After a day in the bleachers on the North Side and the Red Line double header the next day, XL and I took a bus north to Milwaukee to see our first game in a retractable doomed stadium. The only other indoor baseball either of us have ever seen was on a trip to Tampa with Inky and our college roommate back in 1998. This was a million times better to be sure, but I'm getting ahead of myself.
We started our day off on the Miller Brewery tour, which, while some Milwaukee residents is tantamount to climbing Everest, was quite easy. When XL and I told the concierge at our hotel that we wanted to do the Miller double she thought we were crazy. "I've never heard of anyone doing that" she said, but we found that Miller has direction cards all printed up for those who want to do the unimaginable. If you are going to Milwaukee to see the Brewers, stop by and see the brewery first, tell em Greazy sent Ys.
After our 15 minute walk to the Stadium we were struck by how tall Miller Park is. They had to make it tall to allow for the stackable roof, but the side effect is the high vaulted effect, accented by the huge wall windows beneath. Once inside, the view is that much better. The decks are short, and close to the field. All of the sight lines are excellent, and if you are there without tickets and the Brewers doing well, you may have to get standing room only like we did. If you do end up on your feet then you'll be really happy that you can see the whole park from all of those standing room areas.
The big plus to this stadium is the kids area, which you would think I wouldn't know, being as I'm a 32 year old man. But, XL and I had a good old time taking pictures with the sausage statues, the mock up ballplayers and in the giant mitt, where I played the ball. In addition to the great play area the Brewers provide an amazing array of shops, stores and eateries.
The in game experience was what you might expect from a fan base that was downtrodden for years, and has just become invigorated. There were a lot of fans in late model Brew Crew shirts, hats and jerseys who all knew their heroes well enough, Weeks, Hardy, Hart and Hall but probably couldn't tell you who was on the 1982 team. The shear amount of people in CC Sabathia jerseys show how out of touch these fans are. There is slim to no chance that he'll be there next year, but still they drop $20 on a tee shirt or $150 on a jersey.
Lucky for us the game lived up to the setting as the Brewers beet the Pirate Hookers 6-3 on a double and a homer from Ryan Braun. I hate to say it, but the only thing that was missing was a sudden and unexpected rain storm that would have forced them to close the roof to close above us. Which makes it the first time in my life I've ever prayed for rain at a ballgame.
***Note: This post originally appeared on the now defunct blog "Inky and the Sports Guys" and has been imported to TGWOOfY for continuity purposes.***