The fans did more than that, though. They also set the batting cage on fire and tore up the field so bad that the umps forced the White Sox to forfeit the second game.

4. The late, great, and incomplete College All-Star Game (July 23, 1976)
Those of us of a certain age remember, usually with some fondness, the old tradition of the greatest college players playing the defending NFL champs in the first exhibition game each season. That ended in 1976, in bizarre fashion.

Play began in Chicago on a heavily saturated field, and the rain didn't let up. Conditions eventually got so bad that officials halted play, and the crowd took over, with fans diving and belly flopping on the vacated surface, and eventually ripping down both goalposts. With the Steelers up 24-0, the game was called late in the third quarter, after thousands of fans laid claim to the field. The series, heavily dominated by the pros (12 straight wins counting Pittsburgh's victory) would never be played again.

5. In Seattle, it even rains on the Suns (Suns at Sonics, Jan. 5, 1986)
Only one minute into the second quarter of a midseason matchup between Phoenix and Seattle, the Seattle Coliseum sprung a mighty leak, soaking the playing surface despite a tarp that had been placed on the roof the night before.

The roof was already leaking when play began, but referee Mike Mathis thought the surface could be kept dry enough with plenty of towels. He was wrong. "When multiple leaks developed and two players hit the floor, I felt there was too much of a chance of a player getting injured and made the decision to stop the game," he said.

It was the first NBA game ever to be stopped in progress. The Suns were leading 35-24 when fans began unfurling their umbrellas. The next night, they wrapped it up 114-97.

6. April, in like a lion (Red Sox vs. Reds in Florence, S.C., April 6, 1939)
Ah, nothing like the relaxing fields of spring. Dandelions and warm breezes and ... wait! What's that in the infield? It's a small-model version of the Dust Bowl! Wow – did you see that ground ball go over the fence? (No, Ralph Kiner wasn't calling the game.) This all really happened as Boston and Cincy played an exhibition game in a howling windstorm that was called, with the score 18-18, in the ninth inning. The official reason for the halt: all 54 baseballs, gone with the wind. Really.

7.Expos rained out at the Big Owe (Dodgers at Expos, July 13, 1991)
Rain cascaded through a ripped Olympic Stadium roof, raining out the game. But the bigger problem came a few months later, as the Expos would play their last 25 games on the road when scheduled home series against the Mets, Phillies, and Cubs were changed to road games after the stadium lost a 55-ton concrete beam.

The Olympic Stadium saga, which is only thin-sliced here, is truly extraordinary.

8. Rained out in the Astrodome (Pirates at Houston, June 15, 1976)
The only rainout in Astrodome history: seven inches of rain caused major flooding in Houston, and although the players were able to make it to the park (and 20 or so fans, who probably came just for the good parking), the game was canceled because of ... well, the umpires couldn't get there. And neither could almost everyone else. But the dome, and the playing surface, were just fine.

Continued...


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