Tuesday, December 11, 2007

A New And Radical Departure Indeed

President Robinson of the St. Louis Club has inaugurated a new and radical departure at Sportsman's Park during the coming season. He will absolutely bar the peddling of anything through the grandstands or bleachers during the progress of any game. All the beer waiters, peanut vendors and score card boys will be prominent absentees. Score cards can be sold by the boys through the stands prior to the game but after time is called even these boys will have to retire. This one decision alone is sufficient to show the wide gulf between the retiring and incoming regimes.

From Sporting Life, April 15, 1899

No beer vendors at a baseball game in St. Louis? I doubt that went over well. The "retiring" regime, of course, was that of Chris Von der Ahe, who measured attendance by the amount of beer he sold.

The Sporting Life article goes on to say that Robinson viewed the vendors as a "nuisance" that kept people away from the game. With that problem solved, "(the) better class of patron's can now come to Sportsman's Park and bring their ladies without fear of having even the most fastidious tastes and ideas offended and shocked."

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