J. Daniel, "Suds Series: Baseball, Beer Wars, and the Summer of '82" (U Missouri Press, 2023)


On this episode, J. Daniel takes readers back more than forty years, telling a story that is part baseball history, part urban history, and part U.S. cultural history, with a narrative weaving together the develop­ment of the Midwestern cities of St. Louis and Milwaukee through their engagement with beer and baseball. 

In Suds Series: Baseball, Beer Wars, and the Summer of ’82 (University of Missouri Press, 2023), Daniel provides much more than a simple play-by-play of the season that was, highlighting the impact of the 1981 strike on free agency and player movement, offering an engaging snapshot of early ’80s pop culture and “hop culture,” and covering both the famous players and personalities—Rickey Henderson’s stolen bases, Reggie Jackson’s home run brigade, and the birth of Cal Ripken Jr.’s iron man streak—and tragic teams alike. Although the small-ball Cardinals would prevail over the “Wallbanging” Brewers in October of 1982 after seven thrilling games and a season of attrition, these two teams remain iconic in their home cities, and Daniel joined the New Books Network to discuss the intrigue and impact of 1982 as well as its enduring relevance to the current era, as baseball seeks a winning formula to recapture modern-day audiences.

Jonathan “J.” Daniel has spent twenty years working in sports, both in front of and behind the camera. He produced five seasons of Rays Magazine, a weekly television show about the Tampa Bay Rays, and worked as a sports producer at Fox affiliates in Tampa and Chicago. He is the author of Phinally!: The Phillies, the Royals, and the 1980 Baseball Season That Almost Wasn’t (McFarland & Co., 2018) and blogs at https://www.80sbaseball.com.

Rob Heaton (Ph.D., University of Denver, 2019) is a professor of New Testament and typically hosts Biblical Studies conversations for the New Books Network, but occasionally covers topics of his normal beat as a hobbyist. In this case, he stepped up to the plate for New Books in Sports as a lifelong baseball fan, native St. Louisan, and one-time wannabe sportscaster. For more about Rob and his work, or to offer feedback related to this episode, please visit his website at https://www.robheaton.com.

Your Host

Rob Heaton

Rob Heaton (Ph.D., University of Denver, 2019) hosts Biblical Studies conversations for New Books in Religion and teaches New Testament, Christian origins, and early Christianity at Anderson University in Indiana. His research focuses on the New Testament canon and other early Christian literature, especially subcanonical books like The Shepherd of Hermas and the Apostolic Fathers. For more about Rob and his work, or to offer feedback related to his podcast episodes, please see his website at https://www.robheaton.com.
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