Beer, Baseball and Boys

Editor’s note: Continuing the conversation from the Virtual Bar.

Dr. Eric: Joe Nuxhall used to call the Reds games. Which beer company sponsored the former Redlegs boy wonder…

Dr. Jim: Long-gone Burger beer used to sponsor the Reds games. Now, here’s another question: Before Joe Nuxhall, who called the games?

Dr. Jerry: I believe that would be Weidemans, one of the most disgusting tasting beers ever sold.  It was brewed across the river from Cincinnati (or as Huntingtonians–including Dr. Casto, say “Cincinnata.”) I date back to the Waite Hoyt/Burger beer era of Johnny Temple, Gus Bell, Roy Macmillian, Smokey Burgess, Brooks Lawrence and the Big Klu. Ironically, Waite Hoyt was a local member of AA for 40 years.

Dr. Tom Schwartz: Not as bad as Hamm’s, “the beer refreshing” that sponsored the Kansas City A’s games in the late 1950’s. Also, remember that Joe Nuxhall was the youngest player ever in the modern major leagues: he was only 16 when he pitched 2/3 of an inning in 1944.

Am I the only ATer ever kicked out of a college for drinking beer? In 1964, I was sent packing by Knox College in Galesburg, IL for drinking 3.2% Coors in the dorm. I was 20 and had bought it legally in KS.

Dr. Jerry: Looks like Dr. C and I got to Waite Hoyt at the same time. One of most entertaining and literate broadcasters of all time (spoke in the third person–“He has just hit a single up the middle”–on the grounds that by the time he mentioned it had already happened). A pioneer in players turned broadcasters. Perhaps next to Dizzy (“He slud into third”) Dean, my favorite sportscaster. Talked a lot like the characters in Mark Harris’ great baseball novels. Harris was a Saul Bellow hero worshiper and wrote about him a lot but, I must confess, I wouldn’t trade The Southpaw and Bang the Drum Slowly for all of Bellow’s output. (And I really like Bellow.)

I meant to say “loyal” not “local” member of AA.

Dr. Jim: Waite Hoyt really came into his own when the rain rolled in, delaying the game. Maybe the delay was 20 minutes, maybe two hours. No matter. Whatever its length, he just kept talking, telling baseball stories.

He must have had a million of them. I wonder if anybody ever recorded them?

This, of course, was on radio, before television came along and ruined baseball (and a lot of other things as well).

Dr. Jim: The beer with the least politically correct slogan has to be Schaefer, “The one beer to have when you’re having more than one”.

Dr. Jerry: Nicols and May Narragansett beer spots.

Dr. Geoff: [a man with three countries]Josh had previously educated me about microbreweries in the USA in an attempt to show me that there was more to American beer than Bud but, the reality is, beyond the shores of the USA, the concept of American beer is a laughing stock.

Bud (which is really gnats piss by any other name), secures global exposure by paying mega bucks for exclusivity at world cups and and other sporting events: without it, I doubt it would last 5 minutes beyond the borders of the USA. And that’s before we get stuck into the other stuff that the USA brands as its own beyond its shores.

Now, if you really want to discuss quality beer then let’s talk about the wonderful choice one has with Belgian beers (400+) based on the recipes of the trappist monks, then you will be talking my kinda language.

Dr. Josh: Then there is Poe’s Tavern on Sullivan Island just outside Charleston. Poe was stationed there during the Civil War. They used to have a great beer called, Poet, made in Michigan somewhere, but the locals like their Buds, and it has been discontinued. If you are a raven or Poe fan, this is the place. They don’t make bars like this anymore.

Dr. Josh: Dr. Jerry and Dr. Pedro may remember an article we did for The Quality Review, photographed by Neal Slavin, and written by Michael Jackson, at the time the world’s leading beer expert, but now holding court at the big beer garden in the sky. It was photographed at McSorleys Ale House, one of the finer places for a beer in Manhattan, or at least it used to be. I met him at the first Great American Beer Festival in Denver in the late 80s. He was one of the judges. One of the ten or so categories was cream ales, and the winner was from Dr. Eric’s back yard in Ohio, Kings Cream Ale made in Cincinnati.

What killed the ubiquitous local brew pubs in the 20s was the invention of the radio, or more accurately the availability of radios for the home. The good lads no longer went to the pub after work, but came home to listen to the radio. At the same time, the application of pasteurization to beer made it possible for beer to travel, so suds and listening to the radio became a America’s second pastime.

My father, a preacher-man (making me…) loved baseball and we’d listen to it on the radio every five years when we came to the US from Bolivia for a insanity check. But he would turn the commercials off because he did not want his sons listening to the sinful beer ads. Occasionally he would be slow on the draw and I would catch part of the ad: “Hey getya cobia” and that was a far as it would go before my father was back on the case. It was years later that I learned it was not “cobia” but cold beer and it was Ballantine, a popular beer made in Newark, New Jersey, at the time. Ballantine was the first beer sponsor of the Yankees in the early 40s, but we were Phillies fans, living just around the corner from the old Connie Mack stadium.

Dr. Tom Stewart: Iron City is the beer that the assassins of  Jock Yablonski drank on their way to murder the rebel labor leader, at the behest of corrupt UMW boss Tony Boyle. Cans found along the road were a link in the chain of evidence.

Last call.


About Author

Josh is an author, former blogger, media critic, x-Capitol Hill legislative aide and White House assistant, business consultant, idea marketing specialist, a squatter at the global village virtual bar and an alpine rock gardener where he lives in Woodstock, NY.