Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Maxwell House Coffee Mug

Manufacturer: Maxwell House
Set: Maxwell House Mugs
Year: ???
Type: Stadium Giveaway

I featured this one back in November 2012 as part of my Yount drinkware post. You can find it HERE.
I'm sure I'll feature each one of those again here separately.  But I've never been able to find much out about this mug. There is no date anywhere on the mug. On the bottom it's stamped with the maker, Eagle, and a Made in the USA, but other than that it was a total mystery.  I even asked the guru of all things sportscards, Bob Lemke, if he knew anything about them, he didn't.  So now it's time to put on my deerstalker cap and channel my inner Sherlock Holmes as I play the Yount Detective.  
First lets have a look at the mug. Notice the clear handle, that's a clue.

After doing some research on the interwebs and combing threw ebay auctions and other sports related sites. I really couldn't find any good information on the origin of these mugs. But I did discover a few things. One there were two types of mugs. Ones with clear handles like Robin's here and one's with white rounded handles like this one..
featuring Gorman Thomas.  That's a clue.
Some of the mugs feature the 94 FM WKTI Logo on them. WKTI was a local Milwaukee radio station.. WKTI stopped using that call sign in 2008, but used the WKTI and WKTI-FM from 1974 to 2008...Ah.
But not all the mugs feature the logo, but both the clear plastic and white handles have some players that feature the logo.  Yount's does not feature it and I could find no version that does.

When I first got the Yount mug I had thought that these were possibly send away items you could get from Maxwell House, but the more I looked into it, it now appears that these were more likely stadium giveaways. Unfortunately I can't find any information on past giveaways from the 80's.

Searching the web I found the other players featured on both kinds of mugs.

The white handle mugs
- Manager George Bamburger -WKTI
-Gorman Thomas
-Rollie Fingers
-Brewers Logo

The clear plastic handles
- Robin Yount
-Paul Molitor
-Cecil Cooper - WKTI
-Jim Gantner - WKTI
-Dan Plesac

There might be a few others I missed, but these are the versions I could find.  From these people we can narrow down possible years.  First we have to assume that players that were featured were current or at least recent team members. If we do that we can place the first four mugs, the white handled mugs in the 1985 to 1986 realm. And I'm leaning on 1986. First George Bamburger was manager from 1985 to very close to the end of the 1986 season. Gorman Thomas came back to the Brewers in 1986 for his final year and while Rollie retired in 1985 I think that his mug might just be a carry over or a tribute.

The clear plastic handle mugs look to be about from 1987 or 1988 and I'm leaning on 1987 for a couple reasons. One, in 1987 everyone featured was on the team. 1987 was Dan Plesac's rookie year with the team and it was also Cecil Coopers last year. Two, it would seem plausible that the mugs were a continuation giveaway from the year before if the white handle mugs were from 1986.

Of course it's very possible that mugs were given out over multiple years.  And while I'd like to say that these were definitely stadium giveaways from the late 80's I just don't know. If anyone from the Milwaukee area remembers these and knows anything about them I'd love to know. Leave a comment or drop me an email.


  1. For what it is worth, I recall in the mid-1980s that the Brewers and Maxwell House did, indeed, team up on a Maxwell House coffee mug night where people older than age 15 would receive a coffee mug as a stadium giveaway for attendance on a particular night. Sometimes the giveaway was limited to the first 15,000 eligible people, if I recall correctly.

    1. Hey Tony. I think it's worth a lot. I was hoping someone would remember something about these. I figured they most likely were a stadium giveaway, but information on that sort of thing isn't easy to come by. Well at least not for me up in Alaska trying to use the internet to research it.
      Thanks for the information.

  2. I did a little research using the couple of old What's Brewing? magazines and a couple of old yearbooks I have here. The 1987 giveaway was a Maxwell House thermos without any player shown on it. The 1982 giveaway was a coffee mug, but I don't know who for sure was on it. My guess would be that it would have been Fingers (coming off the MVP & Cy Young Awards in the previous season) but that is just a guess.