March 2024


The first Olympic Games were held in 776 BCE in the religious sanctuary of Olympia in honor of Zeus, the greatest of the Greek Gods. Like his fellow gods and goddesses Zeus lived on ambrosia and nectar, which were delicious and provided both nutrition and immortality.

In the second century BCE Rome conquered Greece and renamed the Greek gods and goddesses. Aphrodite became Venus; Ares became Mars; Athena became Minerva; Cronus became Saturn; Hera became Juno; Hermes became Mercury; Zeus became Jupiter etc. The Romans also renamed the planets that Greek astronomers had previously discovered and named for their own gods.

As some alert readers (ARs) assuredly know, Jupiter is not only the name of a Roman god and a large gaseous planet; it’s also the name of a city in Florida. What some ARs may not know, and I myself only learned recently, is that the name of the Florida city came about as a mistake. I am not making this up.

The native Floridians who were living in what is now Palm Beach County were called “Jobe” a name possibly derived from that of the tribe’s chief and pronounced “Hobay” by Spaniards who arrived in the 16th century. The English who displaced the Spaniards who had displaced the natives thought that Jobe or Hobe was the Spanish pronunciation of Jove or Jupiter, the Roman god. They did not realize, or perhaps didn’t care, that the Spanish name was derived from native culture, not Roman mythology. For whatever reason the English mistake endures today. The town of Jupiter sits on Jupiter Inlet just south of Hobe Sound, an unincorporated area in Martin County, Florida.

Florida today has lots of senior citizens, with a population of more than 4.6 million over the age of 65. Everyone in this age group would have been at least 13 in 1972, when Johnny Nash’s song “I Can See Clearly Now” was released. For the 90% in this cohort who have cataracts (more than 4.14 Floridians), this song from their adolescence or young adulthood would have particular resonance.

The first pitch on opening day in Jupiter

It certainly did for me after I had cataract surgery on both eyes back in December. This was a Christmas present that has made it easier to follow the puck at hockey games and will make it easier to see fly balls at baseball games.

This enhanced vision is one of the reasons I’ve enjoyed Cardinals spring training in Jupiter this year, another one being the availability of Schlafly Beer at Roger Dean Stadium in Jupiter. I am not making it up. Ever since the start of spring training on February 24th our Raspberry Hefeweizen and Pale Ale have been served both in the stadium and in Downtown Abacoa nearby. As of the publication of this column, plans are underway to offer other Schlafly styles not just in Jupiter during spring training, but in multiple other locations along the Florida Treasure Coast throughout the year.

In conjunction with the launch of Schlafly at spring training, I was offered the opportunity to throw out the first pitch at the game against the Marlins on the 24th. As some ARs may recall, I had two hips replaced in 2022; and, as reported herein, I have new lenses in both eyes. I have not, however, had surgery to repair an aging and worn out rotator cuff, an injury that has bedeviled pitchers one third my age. In other words, a strong pitch in the middle of the strike zone was by no means a foregone conclusion.

In a classic case of overkill, I sought advice from an AR named Mike Maddux, the pitching coach of the World Series Champion Texas Rangers, whom I had gotten to know when he had the same job with the Cardinals. Mike’s advice was: “Keep your arm up and eyes on the target. ‘You will throw a strike if you choose to,’ Confucius says.”

Confucius, who died in 479 BCE was dispensing these pearls of wisdom nearly three centuries after the first Olympic games; and more than three centuries before the Romans conquered Greece and replaced Zeus with Jupiter. As was the case in Olympia 2,800 years ago, baseball will not be played at the Summer Olympic Games in Paris this summer. And Schlafly Beer will not be offered there. ARs in search of the trifecta of Confucianism, Cardinals baseball and Schlafly Beer need look no further than Jupiter and St. Louis.





Tom Schlafly
Chairman – The Saint Louis Brewery