You may have heard of the Curse of the Billy Goat that haunts the Chicago Cubs, and you likely are familiar with the Curse of the Bambino that haunted the Red Sox, but have you given thought to the curse that may be haunting the Minnesota Twins? Let’s call it Michelob’s Revenge for argument’s sake, and note that since that infamous day, the Twins really have not been the same.
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To set the stage, we have to take a journey back in time. It was September 30, 2010 and Target Field was still a booming hotbed of activity in the Minneapolis area. Great baseball was being played (after all the Twins were leading the AL Central at 93-66), and a good time seemed to be had by all. That night, something different took place however.
Walter McNeil, a beer vendor working the stands at Target Field found himself in one of the worst positions someone in his profession can fan; Wally the Beer Man had fallen victim to a police sting. After allegedly selling beer to a minor (he was later acquitted), McNeil was promptly fired. The man who had become a historic figure amongst the catacombs of the Metrodome was gone. Wally the Beer Man would no longer be seen handing out baseball cards to children, or quenching drinking adults thirst. It was over, Wally the Beer Man and the Minnesota Twins were done.
At the time, the Twins probably had no idea how done they were however.
The Twins went on be swept out of the playoffs by the dreaded New York Yankees in the American League Divisional Series. Minnesota’s tenure in the 2010 playoffs was so short-lived they didn’t even have an opportunity to wet their whistle.
Fast forward to today, and we see the fallout of the Wally Curse. That dreaded bottle of Michelob Golden Light continues to live on in the most vengeful way possible. To put the downward spiral into context, we have to look no further than this tweet:
As we enter the 2015 Major League Baseball season off of another 90 loss campaign, the Twins will look to right the ship. The losses have mounted for far too long, and Paul Molitor is now the chose man to lead the turnaround and break the trend.
While Wally the Beer Man made his name in the Metrodome, he became a figurehead for the Minnesota Twins. He was someone dad’s would point out to their sons at games, and Wally would in turn hand out his baseball cards to every child’s delight.
At this point, the Twins are well past the point of no return. At 76 years-old when he was fired, McNeil likely has years of deserved relaxation in front of him. Hauling cases of cold, crisp, goodness throughout the ballpark is no longer something he likely aspires to do. That being said, in this, the fifth season since the firing of Wally the Beer Man, and one in which the Twins have a legitimate chance at a turnaround, it’s time for the Wally Curse to end.
Raise your glass to the man who did it right, went down wrong, and wants the Twins back on track just as much as the rest of us. Here’s to you Wally!