Tom Brunansky. Anyone? Show of hands for those intimately familiar with the great Tom Brunansky… Okay, here’s a clue: Who’s the only Minnesota Twin in franchise history to hit a grand slam? Who was the sole Minnesota Twins representative at the 1985 All Star game? Who was starting right fielder for the world champion Minnesota Twins in 1987? And who legendarily, was traded off to the St. Louis Cardinals, as a hard-hitting home run slugger, for the feeble likes of little Tommy Herr… Yup, Tom Brunansky.

He’s the stuff of stars-and-stripes, blue collar, American legend! Just saying his name out loud makes me feel like I’m in Ray Kinsella’s cornfield. Brunansky went on to slug it out for the Red Sox for a few years, but his career was cut short just like the 1994 season… due to the strike. Which brings me to my next point:

Baseball is synonymous with beer, among other things. But mostly beer. Tom Brunansky is best known for his time with the Minnesota Twins of the American League Central Division. They share this division with the Kansas City Royals, who recently named an official craft beer partner: locally owned Boulevard Brewing.

Sounds like a gimmick, right? Sure, could be. MLB following in the national craft beer trend? While this is encouraging for the more discerning palates of baseball’s devoted, this isn’t the first creative pairing of Major League Baseball and delicious, ice cold beer. According to the Washington Post, the St. Louis “Browns” opened the first “beer garden” in centerfield. A former Baltimore Orioles owner also had stake in “National Brewing Co.” and promoted the hops out of their “National Bohemian” brew. Shoot, even the nationally beloved Boston Red Sox had an official local beer sponsor in “Narragansett Beer” during WWII.

Anyway, the Royals have a light, refreshing Pilsner (KC Pils) to accompany a host of small batch, craft beer options for the Kansas City diehards. Are we looking at a potential national trend? Hey, whatever gets you to the ballpark.