BEER AND BASEBALL
Here is a little more news from the financial front. Rheingold, the beer company that sponsors New York Mets baseball on radio and TV, has revealed a fascinating parallel between its fortunes and those of the ball club. For instance, in 1966, alter finishing last in each of their first four seasons, the Mets rose to ninth place, their best ever, won 66 games, their most ever, and drew 1,932,693 to Shea Stadium, another record. That same year Rheingold's sales reached $190 million, a record, and the company's stock hit an alltime high.
But in 1967 the Mets fell hack to 10th place, went over the 100 mark in losses, saw the paid attendance drop more than 350,000 and fired Wes Westrum as manager. Rheingold, too, had a rough year. The Company lost more than $200,000, the stock nose-dived and changes were made in top management.
In 1968 the Mets started up again. They finished ninth, won a record high of 73 games and attendance jumped more than 200,000. Rheingold rallied as well. Sales totaled $189 million, just below the record, and net earnings were almost $4.5 million.
This year the Mets—well, we know what they have done. And Rheingold, with its season not over, reports a 39.6% increase in net income for the first half, record sales, and—in this bleak year—a near record high for its stock.
Let's go Mets! Drink up, everybody!
ANDROCLES IN UPPER MICHIGAN
These wilderness stories always sound like something your great-grandfather first heard from Dan'l Boone, but here we go with another one. Frank Stebbins, a logger in Amasa, Mich., on the Upper Peninsula, was checking his trap line the other day when he found a bear caught by the foot in one of the traps. The bear was not happy, and neither was Stebbins, since trapping bears is illegal in Michigan. He had to get the animal out of the trap without shooting it, but the question was how? The easy way would be to walk up and say, "Here, fella. Let me get you out of that thing," but this bear did not seem to be the type to buy that dodge. So Stebbins decided to experiment.
He cut a five-foot branch off a nearby sapling and gingerly approached the angry, thrashing animal. "He quieted down a little," says Stebbins, "and I began to scratch him behind the ears with the tip of the branch." The bear stopped muttering, became downright docile and, in fact (or in story), rolled over and covered his eyes with his paws. While he was freaked out, Stebbins quickly opened the trap.
The tale would be perfect, of course, if the hear had then gratefully licked his benefactor's hand, saved him from starving by leading him to a honey tree and subsequently protected him from a treacherous attack by a timber wolf. But no. Stebbins says that the bear, once free, raced for the woods, pausing only for one Meeting glance back from a safe distance.