I’m not into sports, but if I were, I’d be into baseball.
Some of my favorite movies are baseball movies, and a few of my favorite people are major major league groupies. I’ve attended and enjoyed a half-dozen big games (only one of which was for work) and a number of World Series watch parties, and not just for the commercials, beer and food.
While the rolling roars and whistles of a televised football game always will leave me with an aching end-of-weekend melancholy, baseball’s soundtrack makes me weirdly inspired and nostalgic for a past that isn’t mine but feels like it.
Sure, sometimes I say “baseball” when I mean “softball,” and “rattlesnakes” when I mean “Diamondbacks,” but at least I’m trying. And there aren’t many sports I’d do that for.
So, honestly, I feel for you actual legit baseball fans.
Major League Baseball’s belated, truncated pandemic season opens Thursday, and while ball clubs including the Colorado Rockies are trying to figure out a safe way for fans to attend, America’s national pastime — with its seventh-inning stretches, raconteur banter, hot dogs and oh-so-spillable cups of beer — is playing out sans live spectators.
But we can still watch on TV, which is how most did it in the first place. And we can still do it enjoying ballpark-style beer!
It’s not often you’ll find me seriously recommending Blue Moon Belgian Wheat, but these are unusual times.
The originator of the beer we all know and love (to hate?), that dandy everyman sporter of orange wedge chapeau, was launched in 1995 by The SandLot Brewery, the first brewery located within an MLB stadium.
The SandLot is still there, at Coors Field, and normally open during the Rockies season to ticket holders. Before COVID-19, the brewery had big sudsy plans on tap for its 25th anniversary season, including a menu of historical throwback brews from its inaugural year, such as Power Alley ESB, Pinstripe Pale Ale and Slugger’s Stout.
Since a ticket won’t get you in at the moment, and SandLot’s specialty beers aren’t available outside the brewery, socially-distanced fans will have to quench their thirst with the usual suspect.
Sometimes, though, a comfort beer is about more than taste.
I can’t promise I’ll be watching for the opening pitch, but someday I’m sure I’ll look back and remember that I did, and have a Blue Moon and an orange wedge for old time’s sake.