A 1918 advertisement for Becker’s Best Beer from Utah’s Becker Brewing & Malting Company, featuring Ty Cobb, the ad said:
“Baseball is the National Pastime. Beer is the National Drink”
It also included testimonials from “two of the leading baseball men of America as to True Temperance.”
As a result of the World War I “Food and Fuel Control Act,” malt beverages were mandated to contain less than 2.75% alcohol; brewers were trying to highlight the non intoxicating aspects of their current products as a wartime ban on the brewing of all beer was on the horizon (eventually that ban was adjusted to allow brewing of “non-alcoholic malt beverages).
The featured letters were from Brooklyn Robins President Charles Ebbets and New York Yankees Trainer John Burke to The New York Evening Journal regarding the paper’s invitation to a dinner honoring the ball clubs. Ebbet’s wrote:
“I accept with pleasure for my team the invitation to dine…We would suggest a simple dinner, with light beer and no stimulant. That is out idea of the proper drink for athlete in training.”
“May I suggest in regard to the dinner , that men, while the season is on, lead very temperate lives. If you will give them a good American dinner, with plain American Beer, they will appreciate it.”
Becker Brewing & Malting, according to a 1919 issue of “Brewers Journal,” was among the company’s making “laudable efforts…to meet the adverse conditions which have been imposed under the veil of ‘war time’ prohibition” by bottling soft drinks and manufacturing “Becco, a cereal beverage.”
Ty Cobb no longer appeared in the ads.