On April 29, 1983, the Cubs lost by a run to the Dodgers at Wrigley Field, dropping them to 5-14, last place in the National League East. Afterward, a reporter asked Cubs manager Lee Elia a question about fan support. Elia responded with an unrivaled fusillade of profanities.

It will always be the postgame presser performance to end all postgame presser performances. We've posted it before, but this is its 30th anniversary, and people need to be reminded it still exists. The audio is above. If you've never heard it, you have to listen to it right now.

Elia was pissed about all the losing, but he grew even more angry as the team left the field, when one of the 9,391 fans officially listed as having been there tossed a beer onto rightfielder Keith Moreland. There was no internet at the time to spread Elia's rant, but word quickly got around the old-fashioned way. Les Grobstein, a longtime Chicago radio reporter, happened to have his tape recorder running. Grobstein hustled to get the recording over to the station he worked for, and a bleeped version of it was broadcast for everyone's virgin ears later that day. "We got more phone calls about that—it became a classic," Tommy Edwards, a DJ for the station, said in 1997.

The Chicago Sun-Times said it was a lucky coincidence that Elia wasn't fired immediately.

In fact, general manager Dallas Green was ready to dismiss Elia after hearing the tape — and would have but for a chance circumstance that saw Elia in his office when Green called.

“There were no cellphones of course, and Lee told me later he had left because he was supposed to be a celebrity umpire for his daughter Tania’s softball game,’’ Ibach said. “But he left his keys in his office, came back and heard the phone.

“Had he left, Dallas would have fired him that night.’’

Instead, a mortified Elia listened to the tape and realized what his words sounded like.

Elia wound up getting fired in late August, when the Cubs were 15 games under .500. He later managed the Phillies for a spell. On the occasion of the tirade's 25th anniversary, Elia raised money for charity by selling autographed baseballs that came with a cleaned-up recording of part of the rant. Now 75, he still works in baseball as a special assistant to Frank Wren, the Braves' GM.

[Chicago Sun-Times]