7A. ATHLETIC SPONSORSHIPS
- Baseball & Bowling
SPONSORSHIPS OF ATHLETIC TEAMS BY BAVARIAN BREWING CO.
The Tri-State area of Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana has had a long tradition of sports. To support Greater Cincinnati's interests in particularly baseball and bowling and promote its beer, Bavarian sponsored amateur teams in these athletic endeavors, especially shortly after Prohibition was repealed in the late 1930s. This was also done mostly by the other breweries, but also some cafes and other businesses. The scores and league rankings for these baseball and bowling teams would be posted in the local papers and were followed by many local area residents. These teams were not only competitive by nature, but they also wanted to perform well for the brewery or other entity that was supporting them. And, the sponsoring company also didn't want a team that didn't perform well. The area also was very proud of the Cincinnati Reds, which Bavarian and some other brewers also supported. The following provides some description of the teams that Bavarian Brewing Co. sponsored.
Northern Kentucky Baseball
Ordinarily, the main baseball field in Covington was Covington Ball Park, which existed from 1900 to 1958. The Bavarian semi-pro teams in the Buckeye League played some of their games at this ballpark. This league was essentially similar to Minor League A baseball, before Major League Baseball had the extensive level of minor leagues and teams, which exist today. During the late 1940s and early 1950s some games would have up to a few thousand people in attendance. Occasionally some teams included players that had played, or would play, in the majors. Bavarian continued to support its semi-pro team into the early 1960s. The Covington Ball Park was also a field used by the 1939 World Campion Nick Carrs Covington Boosters. Illustrations of the field and the noted team below were taken from illustrations on the Roebling Murals, located on the flood wall next to the Embassy Suites Hotel in Covington, KY. These murals are located next to the former site of Federal Ball Park used for the Covington Blue Sox that were partly owned by William Riedlin with Bavarian, and that were in the professional Federal League in 1913. (See 4B. Community Involvement.)
Beginning with the brewery founder and owner, William Riedlin, Bavarian continued to be very committed to baseball. The Stanley Bavarian and Bavarian's teams that were co-sponsored and sponsored by Bavarian Brewing Company had one of the best teams in the Buckeye League and won various championships. A photo of a jersey, jacket and mitt used in the 1950's, are shown on the side and below. The photo in the bottom right is the 1954 Bavarian baseball team.