Wally Post Red
Here is a micro can from Moeller Brew Barn in Maria Stein, Ohio (north-east of Dayton). I like it because it's named after Wally Post, a Cincinnati Reds outfielder from the 1950s and early 1960s. He was from St. Henry Ohio, not too far from where the brewery is located. I like how local micro breweries are taking inspiration for their beer names from local figures.
Wally Post (1929-1982) was a key part of the slugging Reds teams of the 1950s. A native of St. Wendelin Ohio he was drafted as a pitcher in 1946. He reached the majors with the Reds briefly in 1949, by which time he was an outfielder. His pitching background showed in his strong, accurate throws from the outfield. In 1954 he was with Cincinnati full time. The best Reds team of that decade was easily the 1956 team. After a decade of finishes in the bottom of the National League the Reds caught fire in 1956. They were hampered by weak pitching and finished 3d, but only 2 games behind the pennant winning Dodgers. They hit 221 home runs, at the time an NL record. Post hit 36, second only to Frank Robinson's 38. In 1957 they started strong but faded in the second half. Along with Post there were Ted Kluszewski, Gus Bell, Ed Bailey and, of course, Robinson. I discussed Kluszewski as part of my October 2012 COM.
Post's 1956 baseball card
1957 All Star Voting
In 1957 The Cincinnati Enquirer printed of All Star Game ballots with the Reds players already selected. Cincinnati fans could print them out and send them in. Supposedly local bars joined in, sometime refusing to serve patrons until they filled out a ballot. In the end about 1/2 the ballots cast by fans came from Cincinnati and seven Reds players were elected to the All Star team: Ed Bailey, Johnny Temple, Roy McMillan, Don Hoak, Frank Robinson, Gus Bell and Wally Post. Commissioner Ford Frick replaced Bell and Post with Willie Mays and Hank Aaron. Bell was a reserve (and hit a 2-run double in the 7th) and Post was injured. The American League won 6-5, although the NL almost came back with 3 runs in the bottom of the 9th. After that fan voting was replaced by selections made by players, managers, and coaches. In 1970 fan voting returned. The 1957 choices were not all as bad as they seem in retrospect. Only Don Hoak was never on another All Star team. Temple was an excellent second baseman who played on six All Star teams, four of them after being picked by his fellow players. McMillan won three gold gloves (including 1957 when there was just one given for both leagues combined.) Frank Robinson, of course, was one of the best players ever.
BTW, the 1957 scandal was also recently honored by a beer can. Braxton 1957 All-Star was issued by Covington Kentucky's Braxton Brewing.
The Reds sent him to the Phillies for Harvey Haddix before the 1958 season. He played there from 1958-1960, when he returned to Cincinnati. By 1963 he was a part time player and coach. He went to the Twins in 1963. In 1964 he appeared in five games with Cleveland before retiring. He was inducted into the Cincinnati Reds Hall of Fame in 1965. Post died of cancer in 1982.
Below are most of Post's batting stats from Baseball-Reference.com. He is #15 on the Reds all time home run list between Vada Pinson and Gus Bell. He is 8th in slugging % right behind Eric Davis. On on-base plus slugging he is #20, only .001 above Tony Perez. In AB per home run he is 5th, between Frank Robinson and George Foster. In other words, he was a slugger. An average season over a 162 game season of 28 homers and 94 RBIs is pretty good. He played in one World Series. In 1961 as the Reds fell to the Yankees in five games he batted .333 with a homer and 2 RBIs, playing in all five games.
Side note: I used to play computerized MicroLeague Baseball which allowed you to pit historic teams against each other. I loved playing the 1975 or 1976 Reds. I found they could beat most teams easily: the 1919 White Sox (who the 1919 team also always beat regularly*) were no challenge. The 1927 and 1939 Yanks? No problem. The 1929 or 1972 As? No sweat. Only the 1968 Cardinals and the 1961 Yankees ever gave the computerized Big Red Machine real problems. Oh they could win, but not always, and never in less than 7 games. If somehow the 1927 Yanks played the 1961 team I'd put my money on the 61 team without hesitation. The fact that the 1961 Reds actually were doing pretty well against that team until late in game 4 demonstrates they were a pretty damn good team, Post included.
Links in the table below take you to pages in The Baseball Reference site.
|162 Game Avg.||162||592||539||80||143||26||4||28||94||45||109||0.266||0.323||0.485|
* When a coworker from Chicago doubted me (hi Carl!) I loaned him my discs and he had his computer replay the 1919 series over and over again. When he brought them back he admitted the 1919 Reds were indeed the better team.