October 31, 2012
World Series Riots
The San Francisco Giants four-game sweep of the Detroit Tigers on Sunday—their second world championship in three years—was marred by news out of the bay Sunday night and Monday morning of isolated riots around the city.
From USA Today:
Most went home within an hour or so. However several small groups left the area and began to create havoc around the city's main thoroughfare, Market Street, in the Mission neighborhood and near AT&T Park where the Giants play. Several fires were set in the middle of streets and photos and videos of a city bus burning were posted on Twitter.
It was an embarrassing way for fans to celebrate their team's ultimate victory, especially only 16 months after a much more dangerous and costly riot in Vancouver, British Columbia, following the Vancouver Canucks' Stanley Cup loss. But riots following championship-clinching games, while not exactly common, aren't unheard of either. Here's a brief, incomplete look at World Series-related riots through the years.
A World Series victory celebration Sunday night turned into a wave of destruction, looting and sex-in-the-streets. Nearly a hundred arrests were reported and at least that many others were treated at city hospitals.
(Note: At least one paper later called the happenings in 1971 "the 'riot' after the Pirates' 1971 World Series victory—which proved to be far from that...". I could find no articles explaining what he meant, however.)
1977, New York, New York
Mounted police were overwhelmed in the efforts to stem the tide of roaring fans who tore up the turf, ripped up bases, which had been screwed down, and threw hard plastic seats. Frustrated, the police began to fight back, and one fan was trampled by a horse but appeared unhurt.
One man was shot to death, dozens were injured and at least 34 were arrested when World Series victory celebrators turned violent, torching cars, battling with riot-ready police and leaving streets littered with broken glass today.
2007, Boston, Massachusetts
Some fans climbed trees or streetlamps, shouting at police as celebrations briefly turned violent. A Boston police spokeswoman said 37 arrests were made. At least one person was treated for a head wound, local WBZ TV said.
Clearly, baseball fans have been dangerously idiotic for years, but that does not excuse the behaviors of the fans in San Francisco or anywhere else. Hopefully, this is the last time we have to hear about such behavior, World Championships or otherwise.