Sylvers? You may live. “Disco Lady” by Johnny Taylor? Hmmm ... Danny’s mom liked it too much. You may live. “Heaven on the 7th Floor” by Paul Nicholas? Condemned to holy wrath! Mark arrived with Chic’s “Le Freak” and Brent with Gloria Gaynor’s “I Will Survive,” an ironic title for something about to be blown to bits.

At Comiskey Park, several hours before the Chicago White Sox’s scheduled doubleheader against the Detroit Tigers, the day began like any other. The groundskeepers were out on the field, marking the chalk foul-lines and the lattice of the batter’s box, watering the infield, setting up the pitcher’s mound, making sure everything was game ready. There was no hint of the pandemonium that was to descend in just a few hours and mar the pristine beauty of the aging concrete shrine, then the oldest ballpark in the majors.

A little later, as the boys looked for their seats, the stadium still mostly empty, they noticed four individuals standing on the field near the third base line.

“Hey guys, check it out,” said Mark Fufkin. “I don’t know who the guy in the polo shirt is, but there’s Steve Dahl, Garry Meier, and Lorelei.”

Paul Natkin/Getty Images

The guy in the polo shirt was Mike Veeck. His father, Bill Veeck, owned the White Sox and ran it on a shoestring. The team was always broke. Mike Veeck had persuaded his father that Disco Demolition Night would be a promotion that people would not soon forget.

“Oh yeah, check out Lorelei,” said Danny, pointing to a young blond woman who wore a long black tee shirt dress with the radio station logo on it. “She’s so hot. I got a poster of her taped to the ceiling of my bedroom.” Lorelei was WLUP-FM’s poster girl, their answer to Farrah Fawcett Majors.

“Lorelei is such a babe. And Garry Meier looks like one of the Bee Gees,” said Mark Fufkin. “I hope Steve doesn’t blow him up.” Garry Meier was Steve Dahl’s radio sidekick on their WLUP-FM morning show.

The fourth guy, a heavy-set young man in his mid-20s, wearing oversized eyeglasses, faux military fatigues and an army helmet, was none other than the man himself, Steve Dahl.

The boys ran down to the third base line wall, near where the group was standing, to say hello to Dahl. “Steve, Steve!” The trio interrupted whatever conversation he was having. “This is so great!”

“I don’t know, guys,” Dahl laughed. “You may never see or hear from me after this.” Steve apparently had a lot going on at the moment, and scarce time to talk to three 14-year-old fanboys. They sensed that, said goodbye, and entered the third-base concourse, where they stopped at Darla Leary’s beer stand. Mark’s older brother told them that Darla, who several years later appeared in Playboy, sold beer to anyone with a pulse. It was true. She never asked for ID. This was gold to the 14-year-olds. The boys purchased 20 ounce Carta Blanca beers and headed toward their left field seats. Brent also bought a churro.

Then Danny saw something.

“Oh shit! Hide your beer!” Danny hollered at Mark and Brent.

Out of the corner of his eye Danny spied a friend of his mom’s, Morty Appelbaum. Morty was with a group  —  about a dozen familiar-looking men. Danny thought he knew some of them from the neighborhood. Lawyers? Doctors? Accountants? Morty, the owner of Appelbaum Furniture, had a mother who lived in the senior citizens home that Danny’s mom ran, and was friendly with Danny’s mother through that connection. Morty and his entourage passed as the boys tried to hide, and fortunately, he didn’t notice them.

The boys found their seats and noticed that the center field bleachers were already packed. Danny scanned the crowd. Very few people in the stands looked like they were older than 25. He looked at the scoreboard; it read “Welcome WLUP Teen Night.”

The crowd kept growing  —  a few of your usual baseball fans, but mostly gaggles of unruly white teenagers. As the crowd grew, so did the smell of weed.

“Let’s play Atari,” said Mark. He lit up a skunky joint. It made Danny feel all grown up.

“What about the cops?” said Brent. Cinnamon sugar residue laced the corners of his mouth, and partly covered his tee shirt.

“Fuck the cops, everybody’s doing it. You don’t even have to smoke up to get high right now  —  it’s all over the place. Bet we can score us some ’ludes if we look,” said Mark.

“Oh yeah … ’ludes!” said Danny. He didn’t know what a ‘lude was, but acted enthusiastic about it anyway. He was trying to be cool.

Mark passed Danny the joint, who took a puff and passed it onto Brent. It was Brent’s first time, and he choked on the joint, coughing everywhere.

“Did you feel the head rush, Brent?” asked Mark. Brent was still coughing. Mark turned to Danny. “This has got to be better than camp. How was camp by the way, Danny?”

“Actually it was kinda cool. I didn’t expect it to be. Partly for the canoeing and camping and shit, but partly ’cause of Frankie. He was my tent mate.”

“Frankie? Frankie Krapchak? He got out of juvie?” asked Mark.

“Yeah. He’s the closest thing to a professional hoodlum that the Lincolnwood schools have ever produced  —  and he’s so proud of it.”

“Were you scared? Did he pull a knife on you?” Brent asked.

“No, no, not at all. We got along fine. The other kids were scared of him, but he likes me because we’ve known each other since we were babies. He brought some Marlboros and some Hustlers, and even some Old Style tallboys. They were warm, but you know what they say ... ”

“What do they say?” asked Brent.

“Better warm beer than no beer at all!” Danny had actually never heard anyone say it; he made it up. Danny liked how he felt when he said it. It sounded so wise, so full of experience.

“I never heard that before,” said Brent. “Do they really say that?”

Down below, at the entrance to the stadium, dozens of kids jumped turnstiles  —  they outnumbered the security guards. The national anthem. White Sox catcher Mike Colbern caught the ceremonial first pitch from Lorelei. He ran toward her to give her the ball and they exchanged what looked to Danny to be a kiss square on the lips. Danny felt a twinge of envy. For in the midnight glow of his bedroom, under his sheets adorned with the logos of all 28 NFL teams, Lorelei was his.

Paul Natkin/Getty Images

“How you guys doing on beer? I could use another one,” said Danny.

“Yeah, why not?” said Mark.

“Me too,” said Brent, his coughing subsided. “And if I give you a dollar can you get me another churro?”

Danny was picking up three more Carta Blancas at Darla Leary’s beer stand when White Sox pitcher Fred Howard threw the first pitch of the game to the Tigers’ Ron LeFlore, a slider in for a called strike. Security made groups of teenagers remove homemade signs draped over the outfield walls. The largest one read “Disco Sucks.” Another read “Burn Baby Burn.” It took a while for Danny to return to his seat  —  the crowd in the stadium was growing ever more enormous, ever more rowdy, ever more restless. People sat in the aisles.

Down below at the ticket gates, rows of cops and security guards surged forward to push throngs of youngsters out of the ballpark. Undeterred, fans denied tickets climbed the stadium walls to enter through the openings in the stadium’s archways.

The delay of the opening pitch was just the first of many, as with almost every batter, the umpires stopped the game to remove streamers and whatever else had been tossed onto the field.

LeFlore hit a grounder to White Sox rookie third baseman Jim Morrison, who connected with first baseman Lamar Johnson  —  one away.

“How cool that the guy who makes the first fielding play of the game is named Jim Morrison,” said Danny. “Rock ’n’ Roll!!!”

“Rock ’n’ Roll!!!” echoed Brent, feeling the effects of the beer, the weed and the churros.

“Break on through to the other side!” said Mark. “All hail the lizard king at third base!”

Danny looked over at the White Sox dugout. They looked like a beer league softball team lounging about their dugout wearing their untucked white and navy blue uniforms. The old-timey letters on their jerseys didn’t match the futuristic lettering on their hats. A joke, maybe, but in their sloppiness, the White Sox were rebels. According to Danny’s teenage logic, being rebels gave them rock ’n’ roll cred. He then looked over at the Tigers dugout. The Tigers were the vision of conformity as they sat neatly in their dugout in their tight gray polyester road unis that read “DETROIT” in big, bold letters. Sparky Anderson, their manager, paced in front of them like a Marine drill sergeant.

Fuckin A,” said Mark, watching a couple of guys climb up the left field foul pole. “Have the Sox had a crowd like this anytime this year?”

A hippie in a Grateful Dead tee shirt caught a foul ball and celebrated.

“Beats me,” said Danny. “But old man Veeck is sure raking it in tonight.” Until that moment, it hadn’t occurred to Danny that of the many things baseball was, it was also a business.

Rusty Staub, the slowest position player then in the majors and the runner at first base, took off for second. Obviously out to impress Lorelei, Mike Colbern threw too hard to second base, out of reach of shortstop Greg Pryor and into center field. A run scored on the play. The Tigers ran on Colbern all night.

The fans threw more stuff on the field. “Fans are reminded to refrain from throwing items on the field. Violators will be ejected. The White Sox thank you,” said the public address announcer. On the scoreboard, a similar announcement. Brent picked up a half unrolled roll of toilet paper that someone had tossed into their area.

“Here goes!” Brent said, chucking the roll forward, over the left field wall onto the field.

The stadium’s aisles grew ever more jammed and things were beginning to get out of hand. Vinyl 45s flew through the air like frisbees. The odor of beer grew more pronounced and the scent of weed ever more present, with the smell of teen spirit overpowering them both.

“Disco Sucks!! Disco Sucks!! Disco Sucks!! Disco Sucks!!

Danny turned around and saw two drunk guys poised to fight, their friends restraining them.

“Give it to me, motherfucker!” said one of the belligerents, trying to grab the other guy.

“Go fuck yourself, shithead  —  I ain’t giving you shit. I’m going to kick your ass!” said the other. Their friends pulled the two apart.

Aurelio Lopez, Sparky Anderson’s new favorite reliever, ended the game when he struck out Jim Morrison on a pitch in the dirt. So much for the lizard king. Tigers won, 4-1.

Steve Dahl, dressed in an army outfit and helmet, circled the field in a jeep. A large green box stood in center field. He jumped out of the jeep and began to egg on the crowd.

“Disco sucks! Disco sucks! Disco sucks!” He led the chant. It loudly reverberated through the stadium.

“Well, listen, we took all the disco records that you brought tonight, we got ’em in a giant box ... and we’re going to blow them up real good!” said Dahl. The crowd cheered. A small group stood in center field — Dahl, Meier, Lorelei, Mike Veeck, a few folks from the radio station marketing department, the local TV news media including a guy named Big Al Lerner — and to prevent the worst from happening, a couple of guys from the White Sox grounds crew, including one who was designated the fire warden.

Ready ... 1 ... 2 ... 3 ... boom!” hollered Dahl. Nothing happened. As the first boos began to be heard, a line of mortar-launched fireworks thundered in succession ... and then one staccato explosion popped hard after another, blowing the green box to bits, spewing thick white smoke, portions and particles of disco records with it. An uproarious cheer from the crowd.

Eventually, Dahl addressed his faithful. He wanted to sing. “You gotta give us a disco backbeat,” he said. “It’s the only time I’ll authorize you doing it. It’s for a good cause.”

Dahl sang his own composition, off-key, as vinyl-encrusted smoke descended upon the field. Gunpowder smell everywhere. First just a couple, then a few more, and then throngs of screaming youth, hundreds of them, stormed the field, hormone levels surging. Baseball, a genteel Victorian game of many rules and the ostensible reason for the existence of this very place where a lack of rules now prevailed, had become almost an afterthought, lost in the tumult.

It was truly the strangest moment, as if a giant electromagnet from outer space was suddenly activated in the middle of the burning crater out in the middle of center field, where the box of disco records stood only seconds ago, generating a pulse impossible to resist. The impossible-to-resist electromagnetic pulse overpowered Danny and pulled him onto the field, Mark and Brent the same, and likewise a couple thousand others. Soon they were scurrying about like ants atop a puddle of spilled vanilla ice cream.

Pure chaos, young people bumping into one another, screaming and possessed by the imaginary outer space electromagnet. Invigorated, intoxicated, free. To add to the experience, Sox organist Nancy Faust played some tune or another the entire time, giving the riot its own soundtrack. As the overflow crowd stormed the burning field, youngsters scaled the foul poles, trashed a batting practice cage, and pulled out the bases from their moorings.

Ken Kravec, the White Sox intended starting pitcher for the nightcap, was warming up on the mound when the giant outer space electromagnet activated. Seconds later and overwhelmed by the chaos, he abandoned the mound and escaped toward the dugout, where he nearly collided with Danny.

“Watch it, kid! You better head back up to the stands with your parents.”

Danny ignored him. He was having the time of his life. Harry Caray sang “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” in a futile effort at crowd control. Some uncontrolled minutes later, after Caray and Bill Veeck himself unsuccessfully exhorted the rampant teenagers to leave the field, phalanxes of sky blue-helmeted riot police surged forward to restore order. All of a sudden, the outer space electromagnet which pulled the throngs of youth onto the field had its polarity reversed. In one second, everyone but the cops were pulled toward the grandstands, repulsed from the burning outfield.

The boys hopped over the grandstand wall somewhere between the third-base dugout and the left-field corner. Giggles and adrenaline coursed through each of them. Danny heard a voice.

“Danny, Danny Rasovitz!” It was Morty Appelbaum. He looked at the three boys, disapprovingly. Morty was sitting in the third base grandstands with his fellow members of the Temple Beth Israel of Lincolnwood Men’s Club.

“Who are you here with?” asked Morty. “Do your parents know you are here?”

“Um, kind of,” Danny said, head down, not making eye contact.

Just then, Bill Veeck made an announcement on the public address system. The umpires called the second game. Field unplayable, delay between games too long. Ken Kravec wouldn’t have a chance to pitch the nightcap. Harry Caray announced on TV that the game would be made up that coming Sunday, but later, American League president Lee McPhail declared a forfeit.

Meanwhile, Morty Appelbaum, who told the three boys he was horrified they came down on the “L” train and was even more horrified that that was their plan to get back home, insisted on driving them home to Lincolnwood. They agreed, realizing he’d say something to their parents if they didn’t. Morty drove his family station wagon that evening, the kind with the fake wood-grain paneling on the side. It had a University of Illinois Fighting Illini sticker on the back window. Brent and Mark hopped into the back seat; Danny rode shotgun. It took a long time to exit the parking lot; the rowdiness of the evening carried over outside the stadium. That and the huge crowd contributed to the snarl of post-game traffic.

As Danny got into the front seat, he noticed a folded up copy of the horse racing newspaper, the Racing Forum, with a pencil protruding from it, on the front seat. Someone had marked it up.

“Oh, don’t worry about that,” said Morty. “I’m in charge of the Men’s Club outing to Arlington Park Race Track.” He went on, “It’s for charity. Rabbi Mendelberg is coming too.”

The effect of 55,000 people leaving Comiskey Park all at the same time was overwhelming, and it took a while to get home. Morty reminisced with Brent about the past spring’s Little League season.

“You had some great cuts last season, Brent. I hope you spend some time this summer at the batting cages. Hard work pays off.”

“Will do, Coach Appelbaum. I’m going to go to the cages, though nothing beats live pitching.”

“You boys know who Ted Williams is?”

No one answered. Danny did know who Ted Williams was, and had you asked him just months earlier, he would have blurted out all his Ted Williams knowledge. But now, with coolness defined differently, he just kept quiet.

“He was one of the greatest hitters baseball has ever seen,” said Morty. “The last guy ever to hit .400. He played for the Red Sox, and he wrote this great book called The Science of Hitting. Brent, I’m going to get you a copy and I want you to study it thoroughly, got that?”

“Sure thing, Coach Appelbaum.” Brent made the other boys laugh the way he kept addressing Morty as “Coach Appelbaum.” Morty gave the boys a lecture, a kind but stern one.

“Listen, guys, the South Side is no place for three teenagers from Lincolnwood. Having taken the ‘L’ down here, you risked your lives. What are you doing messing around on the ‘L’ train? You all would have been better off spending the summer at a nice Jewish overnight camp, just like my two kids, Jay and Sharon. You know what they are doing right now?” He didn’t wait for an answer. “Playing sports, swimming, singing Hebrew folk songs, learning how to folk dance. Think of it, guys  —  you could meet some cute girls.”

Danny didn’t let Morty know that he had just escaped from overnight camp in order to make it to Disco Demolition Night. Was it worth it? Fuck yeah. Camp was for babies, so last year. Girls? He didn’t need to go to camp to meet girls. ChicagoFest was only a month away, and there would be plenty of girls there. Rock ’n’ roll girls wearing spaghetti-strap halter tops — he would find one to sit on his shoulders as the Scorpions or Sammy Hagar shredded it up on the rock stage. From her vantage point above the crowd, she would raise her cigarette lighter high into the air in triumph.. They’d play Atari, and down a bottle of Boone’s Farm after the show. Boone’s Farm sucked, but girls loved to get drunk on it. Danny was proud of himself for knowing that. Then they’d make out, and he’d cop a feel, not a shirt feel but a real one, and then maybe … he could feel the changes gurgling through him like percolating bong water.

The boys just kept quiet. Next, Morty made clear his displeasure with Steve Dahl.

“This guy is a complete fake, a complete charlatan. I’ve heard the only reason he started this disco nonsense is because he lost a job at another radio station, and has been on a vendetta ever since. That is totally selfish. He’s a complete jerk, taking advantage of kids to advance his own agenda ... and you guys, you guys shouldn’t be content to be followers.”

Morty Appelbaum didn’t know what he was talking about, thought Danny. Steve Dahl was the coolest, blowing shit up. He did what he wanted to, when he wanted to. Now that he was 14, older, Danny would too. Morty and the other Lincolnwood parents  —  they were just a drag.

Then Morty opened up about Bill Veeck.

“Veeck is a complete disgrace. This isn’t the 50s. Big players like Reggie Jackson and Pete Rose would never want to play with the Sox. If he can’t afford to compete, he should sell the team. Let them move to Tampa or Phoenix. Thanks to him, the Sox dropped one and maybe two stupid games  —  and maybe they’ll have to forfeit more, because that field is a disaster. This nonsense of blowing up a disco record. The Sox are pathetic. You boys should stick with the Cubs.”

It was late when Morty dropped each boy at his respective home. He dropped Mark and Brent off first before heading for Danny’s mom’s house.

“Danny, I don’t know what you boys were doing, but I got an idea ... I was your age once,” Morty said. “And I really don’t know your Mark friend but I know Brent pretty well from baseball and I know you from your mom. Your mom is a great lady and she cares for you a lot. I don’t know your dad but I’m sure he cares for you, too.”

As Morty spoke, Danny could barely hear the Starland Vocal Band’s “Afternoon Delight” playing at low volume on Morty’s AM car radio. And now I have to listen to this stupid lecture?, thought Danny. He was too old for lectures. I’m not 10 years old. Let him lecture his own stupid kids.

“Now I know it’s hard with your parents’ divorce and all, but know I’m here if you ever need someone to listen. I won’t say anything to your mom about what you were doing tonight. You’re a young man now, Danny. Life is full of choices and decisions, you understand?”

“Uh huh,” said Danny. He wished he had taken the “L” home. Even more, he wished he was old enough to drive himself, but that was a couple of years off. This sucked, but he wasn’t going to let it mar his perfect evening.

“Great. Just think about what I told you. Your actions have consequences.”

Danny closed his eyes and tuned it all out. He was too cool for this. They pulled up at Danny’s house. It was late.

“Good night, Mr. Appelbaum. Thank you.” Despite his teen rebelliousness, Danny was as polite as he had always been. He hadn’t yet discovered there was another way.

“You’re welcome, Danny. Good night.”

Danny opened the front door to his mom’s house very carefully, trying to minimize the sound of the door chimes. It was a great day, a great evening, he thought to himself, as he headed quietly up the stairs to bed.

Disco Demolition Night. A baseball stadium promotion gone horribly wrong, but for Daniel Samuel Rasovitz, it was a coming of age moment, an alt-Bar Mitzvah of sorts  —  and perhaps the best 98 cents he had ever spent.

DS Racer is a third (possibly fourth) generation White Sox fan. As a youth, frequently took the Red Line to old Comiskey Park to let loose with his buddies – these are the memories of a lifetime! Just three years after attending Disco Demolition Night, he was back at the old ballpark as a vendor, pushing hot dogs, peanuts, soda pop and other highly nutritious foods. Today he is an attorney in Los Angeles, where he lives with his bilingual family, sings in the shower, and enjoys taking his dog for walks on the beach.