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From the Archives: Beer and baseball at the 1959 World Series

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Oct. 2, 1959: Two views of Chicago White Sox outfielder Al Smith getting drenched by a cup of beer spilled by a fan as he tries to catch a home run ball at Chicago’s Comiskey Park during the 1959 World Series.
(Ray Gora / Chicago Tribune; Charles E. Knoblock / Associated Press)

The Los Angeles Dodgers lost Game 1 of the 1959 World Series to the Chicago White Sox at Chicago’s Comiskey Park by a score of 11-0.

In Game 2 at Comiskey, the White Sox grabbed an early 2-0 lead. But in the fifth inning, the Dodgers’ Charlie Neal tied the score with a two-run homer — draining a fan’s beer and the White Sox’s momentum.

The photo at right above appeared in the Oct. 3, 1959, Los Angeles Times. An accompanying Associated Press story reported:

CHICAGO, Oct. 2 (AP) – Charlie Neal hit that fifth-inning home run into the lower left-field stands today and:

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A fan in the first row leaped up to try to catch the ball.

In so doing he knocked over a paper cup of beer that had been standing on the rail in front of his seat.

Al Smith, the Chicago White Sox left fielder, backed up against the wall in front of that section of the grandstand.

The beverage poured down on Smith’s head.

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In baseball summary form the incident probably would be scored as follows:

One hit, one run, one (social) error, nothing left in the cup.

The Dodgers went on to a 4-3 victory in Game 2 and won the World Series, four games to two.


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