Saturdays Suds: Baseball & Beer #12 – Rheingold Beer

30 09 2012

This one was pushed to “Sunday Suds” because I wanted to throw a shout out to Homer Bailey yesterday!

For my next “Saturday Suds” – where I post about a beer that has something to do with baseball (or at least I’ll try to figure out some way to correlate it with baseball) – I’m going back to the Northeast.  After posting about a Chicago beer given my move there, I’m going back to where I just came from – the New York / New Jersey area.

Brewery: (Originally) Liebmann Breweries, New York, NY

Currently owned and brewed by Rheingold Brewing Company, who is owned by Drinks Americas in Wilton, CT

Beer:  Rheingold Lager Beer

Description:  Another classic American lager – that’s been my MO with these posts, but that’s what you’d expect for baseball beers in the summer!  It’s got a little more of a grain to me than a Budweiser – which is often my standard of comparison for this beer.  I think I’d rather have it than a Bud-heavy.  Like many of these – this would be good for a summer day, but what I’d want for a night at a pub.

Rheingold beer was founded way back in 1883, and was very popular in New York in the 1940’s and 50’s – supposedly holding down over a third of the state’s beer market.  It was also well-known for the Miss Rheingold pageant, though the brewery folded in the mid-70s.  The beer was revived in the late 90’s, and was purchased by Drinks Americas out of Wilton, Connecticut, in 2005.  It’s now brewed in Wilton.  The original beer was a dry lager, whereas the beer now more like your standard adjunct lager.

Medium:  I bought 2 6-packs of 12 ounce bottles.  I’m sure there’s other ways to get it – but I never saw it around New York or New Jersey when I lived there.  This was a beer I had to do some searching for – but I did find Rheingold at a local liquor store in New Jersey.  In fact, I looked up where I could find it and conveniently picked it up on the trip where I drove my first car (sans wife and kid) from NJ to Chicago.  See how dedicated I am to the blog!

How it’s related to baseball:  Rheingold was the original beer sponsor for the Mets.  The beer was the only sponsor on the scoreboard while the team was in the Polo Grounds (during their first two years of existence).  The “H” and the “E” would light up for hit and error official scoring, a take off the Schaefer sign at Ebbets Field that did the same thing.

Rheingold stayed as a Sponsor when the Mets moved to Shea, and was still featured prominently on the scoreboard – at least from what I can tell through the 1969 championship season.

Jackie Robinson was also a sponsor for the beer company – you can find a couple of pictures of ads he did for the company in the 60’s.


It’s been 2 dozen years….

29 09 2012

Since this guy:

Threw a perfect game.

Since that September night in 1988, the Reds have:

  • won a World Series (1990),
  • become the 2nd team in baseball history – after the 1932 Yankees – to go an entire season without being shut out (2000),
  • lost their status as baseball’s first regular season game every year,
  • won 2 MVP awards (Larkin and Votto),
  • started an All-Star Game (Jack Armstrong),
  • hit for the cycle (Eric Davis),
  • had a manager get kicked out of baseball (Pete Rose),
  • had an owner basically get kicked out of baseball (Marge Schott),
  • had 6 inductees into the Hall of Fame wearing a Reds baseball cap (Bench, Morgan, Perez, Sparky, McPhee, and Larkin),
  • had a writer (Hal McCoy) and a broadcaster (Marty Brennaman) earn the Hall of Fame’s award for their profession.

And, last but not least, they’ve become only the second team in the history of baseball to be no-hit in the postseason.  But they had not, in that timeframe, thrown a no-hitter of their own.  Until last night…


Congrats, Homer.  Sorry no one can see your last name, but that’s how 2012 Topps scans!

(Saturday Suds – postponed until the Sabbath.  Good thing I don’t live in Indiana, or I’m sure I’d be breaking some sort of law.)

Cooperstown Week #5 – Baseball Cards featured in the Hall of Fame

27 09 2012

For the last of my Hall of Fame posts, I wanted to show off some of the baseball cards you can find when you go to the Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown.  This is a baseball card blog after all, right?

The first thing I’ll show is the first thing you see when you walk into the Hall.  It isn’t a baseball card in and of itself.  Right before you buy your tickets, there is a giant larger-than-life painting of Cy Young.

I knew I’d seen it before, and I don’t mean from my time to the Hall a few years ago.  Here’s why it merits inclusion in the baseball card post – it’s the subject for last year’s Gypsy Queen mini variation card of the Cyclone.

The Museum at the Hall of Fame sort of goes chronologically.  The first cards I saw were from the early rooms where some 1880’s tobacco cards were shown – Old Judge cabinets and minis, Allen & Ginter, and a few others.

The next card I saw was of “Iron Man” Joe McGinnity, the 1911 T201 Mecca Double Folders.  These cards folded over and featured two different players.  Tom McCarthy is the player featured on the back of this card whom you can’t see here.

The next card I saw was also from 1911 – a T3 Turkey Red of Tris Speaker which was in a display for championship teams from the decade at the end of the dead ball era.

There was also a card from this era.  This is a card from the Cracker Jack set from 1915 – which is a fairly “watershed” card in the hobby, since the cards were inserted into candy packs (Cracker Jack) as opposed to cigarette packs – a decidedly more “ballpark” feel.  The Shoeless Joe Jackson is the notable card from that set.

In the same section of the museum were the following cards from that era:

American Caramel E121 Ross Youngs:

and a T206 American Tobacco of Walter Johnson:

Then there weren’t some cards for quite a while.  No cards for the era from Ruth, Foxx, Gehrig, DiMaggio or Teddy Ballgame.  The next card I saw was nearly a half-century later; a 1962 Topps Sporting News All-Star subset card of Orlando Cepeda.  This was in a display honoring the Giants teams from the 1960’s.

After the 1950’s / 1960’s era, there’s a big display honoring the various Hispanic leagues.  The first cards I saw were from Cuba – cards from 1994.  Livan Hernandez (the still active Livan Hernandez, I might add) is the notable MLB player here.  But Omar Linares was another name I’d heard of.  From what I’ve read, he’s regarded as the greatest Cuban player of all-time, and he was part of 2 gold and 1 silver medal Olympic teams for Cuba.

There were also cards of some very notable MLB players for their time in the Venezuelan Winter League.

The latin exhibit got cards in there from the 30’s and 40’s that had been missing earlier.  Dolf Luque is shown on a 1930 Goudey card, while Mike Gonzalez is shown as a coach on 1941 Play Ball.

Finally, at the end of the museum exhibits (on the third floor), there’s a big display case of baseball cards shown chronologically from right to left.  One of the two most famous cards in the hobby (the other being the ’52 Topps Mantle), is displayed here – a Honus Wagner T206.

I’ll just show pictures here of a few others – I took a ton, but will just show some of the highlights.

1887 Kalamazoo Bats

1887 Gypsy Queen & Old Judge

1895 Mayo Cut Plug

1911 Hassan Triple Folders

1933 Goudey

Early 1940s Play Ball and Double Play

Late 1940s Leaf and Blue Tints

1951 Bowman

52 and 53 Topps

Cooperstown week #4 – New Inductees Larkin and Santo

26 09 2012

This is my fourth post in my week-long write-ups of the trip to Cooperstown. One of the things I really wanted to see in my trip to the MLB Hall of Fame this year was the plaques and exhibits for the new inductees.  I missed the induction of Barry Larkin, one of my favorite players and the first Reds player I saw play to go into the Hall.  And Ron Santo was my mom’s favorite player growing up in Chicago.  So after we went through the museum, we went down to the Hall of Fame itself, where the plaques are displayed.  There’s a room where you see some items from the most recent inductees.  Here’s the write-up on the wall for Larkin, which highlights his 2 decades as the Reds 5-tool shortstop, his MVP season in 1995, his 1996 season when he became the first 30-30 shortstop, and his 8 years as team captain.

This is the display with mementos from his playing career.  The biggest highlight has got to be his MVP award in the middle, but the coolest thing I saw was the silver medal he got for the 1984 Olympics (which was played as a demonstration sport).  I can’t remember the specifics of each of the other items, though the white jersey looks like it could be from the 1990 World Series championship.

Ron Santo was the other inductee.  His write-up highlights his 342 home runs, his numerous exploits with the glove, his battle with diabetes, his time as a Cubs announcer, and his place as one of the best 3rd baseman ever.  It’s cool that both guys inducted this year were so associated with one team.

Santo’s display had similar items.  One of his Gold Gloves is on display, along with a uniform, helmet and a couple of bats.  And the item of interest is the “Bringing Home a Cure” towel, which shows a silhouette of Santo clicking his heels as he fist did in the summer of 1969.

Barry Larkin and Ron Santo – the HOF class of 2012!

Cooperstown week #3 – more recent World Series Mementos

25 09 2012

Continuing my week at the MLB Hall of Fame…

I saw a bunch of really cool World Series Items and for my first three of these posts I wanted to go through those items chronologically.  This one is from the more recent World Series games.  And these are pretty much some of the most notable items you could find in MLB history.

Series from Post World War II

Shot Heard Round the World

Shot Heard Round the World – This wasn’t from a World Series, but it led to the Giants getting to the 1951 Series.  Bobby Thompson’s homer off Ralph Branca in the finale of a 3-game playoff to determine the NL pennant winner is usually cited as the most memorable moment in the history of the game.  These are Thompson’s shoes and bat, plus Branca’s rosin bag.

1954, Willie Mays – “The Catch”

Say Hey Kid’s Glove – “The Catch” – From the same team, another top moment in MLB history.  The Giants lost the 1951 Series, but fared much better when they got back 3 years later.  In game 1, Vic Wertz hit a drive to the deepest part of the Polo Grounds – some 420 feet to Center Field.  But Mays sprinted back and made an incredible over-the-head catch and threw the ball back to the infield to keep Larry Doby from scoring.

1956 – Don Larsen cap and ball

Cap and ball from Don Larsen’s Perfect Game – In game 5 of the 1956 Series, Larsen struck out pinch hitter Dale Mitchell to record the only no-hitter and perfect game in World Series history.

1960/1993 – Walk-off Homers

Walk-off World Series Blasts – This was a really cool combination.  The Hall put the bats of Bill Mazeroski (Game 7, 1960) and Joe Carter (Game 6, 1993) in the same exhibit.  These are 2 more top-10 moments in my book – the only 2 times in the history of baseball that the season was decided by a walk-off home run.

1970 – Brooks at the Hot Corner

Brooks Robinson’s Glove from 1970 – It probably wasn’t him single-handedly, but it sure seemed like it.  Brooks Robinson let nothing through from the Big Red Machine in the 1970 Series, taking the Series MVP honors.

1990 World Series pins

Reds 1990 pins – I showed a memento from my Reds losing the World Series, so it’s only right to follow it up with a victory.  The 1990 Reds swept the heavily favored A’s, going Wire-to-Wire.  There’s a display with every press pin that ever existed for the World Series, and I took this one in particular!

1991 Game 7 Jack Morris shutout

Jack Morris 10-inning Game 7 shutout – This is a ball from Game 7 in 1991, when Jack Morris dueled to a zero-zero tie with John Smoltz, then kept going to outduel the Braves relievers who came in after ward.  Morris threw a 10-inning shutout in one of the best games in World Series history.

1994 WS manufactured ball

The Series that was struck – I hate to end the World Series posts with this, but I thought this was pretty cool.  A ball manufactured for the 1994 World Series, which wasn’t played due to the players’ strike.

Cooperstown week #2 – a half-century of World Series Mementos

24 09 2012

Continuing my week of posts for the day my Dad and I spent at the MLB Hall of Fame…

I saw a bunch of really cool World Series Items and for my first three of these posts I wanted to go through those items chronologically.  The first post was items from the postseason series that came before the 1903 World Series.  This one is from the first half decade of the World Series as we know it today.

Pre-WWII World Series 

1903 – Final out of the first World Series

Last out of the 1903 World Series – This is a really cool “artifact”, one that I hadn’t noticed the first time I went to Cooperstown.  This ball was the last out of the first World Series, which started in 1903 as an agreement to play a championship between the Pirates and the Boston Americans (now the Red Sox).  Cy Young and Honus Wagner make this post again.  Young threw the first pitch in World Series history – getting the Pirates’ Ginger Beaumont to fly to center.  The rest of the game didn’t go so well for Cy – he gave up 7 runs in a loss.  He and the Americans redeemed themselves, however – he won his other two starts and Boston took the series, 5 games to 3.  Bill Dinneen was the star of the Series, however, winning 3 games in 4 decisions, and striking out the great Wagner to end the Series.

1910 Philadelphia A’s Trophy – This trophy was given to Connie Mack and the Philadelphia Athletics in honor of their defeating the Chicago Cubs, 4 game to 1.  This was the last series Tinkers to Evers to Chance participated in – ending the best stretch in Cubs history.

1919 World Series First ball

First ball from the Black Sox Scandal – I was particularly intrigued by this when I first saw it.  I remembered a story about this from Eight Men Out, when Ed Cicotte beaned the Cincinnati leadoff hitter to signal to gamblers that the fix was in.  This had to be that ball, right?  After a little digging, I realized this probably isn’t the same ball.  The first game was played in Cincinnati, so the Reds were at home and Cicotte didn’t pitch until the bottom half of the inning.  This ball would have been pitched by Reds pitcher Dutch Ruether to Shano Collins.

1932 – The Called Shot

Babe Ruth’s called shot – Hit in the 1932 World Series against the Chicago Cubs off of pitcher Charlie Root.  Many people think Ruth was just yelling back at the taunts of the Chicago players, but the Babe himself claims he pointed to center field and hit a 2-strike pitch over the fence there.

Cooperstown week #1 – Precursors to the World Series

23 09 2012

Just before the move to Chicago this past weekend, my parents came up to visit to see their new grandson.  And my dad and I got an item checked off the proverbial bucket list – we went to Cooperstown.  I’ve been, but Dad hadn’t yet.  I hadn’t been in the 2+ years I lived in New Jersey, so I was really glad to make the 3 hour drive at least one time before we moved – even if it was only a couple of weeks beforehand!

We went to Doubleday cafe for lunch, and then off to the Hall of Fame & Museum right after.  I’m going to veer from baseball cards for a few posts and show off a couple of the things we saw.  I saw a bunch of really cool World Series Items and for my first post I wanted to go through those items chronologically.  I spent some time learning about the Pre-World Series artifacts, so I did a pretty extensive write-up of those to detail what I found.

Precursors to the World Series

1888 Hall Cup

Hall Cup – The oldest still-existing trophy* awarded for baseball’s championship.  It was awarded to the winner of the 1888 World’s Series – one of the precursors to the World Series today.  In the 1888 World’s Series, Jim Mutrie’s New York Giants of the National League defeated Charles Comiskey’s St. Louis Browns of the American Association.  These are two franchises we know today – the San Francisco Giants and the St. Louis Cardinals.

*There is one known trophy that is older than the Hall Cup – the Dauvray Cup, which was donated in 1887 by Helen Dauvray, actress and the wife of the Giants’ John Montgomery Ward.  It went first to the Detroit Wolverines, who beat Comiskey’s Browns that year.  The Dauvray Cup was to be retired permanently after a team won it 3 straight years.  The Giants won the Series in 1888 and 1889, but the Giants were devastated by defections to the Players’ League in 1890 and didn’t defend their crown.  The Players’ League folded after one year, and the American Association folded in 1891.  As there was no series that year and the Boston Beaneaters took the cup as the World’s Champions when they won the 1891 National League title (we now know the Beaneaters as the Atlanta Braves). In 1892, the Beaneaters would go on to play the second place Cleveland Spiders in what was dubbed the “World’s Championship Series”.  Boston won 5-0, beating Cy Young twice in the series, and retained the Dauvray Cup.  They won the pennant the next year, and as there was no Championship Series, they actually retired the Cup formally in a ceremony in October of that year.  It’s not known what happened to the Cup after that.

1888 World’s Series scorecard

1888 World’s Series Scorecard – here’s a scorecard from that World’s Series pitting the Giants and Browns.

1893 Temple Cup

Temple Cup – The Temple Cup was a trophy donated by William Temple, the owner of Pittsburgh Pirates, who finished 2nd in 1893 and wanted a chance to play the pennant-winning Boston club.  The next year, the “World’s Championship” was started up again as the 2nd place Giants (now managed by John Montgomery Ward – though he and Dauvray had divorced by this point) swept the first place Baltimore Orioles in 4 games.  The Orioles again won the pennant but lost this series the next year, losing to Cleveland – this time Cy Young won 3 of the games out of the series.  The third time was the charm – they extracted revenge the next year on the Spiders, who again finished in 2nd place.  And in 1897, they won it again, this time as the 2nd place team, defeating the pennant-winning Beaneaters.  The series didn’t do well, though, and the Cup was returned to William Temple the next year.  Eventually, the Hall of Fame purchased it for display.

1894 Orioles

Orioles 1894 handkerchief – That Orioles team from 1894 which lost the Temple Cup to New York had an artifact at the Museum.  Future Giants manager, the legendary John McGraw, was featured on this – he was the team’s 3rd baseman!

1900 Chronicle-Telegraph Cup

Chronicle-Telegraph Cup – In 1900, Pittsburgh again finished in 2nd place and again wanted a piece of the actual pennant-winners.  This time, it was the Champion Brooklyn Superbas, though, that won the Cup.  There were a few Hall of Famers on these teams, most notably Willie Keeler of Brooklyn (who had been on the Temple Cup Baltimore teams), and Honus Wagner of Pittsburgh – both of whom led their teams in hitting for the series.  Baseball’s original “Iron Man” – Joe McGinnity, was the MVP of the series, throwing 2 complete game shutouts.