America’s National Pastime Has German Roots

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April 5, 2013 by Prost Brewing

 

Everyone knows that hot dogs, pretzels, and beer can be found at any major league baseball game, but they might have not known that these common baseball game foods came originally from German culture.  Indeed, the innovator Christian Frederick Wilhelm Von der Ahe (yes that was all just one name) awarded with fame and fortune for coupling beer and baseball, and thus founding an American tradition, was purely German with a thick German accent.  He owned the St. Louis Brown Stockings, arguably the predecessor of the St. Louis Cardinals.

Chris_von_der_Ahe_baseball_card

Like any good German, Von der Ahe was noted for having a Germanic sense of “gemütlichkeit,” a situation conducive to a cheerful mood.  In line with “gemütlichkeit,” Von der Ahe set out to make the ballpark a place of more entertainment than just baseball.  Von der Ahe arranged for “German Tea,” a.k.a. German beer, to be sold in his ballpark from roaming vendors, stands scattered throughout the park, and concessionaires in the “Biergarten” adjacent to right field.  It was not long before the American National Baseball League was nick-named the “Beer Ball League” by the Chicago Tribune in the year 1881.

Well over a century later, beer and baseball are still paired together as intrinsic entities of any American Baseball League game.  However, unless you want to pay a hefty penny for industrially made beer, stopping by Prost Brewing, located directly across highway I-25 from Coors Field, will provide you with the opportunity to enjoy in a free taster and your first bier half price with your game ticket.  Parking at Prost is also free so you can walk on over to Coors and save on parking.  In light of the opening day game, Prost will open at 11 am today April 5th for anyone who wants to enjoy good beer and that German “gemütlichkeit” before heading off to the big game.

For more information on Von der Ahe and an insightful historical account of American baseball check out, “The American Game: Baseball & Ethnicity” by Lawrence Baldassano & Richard Johnson.

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