A careful reader would know I like beer. And I like beer at a baseball game if it isn't at a rip-off price or a plastic bowl of plastic fluid. So, next time I am out looking for a game, I really should not sit next to Dayton Smith, 88, who's been gong to single A level games at Oneonta, NY for nearly a quarter-century. Why? Because he's an old grump at a team that's been tending to the needs of grumps for decades.
“I don’t drink,’’ he says. “I’m a baseball fan. I liked that here they don’t have a lot of doodads, a lot of loudness and all that crap. I don’t like that between-innings thing. This is a baseball park. It doesn’t matter to me that they don’t sell beer.’’
Doodads! What a nightmare. No doubt Dayton has visions of the sort of hell on earth like that witnessed a could of weeks ago on my mid-west road trip, the Sodom-like scene at South Bend, Indiana captured above. It's a real shame that a ball park so near Ommegang, Cooperstown, Saranac and other great central NY craft brewers hasn't been supporting the local economy by selling them to the crowd but, according to the quite extended story in the Boston Globe this weekend, there was good reason - apparently a guy in Syracuse in the 1960s who got drunk near former team owner, Sam Nader, who decided that enough was enough and baseball needed to get rid of the beer beer - not to mention between-innings contests for the kids - if it was going to get anywhere. And because Sam said so, so it was.
Well, he was wrong, no one followed his lead anywhere else but Utah (and they have other motives) and now new owners are trying to turn things around to make the business of the game work. But then they forgot to mail in the proper application to the New York State Liquor Authority and then never checked to see why their permit never showed up. Gold.