Cigars and Baseball: A Beautiful Combination
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 1800’s when baseball first began, players would often smoke 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.
Baseball Cards and Cigars
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, were 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.
Sultans of Swat
Babe Ruth may have been one of the most famous players ever to smoke cigars. He also knew how to roll them and often stepped up to the plate with one. Perhaps cigars were like Spinach to Popeye. Some of the most notable home run hitters were big time cigar fans. Roger Maris who 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 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. He’s such a big fan the story went, 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. Although when it came to celebrations the 2018 winning Red Sox were legendary in their excess of cigars and champagne. It’s very possible, a few Big Papi Cigars were enjoyed that night.
The average time of a baseball game has grown to more than 3 hours. While you can’t watch and smoke in the stadium, you can at home or at your favorite cigar lounge. That’s enough time for two cigars and a few cocktails to pair with them. Extra innings? Sounds like a bonus smoke! You have to choose your line up carefully. We like to start the game with a nice mellow smoke to get through the first several innings, followed by a real full throttled closer to properly end the game. However you pick your line up, you can’t go wrong when you are enjoying two of America’s favorite past times.
Photo Credit: Thompson Cigar