The Sports Archives History Lesson – Beer and Whiskey League!

When one thinks of baseball, one also has to think of Sunday afternoons full of beer, hot dogs and peanuts.  But did you know that there was a time when baseball was banned on Sundays and that beer could not be sold at the games?

Baseball in the 1870s

Baseball in the 1870s

In 1880, the National League expelled Cincinnati for refusing to comply to the ban of Sunday baseball and beer sales.  This prompted some owners to start their own league.  (If you can’t join ’em, then beat ’em!).  The American Association solicited more fans than the National League by playing on Sundays, selling beer and charging 25 cents instead of 50 cents for tickets.  Baseball just became more affordable to a broader class of fans.  Maybe present day baseball can learn from some of its past history!

The National League was also facing fire from not allowing players to freely move between clubs due to the ‘reserve clause’ in effect. It was a time when the significance of the club was overriding that of the player (and what’s wrong with that?).   Maybe, once again, a modern-day lesson can be learned from the past.  It was becoming obvious that a change was on the horizon.

The high-browed National League, having turned their noses down on this new association, dubbed the league: The  “Beer and Whiskey League”.   The name, however, was not solely contrived from all the drinking at the games, but to the fact that at least four of its owners were also brewers or saloon owners!

Photo Credits:  Wikipedia

The Sports Archives directive is to archive sports history, serving to preserve and preserving to serve information about notable athletes and sports events for research by future generations while providing a platform for enlightening and entertaining our readers.

Related Blogs:
‘Three Strikes; You’re Out!’ – How Baseball Got Started!
Why Do Baseball Players Chew Tobacco?

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