Who Knew? When enjoying a cold one at a Sunday game wasn't cool, the Reds stood their ground

CINCINNATI - The Tri-State is home to many fascinating facts, offbeat oddities, and "I did not know that," moments. With that in mind, WCPO asks "Who Knew?"

WHAT IS IT? Cincinnati's love of beer & baseball
WHERE CAN I SEE IT? Great American Ball Park
WHO KNEW? Bill Frank, Cincinnati Heritage Programs

Cincinnati has a reputation for being passionate about two things: Reds baseball and drinking great beer. Few know of how deeply rooted these traditions are, stemming back from the early days of the team and to a time when alcohol was not as widely accepted. Both were and continue to be enjoyed by fans throughout the summer.

We asked Bill Frank of Cincinnati Heritage Programs to tell us more.

How much beer did Cincinnatians consume in the 1880s?

At the time, the average Cincinnatian would consume 50 gallons of beer annually.

How much did a beer at the ballpark cost back then?

In 1884, baseball fans could buy 21 beers for $1.00.

How did beer tie in with baseball?

Beer was regularly enjoyed at a Reds game, to the extent that the team was kicked out of the National League for 10 years because they wanted to serve beer during their Sunday games.

Why was beer not allowed on Sundays?

Eight team owners made up the committee for the National League, and seven of them disliked alcohol consumption and the idea of playing a ball game on Sunday. These leaders signed a pledge to outlaw doing either activity on the Sabbath, except for Cincinnati president W.H. Kennett. The team was ejected from the league as a result.

Then what happened?

Leaders of the Reds met with independent Midwestern teams and formed a rival league: the American Association. With its success, the National League invited the Reds to rejoin their club a decade later. After carefully weighing the decision, the Reds accepted the offer and aided in the expansion of the National League.

Connect with WCPO Contributor Paige E. Malott on Twitter: @Paigetastic01  and check out her blog CincyWhimsy.com

Check back next week for another edition of "Who Knew?" If you have an tip, idea or question email: holly.edgell@wcpo.com.

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