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Baseball and Beer: A Look at the Wiedemann Baseball Club

Summer is almost here and with it comes a lot of baseball and fine beer. After all the two go hand and hand. So lets visit a local baseball team from the past, that was closely related to the beer industry. During the early 1900s baseball was played everywhere and by everybody even women! There were often police ordinances established to prevent youngsters from playing ball in the streets in towns and cities across the area. Many businesses had their own teams, sometimes comprised of employees while others had experienced players on their teams. Several Breweries in the Northern Kentucky area aside from being in the beer making business also dabbled in the world of baseball. Breweries such as the Bavarian Brewing Company, Heidelberg Brewery and the George Wiedemann Brewing Company all at one point in time fielded baseball clubs. The Wiedemann Club and Heidelberg club played around the same time and even faced each other on several occasions. The most prominent though was the Wiedemann Baseball Club also known as the ‘Brewers’ They were a Semi-Pro team that played baseball in Newport, Kentucky. According to team letterhead from 1909 the club was organized sometime in 1903. Photograph Courtesy of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum @ www.baseballhall.org   The above letterhead from the August “Garry” Hermann papers obtained from the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. Hermann owned the Cincinnati Reds from 1902 to 1927. He also had a stint as the president of the National Baseball Commission. This particular letterhead was part of a note sent to Hermann from Wiedemann manager Arthur Nieman. Notice how the letter head proclaims the club as being leaders in Semi-Professional Baseball. While [...]

Professional Baseball in Covington: They built it but they did not come.

Remember the film Field of Dreams? Kevin Costner's character builds a baseball field in the middle of his corn field because a voice told him to do it. In 1913 here in Covington, KY baseball enthusiasts and businessmen wanted to bring a professional baseball team to the city. Baseball was viewed as a great way to advertise the city. Those working to bring a club here believed the city would be placed on the map after they landed a team. Can you imagine having two different teams to root for like they have in Chicago and New York, it almost happened but it did not last long. At the end of the 1912 season the Blue Grass League lost two teams. The Blue Grass League was a Class D Minor League which had teams in cities throughout Kentucky. In order to fill the two vacant spots the organization set its sights on the river towns of Covington and Newport in Northern Kentucky. The attempt to establish teams in Newport and Covington by the Blue Grass league was blocked by the Cincinnati Reds. As a member of a major league (the National League) the Reds had jurisdiction covering a five mile radius that forced smaller leagues like the Blue Grass League to seek permission from establishing clubs in their surrounding area. Newport and Covington both fell under this five mile radius and Garry Herrman of the Reds refused to let the teams establish on the Kentucky side of the Ohio River.   Covington almost missed out on bringing a professional baseball club to the city, but the Federal League was forming in Indianapolis and was looking to establish a team in Cincinnati or Covington. The Reds had [...]