Olde Style The Official Beer of the BCBL? by Various BCBLers


Frank McIlvaine

The very first of our annual drafts was held in my then brand new home in Fairfield. I don't think that anyone thought of making it an annual tradition at the time, but since otherwise you were forced to phone 1 person at a time, tell them who was taken since the last time they talked to you, and then allow them a few minutes to look at their draft lists it took a long time to do. The more people in a room the better it was. The weather included a big snow storm on Wednesday or Thursday, and I remember worrying about Jon Michal and the Chicago boys getting stuck in the snow. I also remember that Jon had a dark car that was white with salt by the time he got to Fairfield. I also had my 200 ft driveway semi cleared of the snow... but if you were the closest car to the garage you weren't going anywhere.


I remember that my wife was fairly dubious at the entire idea of me inviting 15 people to stay in our home, but I assured her that it would be no problem. I would get cold cuts and snacks for the guys and of course beer! I also ordered a sheet cake that said Welcome BCBL <"except Dennis" was in small print off to the side>.


Well anyway I went to the local beer place to buy beer. I had no idea what kind of beer to buy, I wasn't really sure of the quantity to buy either. Since the "local" beer place is over 10 miles away I wanted to make sure I didn't run short. I went to the beer place and they had some local beer on sale. I had a pickup truck at the time and I got 6 or 8 cases <13 people would attend>.


Well anyway when I got home Nancy took one look at the beer I had bought and she thought that I had bought an insane amount of beer and that we would have a bunch of beer left over afterwards, so she wasn't that happy about it. Things got even worse, as when the Chicago guys got into town they had bought their own beer supply, since they didn't feel that they could trust my judgement in beer and they brought Olde Style beer, which was the beer sold in Wrigley Park. Now, I really knew I was in trouble. It looked to me like the Chicago guys had brought enough beer for the entire league, and then I still had a basement full of beer. Rick Michal took a look at the local beer I had bought and noticed that it was brewed by G. Heilemans .... the same company that brewed Olde Style. After he consumed one of the local beers, he discovered that it was the same beer, just in a different can! Well that was OK by him! Let me say that the weekend went smoothly for Kurt Alphabet and Rick after that!


My only crisis came on Saturday night. I had made the smoking members of the league promise to smoke outside... No one had anticipated that there would be a foot or two of snow outside to get in their way. So after a goodly number of Olde Style beers and after everyone had retired for the evening, Rick decided that he would open a window and smoke in the house. He no sooner light up when Nancy immediately woke up, smelled smoke, and sent me downstairs on a search and destroy mission.


I get down stairs and Rick had taken 2 drags so far and couldn't believe that he was already caught! If I tell a Rick Michal story to Nancy even today she will say "Was that the guy who was smoking in our house?".


At least I didn't have to worry about all the left over beer, for I discovered after the Chicago boys rolled out of Fairfield that there was not a drop left!


Many things have changed since then. Kurt is out of the league, G. Heilemans brewery had problems like most of the local brewers and was bought up by Miller brewing, Rick Michal moved on to better beer. Rheingold the beer of the '62 Mets went out of business in 1978. However, Olde Style is still served in Wrigley Park <according to the website>. Perhaps we should adopt it as the official beer of the BCBL?


Dennis Agosta

Olde Style the official beer, and little white donuts the official snack food (I wonder if Frank remembers those...).


Rick Michal

Frank is being too kind to me and Curt Alphabets! I don't remember much from that draft, but I do remember crawling around on all fours under the table, a result of all those suds I drank. I also remember cracking that window open a few inches, hunching over so I could sneak in a few puffs of the cigarette, and then immediately being caught by Frank's wife. Somehow she was kind enough not to kick me out!


Regarding Curt Alphabets, the league dubbed him with that last name because his real last name was Polish, something like Pryzborowski, and everybody had trouble pronouncing it. When he was in the league, he was a great member and a lot of fun. But then one year he just completely dropped off the face of the earth without explanation during midseason. No one's heard from him since.