What's better than having a beer at a ballpark on a beautiful Sunday afternoon? Check out this episode with Pulitzer Prize Finalist Edward Achorn, as he explains the life of Chris von Der Ahe, the baseball owner who made that feeling possible. Achorn's book, "The Summer of Beer and Whiskey: How Brewers, Barkeeps, Rowdies, Immigrants, and a Wild Pennant Fight Made Baseball America's Game," explains how the summer of 1883 became the pivotal one in baseball history. Beforehand, he says baseball was a highbrow, humble and subdued affair. But after Chris von Der Ahe bought the St. Louis Browns, and he decided to sell beer and play on Sundays, baseball became acceptable to legions of baseball fans yearning to party while they watched America's Pastime. He also explains how von Der Ahe transformed Sportsman's Park into the model for how stadiums would be built. 1883 was also a time of social change, as Jim Crow took hold and baseball became further segregated. The Browns were truly on the cusp of a new era, led by a micromanaging but perceptive owner who paved the way for them to become the team we know as the Cardinals today.

Check out Ed Achorn's website at edachorn.com

He can be found on Twitter at twitter.com/ed_achorn

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