Today in History

Today in History: March 28

A Baseball Brew

Beer Bottles,
Alfred Harrell, photographer, August 1980.
Buckaroos in Paradise: Ranching Culture in Northern Nevada, 1945-1982

Brewing magnate August Anheuser Busch Jr. was born March 28, 1899, in St. Louis, Missouri. Scion of the famous brewing family, Busch served as chairman of the Anheuser-Busch Companies, Inc. from 1946-1975. During his tenure, the company that his grandfather Adolphus Busch established, emerged as the largest brewery in the world.

Adolphus Busch came to America from Germany in 1857, settling in St. Louis, Missouri. In 1864, he began working with his father-in-law Eberhard Anheuser at the latter’s brewery, E. Anheuser & Co.  In 1873 the company’s brewing technicians discovered a way to pasteurize beer, resulting in the national distribution of their product. That same year, Busch became a full partner with his father-in-law; they renamed the company the Anheuser-Busch Brewing Association in 1879. By 1900, Anheuser-Busch was the world's largest brewery. The company also developed a beer that was lighter than those commonly sold at the time. This beer, named Budweiser, ultimately became the world's best-selling beer.

In February 1953, August Anheuser Busch Jr. convinced his company’s board of directors to purchase the St. Louis Cardinals, halting the team’s impending move to another city. Busch's action was a relief to local baseball fans. He became a familiar figure at Cardinal games, entering Busch Memorial Stadium behind a team of his company's famous Clydesdale horses.

Among the baseball greats associated with the Cardinals are legendary pitcher Cy Young, who played for the team from 1899-1901, and Branch Rickey.

Team photo of the St. Louis Cardinals, 1910
St. Louis Cardinals, 1910.
Taking the Long View: Panoramic Photographs, 1851-1991