World Series Celebrations

One of the things I used to enjoy watching as a kid was the celebration on the field after the last out was recorded. Players and fans join in one big mass, the players struggling to make it into the dugout… For safety reasons, I can understand logically why it stopped… but my questions…

  1. Was there a specific incident that caused the ending of this tradition?
  2. When was the last time this occurred on the baseball field?


Not wanting to point fingers, but New York fans are usually to blame.
After the Yankees won the ALCS in 1976, the fans stormed the field and prevented Yankee Chris Chambliss (who had hit a game-winning homer) from ever touching home. (The umpires still gave him credit).
The field was really torn up.
A similar celebration occurred in 1977, when the Yankees won the World Series.
In 1980, when the Phillies won their only championship, they took no chances. They brought out mounted police and had a ring of officers around the field.
The Phillies celebrated with few fans on the field that year.

Once teams saw the success that the Phillies had with crowd control, it became standard.

Another thing that has helped is that about half the time, the winning team is on the road, so nobody is in the mood to go on the field.

I believe the first time anything like that happened was in 1969, when the Mets clinched the Eastern Division. The same sort of celebration occurred when they defeated Atlanta for the NL championship and Baltimore for the World Championship. Each time, the field was wrecked and it took frantic work to get it back into shape in time for the next game.

It also happened with the Mets in 1973, but the celebration had turned ugly; it was more a vandalism than a celebration. From around that point on, teams put extra security for the final game to prevent people from going on the field. There were not direct incidents, but everyone on the team side agreed that it couldn’t continue. It pretty much stopped by the mid-70s.

It only occurred a handful of times

Well, here’s some of my memories…

  1. I remember the Chambliss home run… And I also remember the Phillies ringing the field with mounted police. Perhaps this WAS the first time I saw the crowd control…
  2. 1979 - The Pirates won IN BALTIMORE, and if you ever see the clips from that, you will see fans pouring all over the field. Kent Tekulve had to fight with a fan who stole his hat from his head…
  3. 1960… Mazeroski (OK, I’m a Pirate fan) hits the homerun to win the series and has to fight off fans to get to home… so it was happening even back then… I don’t know of any examples of it before then, but my guess is that Bobby Thompson’s “shot heard 'round the world” sparked an on field celebration, but I can’t remember seeing anything but Giants…

It’s pretty simple, really. As fans became more aggressive, wanting to TAKE things from players instead of just patting them on the back, the powers that be saw how this could be damaging and put a stop to it.

And this is NOT just a New York phenomenon, I assure you…

Yer pal,