Mar 17, 2019

Remembering Mets History (1962): MLB Fines Casey Stengel For His Beer Ad with Kathy Kersh (Miss Rheingold)


In 1962 the Mets started their long time relationship with Rheingold beer. Rheingold a local beer with its headquarters in Brooklyn became the official beer of the New York Mets. It was originally introduced in 1883 & by the time the Mets were born, the beer claimed to hold 35% on New York State's beer sales. 

Rheingold had already sponsored the Jackie Robinson Radio Show for a decade, on AM Radio 66 in New York. Robinson, Leo Durocher, as well as stars like the Marx Brothers, Linda Darnell, John Wayne, Nat King Cole & Sara Vaughan all represented the beer in ads across the City.

Each year they would also hold the Miss Rheingold contest, where the public voted for the winner. The first Miss Rheingold was Jinx Falkenburg, a 1930s supermodel, tennis star, actress & pionereeress in talk shows. 

There were also the Rheingold girls would also be spokespersons & appear in ads, as well as appearances for the beer.

In 1962 Mets manager Casey Stengel was a larger than life public figure,  forever promoting his Mets. So it was no surprise that Rheingold wanted him & he wanted was happy to oblige. Casey appeared in his Mets uniform, holding a bat ready to bunt, alongside Miss Rheingold 1962.





Trivia: Miss Rheingold 1962 was Kathy Kersh. Kersh, a model/ actress who would eventually marry Batman TV series co-star, Burt Ward (Robin the Boy Wonder) they met on the set, quickly marries & were divorced two years later. 

She appeared on Batman as Cornelia, now a beautiful blonde moll to the Joker, wearing a skin tight purple outfit. 




She appeared on the music show Shindig twice & the Beverly Hillbillies four times, but her career soon faded. Many say when the studio signed Sharon Tate, Kersh became forgotten.

At the time MLB prohibited players or managers to be in uniform while promoting any alcohol or cigarette products. Out of uniform, no problem. 


So whether rival beer companies or rival teams ratted out Casey to the league office,  MLB Commissioner Ford Frick had to react. He responded by fining  Stengel $500 for the ad. It is rumored that Rheingold paid the bill for the Mets & Stengel.

Stengel & Kathy Kersh would do more ads together for Rheingold all throughout her reign as the beers spokeswoman.

Quotes- Casey Stengel: "The Rheingold people been so nice to us that I didn’t have the heart to turn them down when they asked me.”



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