A Baseball Brew
Brewing magnate August Anheuser Busch Jr. was born March 28, 1899, in St. Louis, Missouri. Scion of the famous brewing family, Busch served as chairman of the Anheuser-Busch Companies, Inc. from 1946-1975. During his tenure the company, that his grandfather Adolphus Busch established, emerged as the largest brewery in the world.
Adolphus Busch came to America from Germany in 1857, settling in St. Louis, Missouri. In 1864, he began working with his father-in-law Eberhard Anheuser at the latter’s brewery, E. Anheuser & Co. In 1873 the company’s brewing technicians discovered a way to pasteurize beer, resulting in the national distribution of their product. That same year, Busch became a full partner with his father-in-law; they renamed the company the Anheuser-Busch Brewing Association in 1879. By 1900, Anheuser-Busch was the world’s largest brewery. The company also developed a beer that was lighter than those commonly sold at the time. This beer, named Budweiser, ultimately became the world’s best-selling beer.
In February 1953, August Anheuser Busch Jr. convinced his company’s board of directors to purchase the St. Louis Cardinals, halting the team’s impending move to another city. Busch’s action was a relief to local baseball fans. He became a familiar figure at Cardinal games, entering Busch Memorial Stadium behind a team of his company’s famous Clydesdale horses.
Among the baseball greats associated with the Cardinals are legendary pitcher Cy Young, who played for the team from 1899-1901, and manager, Branch Rickey.
- Search on brewery across the Library’s digital collections or in any of the following collections to find material related to the manufacture of malt beverages.
- Historic American Buildings Survey/Historic American Engineering Record/Historic American Landscapes Survey: in particular, see the survey of the Anheuser-Busch Brewery, St. Louis, Missouri
- Buckaroos in Paradise: Ranching Culture in Northern Nevada, 1945 to 1982
- Farm Security Administration/Office of War Information Black-and-White Negatives
- Horydczak Collection
- Read the post It’s the Beer: American Beer Celebrated in Music from the In the Muse: Performing Arts Blog. You’ll find some interesting history about a song related to Anheuser-Busch.
- Examine early baseball cards in the Baseball Cards collection. Search on Cardinals to view more than 60 cards featuring players from that team. Or, search by Player, Team, League, City, or Card Set.
- Review a Bibliography of Published Baseball Music and Songs posted by the Library’s Performing Arts Reading Room.
- Learn more about Rickey in Breaking the Color Line: 1940 to 1946, one of the essays included in the collection, By Popular Demand: Jackie Robinson and Other Baseball Highlights, 1860s-1960s.
- Search on Busch or brewing industry in the Gottscho-Schleisner Collection to see a series of architectural photographs of commercial buildings owned by the Busch family in New York and Massachusetts.
- Rickey’s scouting report on Don Drysdale is included in the Branch Rickey Papers.
- A search on baseball in Spalding Base Ball Guides, 1889 to 1939 yields both the official base ball guides and the official indoor base ball guides as well as their constitutions for the above years.
- Search for more information about Busch, his brewery, baseball teams, or individual baseball players in the historic American newspapers featured in Chronicling America.