Written by Kevin Godbee

Friday, 12 June 2009

User Rating: / 2

baseballcelebrities and smoking

Baseball and cigar smoking have gone hand in hand since the very dawn of the game. I don’t know if Abner Doubleday smoked cigars, but back in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s, it seemed that almost every man alive was pictured with a stogie in his mouth, and unlike today, a fellow could enjoy puffing his puro in any ball park in the land, when and wherever he damn well pleased.

Both baseball and cigars are incredibly nostalgic, and probably why I enjoy both so much. I collected baseball cards as a kid, and loved anything to do with the great players who were famous before my time, including Joe Dimaggio, Ted Williams, Yogi Berra, Mickey Mantle, Duke Snyder, Jackie Robinson, Willie Mays, and a long and glorious list of immortals way too long to even name. I watched all the great old black and white films about the game, and as I said, it seemed that every fan in the stands wore a big-ass hat, and smoked an even bigger cigar.

The Bambino, George Herman Ruth, always comes to mind, as images of him with a Cubano, not much smaller than his bat were always featured in the newsreels. Everyone knows that the Babe certainly enjoyed the “good life” – beautiful women, fancy cars, great food, sumptuous libations, and of course, his beloved cigars were always a part of his post game regimen.

Have you ever seen the Macanudo ad featuring a baseball theme that appears in the various Cigar Magazines? It’s a wonderfully nostalgic depiction featuring a couple of guys in fedoras, taking in nine innings in what appears to be an old minor league stadium, complete with old clock and historic ads on the outfield fence. I just love the feeling that the ad portrays – another time and place where a man could enjoy his favorite passions and sharing them with a good friend as well. There is something incredibly special about that.

But today we have the smoke Nazis who have even taken away smoking sections at most ballparks. And if there is one, it’s on some godforsaken balcony, outside the stadium facing the parking garage. But I will say that many of the minor league parks have grassy picnic areas in the outfield where a guy can sneak a smoke without being treated like a god damned pariah.

My friend’s 12 year-old son plays travel ball and he says that the dad’s all head behind the center field fence and light up after the third inning, no matter where they play. He claims that once they started the ritual, the team went on a tear, winning the rest of their games, including a sweep of the playoffs and the championship trophy. He actually missed just one game and it was the boys only loss in two months. From the next game on, both the parents and the coaches made sure that he parked his ass in the outfield with his favorite stogie in hand for the rest of the season. 


0 # doble_ligero 2009-06-18 07:19
I too felt compelled to light up at the pony league park where my fiance's son plays. It was about the 5th game of a 2-2 season thus far. I was designated tower person when his team was the home team, running the scoreboard, announcing and playing bumper and walk up music. I decided to enjoy a short smoke during the game while performing my duties. The team's bats and pitching dominated the game. Being the superstitious baseball fan (and former player) that I am. I kept the smoke in my gametime ritual. The team went on to blow through the 16 game season winning the title by 4 games, then went undefeated in the post season tournament. I'd like to think the leaf played its part in their success.

I even had compliments on the 'incense' i was burning in the tower from both bleachers.

Long ashes....

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