Tim Fleming and Jennifer Miller took the plastic cups of Old Style from the Wrigley Field vendor, then tapped the beers together as if making a champagne toast.
This workingman’s brew is as much part of the lore at the home of the Chicago Cubs as bricks, ivy and the billy goat curse blamed for the team’s long championship drought – so news that Pabst Brewing Co. might pull the beer from the ballpark after six decades doesn’t sit well with Miller and other loyalists.
“Not acceptable,” she said.
With no pennant race to worry about, yet again, fans are buzzing both at Wrigley and on the Internet about the prospect that the team will end one of the most amazing streaks in sports – the 61 years with Old Style, not the 103 years without a World Series title.
According to a published report, billionaire C. Dean Metropoulos fired off a memo to senior staffers shortly after he bought Pabst last year that he wanted to “exit the Cubs deal” in favor of spending more to market Old Style Light.
Pabst’s chief marketing officer, Bryan Crowley, declined to acknowledge the memo exists as the Chicago Tribune first reported this summer. However, he told the Associated Press in a telephone interview that a contract is set to expire after this season between the Cubs and the company, which also makes Old Milwaukee and Schlitz.
That leaves fans worried they might have to wash their annual frustration down with something other than Old Style.
But what would replace Old Style if it goes? While Ric Clarke says he wouldn’t be overly bothered drinking a beer made in Milwaukee, home of the Brewers – largely a friendly rival of the Cubs – he is galled by the thought of drinking one made in St. Louis, home of the hated Cardinals.
“I’ve never had anything else to drink here,” said Clarke, 63, who grew up blocks away from Wrigley. “It’s the real flavor of baseball.”
Clearing the bases
Tigers outfielder Brennan Boesch is set to have surgery on his injured right thumb and is expected to miss the rest of the season. Detroit activated reliever Al Alburquerque (concussion) from the disabled list. … Red Sox right fielder Conor Jackson left the game against Texas in the top of the fourth after running into the wall. Boston announced he had a bruised right knee. … The Padres have recalled highly touted first baseman Anthony Rizzo from Triple-A Tucson. San Diego also recalled infielder James Darnell from Tucson.
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