The Barrel Man was used less after the 1978 season. Bernie Brewer gets top billing now, but Barrel Man still lurks at Miller Park.I hadn't heard about them actually hitting Miller Park shelves until today.
"We have a good amount of Barrel Man products on order, and it should be in very soon," said Brewers spokesman Tyler Barnes. They include shirts, caps and plush Barrel Man toys.
Visiting my family in Milwaukee, I went to a game with my brother and stepfather. Aside from an outstanding 6-3 victory over the Mets, I found these in the Hot Corner team store:
It's an interesting assortment. Looking left to right, starting with the gold t-shirt:
This "Welcome Brewers" logo, while made to look as though from the 1970 inaugural season, was actually created in the 1990s by MLB Properties for inclusion in the Cooperstown Collection line.
MLB worked up a whole bunch of throwback logos for the various clubs. The same logo appears on the shot and pint glasses.
I like the 1970s Beer Barrel Man cap, even if I'm not wild about the gold bill. And the stuffed Men are pretty cute.
The second cap is definitely the same c. 1970 water transfer Flex-Cote decal we've seen before.
The blue t-shirt is a women's cut, and it features a variant of the Beer Barrel Man which was featured on the cover of the team's 1975 Media Guide (hence the uniform number).
For what it's worth, the caps seem to be the only items currently available in the Brewers' online shop. But that can change - I know the gold t-shirt was up there earlier in the season.
So, on the whole, my reaction? Something of a mixed bag. I wish there was more focus on the Beer Barrel Man himself, aside from the "Welcome Brewers" dressing. But I'm so glad the Brewers are finally recognizing this long-neglected chapter in their history (and Milwaukee baseball history in general), I don't really mind.
Now it's our turn. If you're also glad that he's getting a shout out in the land of the Ball and Glove, let the Brewers know. Perhaps even buy an item or two. That might be the only way we can get the National League outfit to recognize the legacy of the American Association Brewers in any form.