At Miller Park: An ugly win in a beautiful place.
Posted by athomeatfenway on July 2, 2012
As my old film professor said, today we will start by focusing on the Mise En Scene.
My Miller Park experience was above expectations. The stadium monolith rises from its place adjacent to I-94, steel ribbed dome plates forming a giant glistening V atop the structure. The field is beautiful. The interior is big and quirky. It is somehow intimate. The fans come early and stay late, and tailgate. They chant Go Brewers Go !
On foot from my car, I watched dozens of happy tailgaters on a bright Sunday afternoon. I spotted a home-made Brewers Fan Van festooned in a surreal paint job and flags. Soon I reached Miller Park and stood before the statue of Alan Bud Selig. Many a SABR member or purist would wretch standing before this homage, no doubt.
30 feet to the west of the Commissioner’s likeness is a statue of the magnificent Henry Aaron. There is no more classy a player than Henry. No one deserves our good wishes more than he. No one did so much so consistently with a pair of massive wrists, and without Pharmacist’s Helper.
The Brewers give further props to the past heroes of Milwaukee baseball in a bronze plaque filled area called The Hall of Honor. It is beautifully done.
The crowd inside Miller was distinctive. Wisconsin is not New England. An old wag told me that the reason Fenway has so many beauties in the stands is because Boston was where the Irish landed. I guess Milwaukee is where goodlooking Norwegians, Slavs and Poles made their homes. Miller Field denizens are alabaster-skinned, with tow headed kids at their sides. The adults look fit enough to run a 5K or pull a 10 pound walleye out of a lake barehanded. These were not the brazen bad boys of Dodger Stadium or the Mall kids that cruise Anaheim. They were more like the wholesome crew you see in Arlington, with a touch less religion, and a touch less pigment.
They do The Wave counter clockwise at Miller Field. That isn’t the way we do it back east, but I have seen it done that way at other MLB Parks.
There are fantastic bar seats in left-center with a killer view. There are killer views everywhere.
This is a Baseball heaven, giving 81 days of grace to a franchise that has won just one Pennant (1982) in 42 seasons.
Before the game started, the game ball was delivered by a leather clad coquette riding a Harley in from Right Field. After making the delivery, she waved to the crowd and lapped the field. As she rode the warning track in Left, fans drank from their seats above her in the Harley Deck, which displays three colorful hogs on its roof. Harley is manufactured here.
In the Top of the 5th, the PA started to play Sweet Caroline, and just like lemmings going off a cliff, the crowd sang along and did the bum bum bums.
Settling into my seat in the first row of sec 418, I found the view to be sweet despite the altitude. Surveying the retired numbers, I pondered an irony. The numerals are those of Aaron, Jackie, Fingers, Yount, Molitor and Uecker. Uecker. Uecker ?
I enjoyed my first Leinenkugel’s honey weiss. I watched the sausage relay race. There was a 20 minute delay as medics tried to save a heart attack victim in the Bullpen before an ambulance took him away, crossing the outfield. I hope he made it.
Near tragedy aside, I enjoyed the day.
I chuckled when the P.A. played the Godfather theme for Cody Ransom’s at bats.
It was the coolest.
And there was also a damn good baseball game.
Arizona’s Josh Collmenter and Milwaukee’s Yovani Gallardo locked up in a beauty that the Brewer’s won 2-1 on a walk off error in the 9th. Josh and Yovani were as stingy as my Italian papa with a newly baked pie. They allowed just 6 hits and 1 run while recording the first 36 outs of the game.
The Brewers took a 1 – 0 lead into the 8th. The D Backs then tied it on Jason Kubel’s homerun.
In the bottom of the 9th, score tied, Aramis Ramirez got a 1-out walk. Carlos Gomez came in to pinch run. Gomez stole second. The catcher’s throw sailed into centerfield. Seeing the errant peg, Gomez continued to 3rd. Then, Gomez trotted home with the winning run as Gerrardo Parro’s heave from centerfield flew past 3rd base and into the D Backs dugout.
It was ugly, children. But it happened in a beautiful place.
And a win is a win is a win.