- TOP PLAYERSOffensePABLO S. TORRE | August 20, 2012
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Milwaukee County Stadium manager Bill Hanrahan is correct in his appraisal of the effectiveness of his drinking patrols. On Sept. 6, 1986, a group of 88 of us traveled nine hours by bus from Cleveland to Milwaukee to see the Indians play the Brewers. En route we consumed vast quantities of beer.
In the first inning of the game, the Indians scored seven runs, and in the next inning George Bamberger, then the Brewers manager, was ejected for disputing a home run call. We went bonkers. The Milwaukee fans behind us took none too kindly to our overenthusiasm and began pelting us with assorted projectiles. The ushers and security officers responded by immediately cutting off beer vendor sales in the section.
By the end of the game, which the Indians won 17-9, we had settled down, and all of us—Indians and Brewers rooters—were doing the Wave. County Stadium personnel quickly defused a potentially dangerous situation, while at the same time allowing all the fans to enjoy themselves.
William Oscar Johnson neglected to mention one aspect of sports drinking that, to my mind, is the biggest part of the problem. A good many of the hardcore, obnoxious stadium drunks are drunk before they ever enter the stadium. Tailgating parties have become as much the event as the game itself. For about a dollar more than the price of one stadium beer, you can buy a six-pack. A group of fans can fill a cooler with beer, arrive in the parking lot two to three hours before game time and load up before going in. This translates into five or six hours of drinking.
I took my copy of your Aug. 8 issue to the stadium so that I could read your cover story on beer before the start of a Pirates-Mets game. When play began, I put the magazine under my seat. My wife picked it up after the game, and it was soaked with—you guessed it—beer.
IN THE CARDS
Spare us the sentimental nonsense about the good old days. There have been serious collectors as well as hobbyists for as long as there have been baseball cards, and neither has ever threatened the other. No, McCallum, the very things you ascribe to those golden years are what make baseball cards valuable.