World Series hero pitcher allegedly drank beer in bullpen before appearance

  • David Whitlock

The tales of yore in the late 19th and early 20th centuries frequently noted that professional baseball players might have drank before, or even during baseball games.  Rumors that Ty Cobb would not slide for fear of breaking the bottle of whiskey in his pocket are common.  But in the 21st century, drinking in uniform is relatively unknown.  Sure, there was the Red Sox scandal in the clubhouse, but not on the field.  Until now.

Chicago White Sox coach Don Cooper revealed to CSN Chicago that prior to his unplanned relief appearance in the 2005 World Series Game 3 against the Houston Astros, Mark Buehrle might have been sipping on some suds:

Around the 7th inning in Game 3, Buehrle approached White Sox pitching coach Don Cooper with a styrofoam cup in his hand.

“I look in it, there’s a beer in there,” Cooper told CSN’s David Kaplan on SportsTalk Live Monday. “It wasn’t uncommon for guys on the 2005 staff — the starters when they weren’t pitching — to enjoy a cocktail from time to time.”

The game went to 14 innings, the longest World Series game in history.  And Buehrle was called upon for one final out (having started Game 2) after the White Sox got the lead in the top of that inning.

Mark Buehrle can do it all Credit: Vesphoto.net / Photographer Ron Vesely

Mark Buehrle can do it all
Credit: Vesphoto.net / Photographer Ron Vesely

Every beer league softball player knows a beer or two won’t stunt the ability that much.  Heck, it might even be considered a performance enhancing drug by some for calming the nerves.  Amazing that this story stayed under wraps so long.  The 2005 White Sox team remains an enigma for a number of reasons.  Somewhat of a one-hit wonder, but dominant that season with 99 wins (no White Sox team with more since 1917).  Especially the postseason (unheard of 11-1 record).  They featured only one player who had ever won an MVP, and that was Frank Thomas who did not play in the postseason.

Just another wacky story in the tale of baseball!

– David Whitlock

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David Whitlock

David Whitlock - manager

David (a.k.a. Longhorndave or lhd_on_sports) joined the staff late in the 2012 season and moved to Site Manager in early 2013. A lifelong Houston Astros fan (and mini-season ticket holder for 9 years) he attends 20+ games per year. A statistics freak, David still keeps score the "old fashioned way" on occasion (and has kept manual score of World Series games since 1986 and retains the sheets). He was a featured guest weekly on the Phil Naessens Show. He is also a Texas Longhorns alumnus and huge football and baseball fan of his alma mater. When he isn't watching or writing about baseball, he works as a contractor at NASA Johnson Space Center. He lives by the mantra "a bad day at the ballpark is better than a good day anywhere else."

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