Tuesday, July 10, 2012
Those O's and Bohs !
There are a number of nostalgic elements in this 20th season at Camden Yards. A winning season (above .500 at the All-Star Break!!) has to top the list. But I don't know of any other that resonates with the faithful quite like Mr. Boh and his commemorative can.
Recounting Nationial Bohemian's association with our city and particularly the O's would take a great deal more space that we have here. Suffice to say, they were virtually synonymous during the early years after the team arrived. Natty Boh is as Baltimore as Bromo.
But it isn't just the novelty of the can and the connection to the home team. I was amazed to learn National has developed a genuine following since its triumphant return to the ballpark gave it such local visibility.
Two recent stories in local papers have focused on the impact of the O's winning ways this year. Attendance is up, vendors are selling merchandise, and fans are wearing it all over town.
You'll notice that this group of pre-gaming fans at a nearby pub is not just enjoying the product but sporting the Boh gear as well.
(Until I saw this, I didn't realize the natty Mr. Boh is a southpaw. Just like Babe Ruth! How poetic.)
This collection came from a trio of equally enthusiastic Boh fans who bequeathed me a seat after they departed for the 4:00 game.
Intrigued by a) the huge crowd, and b) the mountains of bright orange cans inside and outside the establishment, I asked about the phenomenom. This is what I learned.
Business in the restaurant/bar just beyond center field has been booming this year. Fans coming early, returning after the game, and even coming in during the game to watch the action on the TV (in air conditioned comfort.)
Finally, those orange commemorative cans are selling just as well as they display. Indeed, they are quite the rage, both inside and outside. Part of it seems to be the reasonable price and jumbo size. Another is the hipster appreciation for "local" suds.
(No matter what the jingle says, it's no longer "brewed on the shores of the Chesapeake Bay." Not even in Maryland. But since Mr. Boh is eternally ours, that makes it local.)
So the O's as well as Bohs are big winners in this first half of the season. They're providing a high tide that lifts a lot of boats (not to mention mugs) around our neighborhood.