It Was 30 Years Ago Today

Al Yellon

It's hard to believe that three decades have gone by since a Cub manager's famous postgame outburst.

I've written about this event many times before, including in the Game From Cubs History series last January.

But it seems appropriate to mention the famous Lee Elia Rant again, since it happened exactly 30 years ago, April 29, 1983. That year's Cubs started out worse than this year's bunch, going 5-14; the 14th loss that long-ago April 29, to the Dodgers, was due to some bad relief pitching (sound familiar?). Here are all the gory details. Elia's tirade came after some Cubs players were heckled by some (likely drunk) fans down the third-base line on their way back to the clubhouse, which in 1983 was still located in the left-field corner (it was moved to behind the dugout the following year).

You can hear the entire rant at the link in the first paragraph above (WARNING! NSFW!); at Hardball Times today, Chris Jaffe has helpfully transcribed the whole thing, with plenty of asterisks in place of the profanities.

One of the things Elia said in his outburst was:

Eighty-five percent of the world is working. The other fifteen come out here.

And that's the origin of the photo at the top of this post. An enterprising Cubs fan made up those buttons, and many of us wore them as a badge of honor. The button you see depicted here is mine; I still have it, a true historical Cubs fan artifact.

No matter what happens at Wrigley Field in tonight's Cubs/Padres game, I think you can pretty well be assured that Dale Sveum won't go on an Elia-like rant.

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