I’d never been on a major league field, and with my allegiance towards the Bronx Bombers, it felt a little weird having my first on-field experience taking place at Citi Field, home of the Mets. One can’t complain too much, at least not when they have a belly full of bacon, a liver full of beer, and they’re basking in the springtime sun on a big league field on a warm Saturday afternoon.
Hitting major sports venues across the country, the Bacon & Beer Classic made its stop in NYC to host thousands of New Yorkers to celebrate baseball, bacon, and beer in a split-session event. Branding itself inside the ballpark certainly makes the event stand out from similar food or beer events that take place throughout the year here in NYC. It also makes you feel sorry for vegetarians who don’t drink, and aren’t fans of baseball.
The Pancakes & Whiskey team had both sessions covered to make sure we didn’t miss any of the bacon or beer. Of the fifty-six beers on tap, so of our favorites included spring and summer drafts from Downeast Cider House, River Horse Brewing Co., Brooklyn Brewery, Lagunitas, Radiant Pig, Otter Creek Brewing, and Gun Hill Brewing Co.
Yes, fifty-six beers sampling their nectar of the gods is totally necessary when you have over forty local restaurants sampling their bacon-based recipes from sandwiches, burgers, soups, BBQ, and damn near bacon-rolled-everything. Pretty sure at one point someone handed me bacon-rolled pork. What?
With a food as delicious as bacon, you’d think you could eat it all day, just like you could also think you might be able to put a ball out like a big leaguer if you sent it right down the line. Alas, our eyes are always bigger than our stomachs, so to walk off the estimated 10 lbs of beer and bacon consumed in the first 45 minutes of each 4-hour session, some walks around the field certainly helped burn off those calories. With the sun shining VIP and media guests could hang in the dugout like their Met heroes Vince Coleman, Kaz Matsui, Roger Cedeno, and Jim Fregosi, and take some BP in the batting cages out in right field.
The Bacon & Beer Classic was a solid event celebrating the return of baseball and the emergence of spring after a winter worth killing yourself over. Beer, bacon, and baseball remind us that the one constant through all the years, has been beer, bacon, and baseball. America has rolled by like an army of steamrollers. It has been erased like a blackboard, rebuilt and erased again, but beer, bacon, and baseball has marked the time. This field, this game, this food, this liquid courage: it’s a part of our past. It reminds of us of all that once was good and it could be again.
See what I did there?
Article: Tom Shackleford
Photos: Jonathan Miller