Apr 13, 2015

Remembering Rheingold Beer & Its Mets Sponsorship

Rheingold Beer:  

Anyone who remembers the Mets back in the early seventies has to remember one of its main sponsors; Rheingold Beer.

Rheingold was a long time Mets sponsor, who boldly displayed it image high above the Mets huge Shea Stadium score board. Their ad was located on the left side of the Mets logo which of course was in the center, through the 1973 season.

Rheingold Beer goes back to 1883 when it was first introduced in New York City. It became the main beer in New York in the 1950's, claiming to sell 35% of the beer in all of New York State.

It became the official beer of the New York Mets from 1962-1973, during the Mets first days in the Polo Grounds, their huge ad took over almost all of the scoreboard.

The Official Scorer would light up the H in the Rheingold sign when a hit was credited to a player & the E would light up to signify an error. Manage Casey Stengel would appear in many ads with Miss Rheingold all season in those days.

Miss Rheingold girls were winners of a Miss Rheingold pageant held each year, where the public actually got to vote for their favorite girl, from 1940-1965.

Mid Sixties Rheingold Girls

jinx falkenburg
The first Miss Rheingold was Jinx Falkenburg, one of the first super models dating back to the 1930's. Jinx was also a tennis star, actress & model.

She & her husband Tex McCray were pioneers in the talk show industry as well as being politically involved in the Eisenhower elections of 1952 & the building of North Shore Hospital in Manhasset, Long Island where they resided.

The Rheingold ads would feature the likes of the Rheingold Girls, Linda Darnell, Casey Stengel, Leo Durocher, Jackie Robinson, John Wayne & even the Marx Brothers.

Who could forget the Rheingold truck delivering its beer when Sonny Corleone is beating up his brother in law Carlo, after he had beaten up his sister Connie? The classic scene takes place under the Johnny pump in the first Godfather movie.

Sonny Corleone beats up Carlo in the Godfather

1973 was the last year that Rheingold sponsored the Mets, for it was in 1973 that they closed their large Bushwick, Brooklyn brewery. Rheingold could no longer compete with the national Breweries of Anheiser Busch, Schlitz or Miller.

Although they did remain in business through 1976 when they closed their last location in South Orange, New Jersey.

Starting in 1974 Schafer became the official beer of the Mets "the one beer to have when you're having more than one" in the Schafer circle of sports!

Rheingold was revived again in the late nineties & continues to sell on a small scale.

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