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 a 19 year old model at the time. 

Kathy Kersh was also an actress who appeared in 13 TV shows in the 1960's. In November 1966 she appeared on the TV show Batman as Cornelia, a moll to the Joker. -Season2 episodes 21 & 22: The Impractical Joker / The Jokers Provokers. 

By 1966 she was a gorgeous 23-year-old blonde, wearing a skintight purple outfit for the show.

It was there she met actor Burt Ward, who played Robin the Boy Wonder. The two quickly got married & divorced soon after. 

People close to the show said Kathy was a gold digger after Burt's stardom & money.
She appeared on Batman as Cornelia, now a beautiful blonde moll to the Joker, wearing a skintight purple outfit. 

Kersh had four appearances on the Beverly Hillbillies, two spots on the music show Shindig, where she sang as well as guest appearances on My Favorite Martian, The Man From UNCLE, Ben Casey & Love American Style. 

Her career faded away quickly & legend has it, the studio dropped her when they signed the lovely Sharon Tate.

At the time of the ad in 1962, MLB prohibited players or managers to be in uniform, or displaying any team logo, while promoting any alcohol or cigarette products. If they were out of uniform, it was no problem. 

So, whether it was Rheingold's competition, or rival baseball 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 beer's 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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