Unlike Renya, my best friend from college who loved baseball (who are we kidding, she loved Will Clark), I never got that into it. Don’t get me wrong, I love the S.F. Giants (I am loyal) and people watching at games (I am a voyeur), but I don’t follow the sport. Gareth, one of the first Blurberati, does. In honor of our Book of the Week, I asked him, “If you could have a beer with any Major League Baseball player, who would it be and why?” This was his reply:
“Carl Yastrzemski. My total hero growing up. He carried the hopes of millions of kids who were used to seeing Boston lose. Unfortunately, they kept losing, but my brother and I kept watching on a 13″ B&W TV that barely got snowy reception out of Portland, Maine. He hit a home run in the ’78 playoff game when he was the 2nd oldest player in the league. He’s bad ass.”
Baseball heroes, sports fans, and beer; Book of the Week encapsulates all three. The Flavor of the Game, by Charles Mandel, celebrates the sports collectibles of the Helmar Brewing Company, home of the gold medal winning Big League Brew.
You see, the Helmar Brewing Company enhances its packaging with artistic tributes to great athletes of the past, from bottle caps to beer labels to the boxes they come in. They even distribute the occasional trading card in select packages of their snack items. (On the company’s Web site, it says that Helmar potato chips and caramel corn are sold out. Wow. They must be crazy good.) Their Blurb book showcases all of the incredible artwork that this brewery has created and tells some of the backstory. Aside from being a really interesting, well-made book, it created the perfect occasion to sneak in a mention that San Francisco hosted the MLB All-Star Game this week.
To the folks at Helmar Brewing, no need to send us a case or anything. (Unless you want to. Wink, wink, nudge.) We’re just glad you’re doing what you’re doing and making cool books about it.
Hey, batter, batter, batter … got anything to say about baseball, books, or beer? Take a swing in the comments section.
P.S. If you were at the MLB All-Star Game and took some photos, we know they’re making a community photo book about it on Flickr. Check it out.