The White Sox will hold a T-shirt giveaway on Thursday night to mark the upcoming 40th anniversary of the team's infamous Disco Demolition Night. Steve Dahl, a DJ who frequently talked about his dislike for disco music on-air, will throw the ceremonial first pitch.
On the night of July 12, 1979, fans could get into the ballpark for 98 cents if they brought a disco record — which Dahl blew up on the field between games. The event drew a rowdy crowd that stormed the field, and the playing surface was so torn up that the White Sox had to forfeit the second game of the doubleheader.
Since then, Disco Demolition Night has remained a controversial piece of White Sox history. "Some see the event as not just a demonstration against disco music but against the groups that first embraced the dance music, namely African Americans, Latinos and gay people," Phil Rosenthal writes in the Chicago Tribune.
In response to criticism over Thursday's planned giveaway, the White Sox said in a statement to the Tribune that "the intent of this giveaway was only meant to mark the historical nature of the night 40 years later."