Baseball has always been America’s favorite pastime. The leisurely, thoughtful pace of the game made cigars the perfect companion to the sport. Going back to the late 1800s when baseball first began, players often smoked cigars while they were in the middle of a game. Almost one hundred and fifty years later, cigars and baseball are still enjoyed by players and fans alike. There’s even a team called the Atlanta Cigars, an amateur men’s baseball team that features former and future major league baseball players.
Cigars and Baseball Cards
Antique baseball cards were always sponsored by major tobacco producers. The famed “T-206” set from 1909 featured a Honus Wagner card that has sold for millions of dollars at auction. Cigar boxes frequently featured prominent players.
White Owl Invincible Cigars which were created around the same time as baseball, was roundly endorsed by none other than Babe Ruth. Every time you bought a pack of Worch Cigars, you could send in a coupon for a card from the set they created. So, you might say that cigars and baseball have been a perfect pair since the dawn of the game.
Sultans of Swat
Babe Ruth was one of the most famous players ever to smoke cigars. Yet, he also knew how to roll them and often stepped up to the plate with one. In a way, cigars and baseball were and still are much like Spinach to Popeye.
Some of the most notable home run hitters were big-time cigar fans. Roger Maris once held the single-season home run record. Barry Bonds, Alex Rodriguez, Gary Sheffield, and David “Big Papi“ Ortiz all hit the long ball and also loved cigars. Sheffield and Ortiz even have their own lines. Sammy Sosa loved Fuente Opus X so much, that Carlos Fuente Jr. made baseball bat-sized cigars for him.
It’s not just the power hitters who are big fans of cigars. Jack McKeon, who won the World Series in 2003 managing the Marlins, has been smoking cigars since 1949. The story is that he’s such a big fan that if you were looking for him in the clubhouse, you only had to follow the cigar smoke!
Legendary manager Joe Torre knows a thing or two about winning and victory cigars! He has smoked plenty of victory cigars after the game but has said his real joy is smoking one before the game to relax and focus. When the San Francisco Giants went on their World Series-winning run in 2010, 2012, and 2014, the players were all rewarded with cigars during the celebration.
The celebrations following the Red Sox 2018 win were legendary. Let’s just say there an excess of cigars and champagne played a major role that day. It’s very possible that a few Big Papi Cigars were enjoyed that night.
Enjoy Cigars and Baseball on Opening Day
The average time of a baseball game has stretched to more than three hours. While you can’t enjoy cigars and baseball at the stadium, you can light up a good smoke and watch the game at home or your favorite cigar lounge. Three hours is enough time for two cigars and a few cocktails to pair with them.
Extra innings? Sounds like a bonus smoke to us! You have to choose your lineup carefully. We like to start the game with a nice mellow smoke to get through the first several innings. Then, follow that by a real, full-throttled closer to properly end the game. However you pick your lineup, you can’t go wrong when you’re enjoying two of America’s favorite past times.
Photo Credit: Thompson Cigar