There’s new grass on the field

I felt like a grizzly bear this morning, emerging from hibernation crawling out of my den.  The sun was shining, the snow was melting, and I could tolerate being outside for more than ten minutes without being wrapped up like Randy Parker in “A Christmas Story”.

Mickey Mantle

Yes, it was nearly 50 degrees today in the northeast.  And after what seems like months of bone-chilling cold it also just happens to be the day pitchers and catchers reported to Spring Training.  The Boys of Summer are back, and that means the sun is too!  (My wife also mentioned something about a holiday…)

The Newport Gulls practicing at Cardines Field in Newport, RI

So in honor of this momentous day, let us look back to an article posted on the American Public House Review that featured what is perhaps the best baseball bar in all the land, the Mudville Pub in Newport, Rhode Island.

The view from the Mudville Pub in Newport, RI

So as John Fogerty said, “beat the drum and hold the phone. The sun came out today!  We’re born again, there’s new grass on the field.”  Play Ball!

By Dave McBride


Beer and Baseball in America

Beer and baseball.  Can you think of two things in this country that go better together?  The two have lived a symbiotic relationship for decades.  I grew up a Yankees fan, thanks be to God, and I remember after a homerun Phil Rizzuto would declared it “Miller Time”.  In the 1950’s, a giant Ballantine Ale banner adorned centerfield at the big ballpark in the Bronx declaring itself the “Stadium Favorite”.  Despite the exorbitant cost, and missing at least a half an inning on line at the concession stand, a game just ain’t a game without a beer.

IronPigs Outfield

So you can imagine my delight last night as I entered Coca-Cola Park, the home of the AAA Lehigh Valley IronPigs, and while strolling to my seat saw a stand selling beer direct from the Bethlehem BrewWorks.  A pint of a delicious red lager, followed by a pint of the Pig Pen Pils, and I was a man enjoying life the way it was meant to be!

Minor League baseball does a lot of things well.  The tickets are priced right, the games are fun and exciting, and stadiums usually attempt to bring in a bit of the local culture.  Whoever decided to go get this beer deserves my thanks and admiration.

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Posted by: David McBride

Goodbye to the big ballpark in the Bronx

Well, old friend, I guess this is goodbye.  Throughout my life, there have been few I have looked forward to seeing more than you.  Each year when winter would finally break, nothing brought a smile to my face like the site of you on opening day.  What will the world be like now without you?

No matter how hard things got, there was always you.  When we sat in the bleachers watching a last place team, it was worth it because of you.  When we had to live with disappointments like Andy Hawkins losing a no-hitter, we always had you.  And in these last few years of prosperity, you shined all the brighter, proving to the country that there truly is only one “stadium”.  You can keep your parks and fields.  I got a stadium.  And not just a stadium, THE stadium.

Yankee Stadium

Yankee Stadium

Even though money and space has kept us apart more than together these last few years, my affection for you has never diminished.  Sure there is nothing quite like a trip to seeing my old friend, but you always seemed to love the television cameras as well.  And the cameras loved you right back.  Even those never lucky enough to visit the greatest baseball field in history knew what you were all about.

I’ll admit that I did not come to see you this season and say goodbye.  It was just too hard for me.  Seeing that gorgeous field and touching the monuments to our past heroes was something I didn’t want to forever remember as a sad event.  Instead I have nothing but fond memories.  Do you remember that day when I was only maybe 8 years old, when Dad, my brother, and I came to see the Yanks play the Royals in the blistering July heat?  I know our boys lost by a bunch, but this kid was thrilled just to see Reggie hit a couple into the right field bleachers.  Or how about that time I came to see you for game 6 of the 2000 ALCS?  We all knew the Mets were waiting for us, but we needed to win and close out the Mariners.  When David Justice launched a ball into the upper deck to take the lead, I could feel the floor shaking under my seat.  I could just tell you were lovin’ it!

I’ve never been one for tearful goodbyes, but as these current Yankees departed your company last night with the high class defined by that uniform for last time, I could feel a tear fall down my cheek.  Fare thee well, my old friend.  And thank you for all you have given me.  You will never be forgotten.

by David McBride

Published in: on September 22, 2008 at 9:45 am  Leave a Comment  
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God Save The King

The King

 

 

Is it possible that America will lose its monarchy before the Brits? According to a story filed by The Associated Press, Budweiser the St. Louis based icon may be acquired by the Belgium brewer InBev. The citizens of the “Gateway City” along with most company executives and probably most beer drinking God fearing Americans are appalled at the possibility. The question is will the shareholders be able to resist the rumored $65 bid being offered for a company that has been been trading between $45 and $55 for the the last two years. The argument seems to always come down to patriotism versus personal prosperity. 

 Carriage Before The Horse 

Being a bit of an iconoclast myself, I concur with Bob Dylan’s take on patriotism, it being “The last refuge to which a scoundrel clings.”  And having been brought up on the products of eastern breweries, such as Ballantine, Knickerbocker and Rheingold, or given the fact that the beer snob in me supports the Reinheitsgebot – (German Beer Purity Law), one might think that I would celebrate the fall of the king. But truth be told, I take no solace in the fact that Budweiser may suffer the vagaries of the global free market.

The One and Only Dalmatian

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For I too have fallen under the spell of Dalmatians, Clydesdales and the brilliant marketing campaigns that ultimately layed to waste a good number of domestic competitors. In many ways Budweiser represents the last vestige of American capitalism done right – a consistently good product, priced well and promoted properly.

Budweiser Clydesdale

On the othe hand, if the Belgiums do nip St. Louis in the Bud,  beer snobs will probably gladly pay more for the labors of the Busch family – given their unpatriotic propensity for imports.   

Posted by: Chris Poh, Publisher –  American Public House Review

 

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