Wally "The Beer Man" McNeil beat the rap that he sold suds to a minor last September at Target Field, but don't look for the legendary hawker at the Twins' home opener.
McNeil and the team have parted ways. The 76-year-old local legend, says he's going to ply the patrons at Sneakiy Pete's with beer instead, just down the street.[jump]
McNeil had been selling beer for the Twins for 40 years when Minneapolis police hired an 18-year-old guy named Justin Pasquale to pose as a 21-year-old last fall and try and buy beer from vendors in the stands at Target Field.
McNeil and some other vendors got caught in the pinch, and were suspended before the Yankees came to town in the playoffs.
His fans went wild. "Free Wally" t-shirts went up for sale on the internet. Facebook fans followed the trial on the Wally The Beer Man, We Love You page. And McNeil claimed in court last month that he was the victim of entrapment. The jurors' verdict: Not guilty.
Even so, he tells KARE 11 he's through with the ball club and plans on taking up residence at Sneaky Pete's as a celebrity "beer tender." Someone else can check for ID there, and we suspect McNeil will be happy to get a rest from bounding up and down stadium steps. Still, we'll miss hearing Twins fans say, "Thanks, we'll wait for Wally."