Posted on 1 Comment

Day 45 “Opening Night”

Dodgers bullpen!
Dodgers bullpen!

I went to the Dodgers vs Padres game at Petco Park last night and had an awesome time! The place was packed and the Dodgers and Padres fans were into it! There was a big party around the stadium for about four hours prior to the game with lots of food and drinks!  I was very impressed with Petco. The stadium opened 10 years ago in the downtown area of San Diego and lots of condos have sprung up since then.  Inside the ball park there is so many unique site lines and interesting features. There is a historic building incorporated into the park, Western Metal Supply Company. The building looks great the way it is utilized, check out the following link to see more of it:  I walked the entire place and was constantly surprised at what I found. In the outfield there is a park for families to come letting the kids run around and fans can watch the game on a big screen TV that is situated on the back of the centerfield wall.

The bullpen is also very cool. I felt “kinda” sorry for the pitchers, but the fan appeal is great. It is in left field with a stacked set-up. The Padres bullpen is in front of the visitors with seating at the same level as the visitor bullpen. Fans could get very close and were able to watch players from each team stand and talk to each other. I stood and watched the bullpens for an inning as I watched the game on a TV. I was standing on stairway, everyone was coming over and shouting to Dodgers reliever Brian (Fear The Beard) Wilson. He look smaller in person, by the way…

Western Metal Supply
Western Metal Supply

I went up to the second deck. Looking at the right field seats, it reminded me of the set-up at Wrigley Field. I had a great view of the entire ball park.  I looked over near the Western Metal Supply building and to the right was a large scoreboard which was straight down from the bullpen. The design of the park with the building, worked very well with the skyline of downtown. I went to the third deck and watched the game from behind the first base dugout. I was up very high and, again, the view was fantastic. I looked out to the centerfield wall which had retired numbers on it along with some huge torches that would go off between innings. That was very different, but cool! I enjoyed the fans. I talked to a lot of them and they were having a great time on a perfect night for baseball – okay, it was a little cooler than I would have liked but it worked well with the atmosphere. Dodgers’ fans were telling me about Dodgers Stadium and how nice it is with a lot of history, compared to Petco. Even though, they all liked this park. My frustration was the price of everything. I paid $30 for parking in addition to $24.50 for a ticket to the park in the outfield. The food choices were excellent and I loved the fact that all kinds of places existed in this place; but – I paid $9.50 for a bratwurst…  I know the vendors have to make money, but I can’t see how a family of four can afford a place like this. However, I say to all the baseball and stadium enthusiasts out there, “you have to experience the place!” It is my top “new” ball park. I have only been to four – Petco Park, Miller Park, US Cellular Field, and Chase Field – so don’t get too excited. I was at Turner Field, but it was over 10 years ago. My top MLB park overall is Wrigley. I haven’t been to Fenway yet, so that may change! Again, I just want to say well done San Diego, well done! Check out this website for a more in depth review of Petco Park:!

Park in Outfield at Petco
Park in Outfield at Petco

I have to say I was disappointed in the outcome of the game because the Padres didn’t “Fear the Beard”. They lit Brian Wilson up for three runs in the bottom of the eighth and they won 3-1.  I can say, “I am happy that I got to be apart of their Opening Night of the MLB season.”  Next up, Angels Stadium in Anaheim to watch the Los Angeles Angels take on the Seattle Mariners (I really think the Angels have identity issues) for Opening Day, even though it will be a night game…

If you enjoy this story and you would like to help me complete the “Baseball in America Tour 2014”, which is roughly 265 days, please click on the following link to see how you can help at  Please, also ,share this on your Facebook page and Twitter, I appreciate all the help I can get!

Posted on 2 Comments

Day 44 “Nervous!”

Chase Field
Chase Field

Yesterday I went to Chase Field in Phoenix and saw the Cubs beat the Diamondbacks in an exhibition game, 9-8. The night before I went to see the Phoenix Suns play the New York Knicks at the US Cellular Arena. The Suns dominated the entire game and a guy nailed a half court shot to win $77,000 the arena went nuts, even the players! I am very grateful to Jason Selner for getting me the tickets. It was the first NBA game I have seen all year. Jason also showed me the catwalk and the control room on top of the arena.  I went to the game with a friends’ brother-in-law I met at the game. I had a great time in Phoenix. I was going to wait until Monday to leave after I saw the Diamondbacks opening game. But I thought I would get to San Diego so I could be at Opening Night for the Dodgers vs Padres game!

The drive was about 5 hours, had to say it was the first time I was a little lonely on the trip. I have been out of my comfort zone for over 6 weeks.  It is odd to get into different towns, not know where everything is and “if” the different areas are safe.  I never had much of an opinion on gun control, but I have to say that driving through west Texas and through Arizona, I can understand why people want their guns. It is some very barren country and I wasn’t used to it. The scenery was very pretty in a hard scrabble kind of way. I was actually nervous. There have been four inspection stations that I have had to stop at in the last week. These are near the Mexican border and they check for illegals. Not going to get into any political discussion about it, just stating how I was feeling. I drove through the mountains and I worried about breaking down. I am not as brave as I think I am. I find it funny about what goes through my mind when I am nervous.  Anyway, I am in San Diego and I am getting ready to go to the game at Petco Park!

My social media guy figured out how to put a map on the website. Thanks, Roger! I met with Brittany Rex, along with her professor from ASU, last week to discuss this project and they gave a lot of great insight! I appreciate everyone that has help me with this! Please click on the following link to check out the new page:

If you enjoy this story and you would like to help me complete the “Baseball in America Tour 2014”, which is roughly 265 days, please click on the following link to see how you can help .  Please, also ,share this on your Facebook page and Twitter, I appreciate all the help I can get!


Posted on 4 Comments

Day 43 “Who replaced Steve Garvey?”

Greg Brock

Yesterday, I needed to find a baseball game during the day since a friend of a friend hooked me up with some tickets to see the Phoenix Suns play the New York Knicks.  I found a high school tournament on the out skirts of Scottsdale, in the middle of no where or that is how it felt, it was at Salt River High School. The game was between Northland Prep Academy (NPA) and Bagdad High School. Northland Prep only had 11 players on the team. However, what I loved about these teams was the enthusiasm and tenacity they showed. Each team had excellent middle infielders, which impressed me. One kid, a freshman, was very small compared to his peers, but he made all the plays. I sat in the bleachers with a man, his wife and his daughter. The daughter is the wife of the coach for NPA.

I sat and talked with this family throughout the game and told them what I was doing.  The man’s wife was very interesting, she was telling me about her favorite baseball teams. Coincidentally, her favorites happen to be my two favorite teams, the Milwaukee Brewers and the Los Angeles Dodgers.  The funny thing is I “kinda” dismissed them initially regarding baseball since they were out in the middle of nowhere watching some smaller schools play. Call me arrogant but I sometimes think I know more than I actually do… with that said, the man I passed off as a grandpa to one of the kids on the team, since he told me that he lived in Colorado. He made occasional baseball comments but I really didn’t think to much about them.  I continued to talk to his wife and she tested me on some of the Dodgers players. I reeled some off and she reeled some off. I was impressed with her, she was obviously the baseball person in the family. She stumped me, of course, when she asked, “Who replaced Steve Garvey at first base when he signed with San Diego?” Any other day I would have remembered, but I forgot. I had to ask her who and she didn’t remember. I couldn’t Google it since my reception was bad.

The man told me they lived in Wisconsin, West Allis or New Berlin, for a time back in the late 80’s through the 90’s. I told him where I grew up in Wisconsin, living in Ashland and Wauwatosa for the most part. He was very nice and listened as I told him how important I was, what I thought of Wisconsin sports, etc.  I even told him about the blog I did on ASU moving their stadium.  He told me he played there once back in the 70’s, I didn’t think much of the comment. I told his daughter about what we say about West Allis. I won’t repeat it since its the same thing Ashland people say about Hurley. If you want to know email me. Anyway, I was absorbed with myself, my baseball knowledge and frustrated as “all get out” I couldn’t remember who replaced Garvey. I could picture him, but couldn’t place him…

I started thinking about this family, the man said his daughter and another son were born in Milwaukee. Then he confirmed with his wife that another son was born in California “The Los Angeles Connection”, I thought. He wasn’t mentioning what he did for a living, he did say something about Wyoming and playing there. Things didn’t make sense to me so I finally asked him why he moved to Milwaukee? He smiled and said, “the Brewers”. I still did not catch on. My thought was he worked in the office or ushering. I asked him what he did for them and he said, “I played first base for them”, in a matter-of-fact manner. I felt like such an idiot! Finally, his last name came to me. I said, “Your last name is Brock” and he said, “yes”.  I couldn’t remember his first name, but it all came back to me. I remember the pressure he was under in L.A. because he was replacing Garvey. I remember reading all the hype, Greg Brock!  What makes it even more frustrating is I did not make the Brewers connection and the 1987 season was the most memorable to me. I listened to every game, the streaks that year, winning, losing and Molitor’s hitting streak! Greg Brock’s first year with the Crew and he did great. He batted around .300 and had a great glove in the field, if my memory serves me right! Google it if you want!

They were very nice and I was  humbled, I enjoyed watching the game with them. I hope to keep the  lesson I learned, I wouldn’t dismiss people “off handedly” again!  He doesn’t know how excited I was to meet him. I don’t get as excited about the players today as I did about the ones from when I was younger. Greg Brock, thanks for playing it the way you did with me. I needed some humility and I appreciated the humility you showed.  If I were you, I would have been telling me  I batted .300 in the MLB, etc. You showed a lot of class and please tell your wife for me, I remembered – “You were the one that replaced Garvey!”

Posted on 2 Comments

Day 42 “The First 48”

I have been told that I need to do more lists! So today I am sharing with you my first 48 games I have attended.  I have met so many great people, have been to so many great baseball games and I feel very lucky that I am able to do this. Again, I thank everyone for their support.  You can always check to see what games I have attended on the following link…

Game Date Teams  Type  Location Winner  Score 
48 3/28/2014 Northland Prep vs Bagdad HS Scottsdale, AZ Northland Prep 10-4
47 3/27/2014 Brophy vs Horizon HS Scottsdale, AZ Horizon 8-3
46 3/26/2014 Arizona vs ASU College Tempe, AZ ASU 14-6
45 3/25/2014 San Francisco vs Milwaukee MLB Phoenix, AZ San Francisco 4-3
44 3/24/2104 Socorro Bulldogs vs EP Dodgers Rec-14U El Paso, TX Socorro Bulldogs 3-1
43 3/23/2014 Flordia vs Texas A&M  College College Station, TX Texas A&M 4-3
42 3/22/2014 Georgia vs LSU College Baton Rouge, LA LSU  2-1
41 3/21/2014 Mercer  vs Jacksonville College Jacksonville, FL Mercer  4-2
40 3/20/2014 Bethel College vs UMass-Boston College Fort Myers, FL UMass-Boston 8-7
39 3/19/2014 Cape Coral  vs Bishop Verot HS Fort Myers, FL Bishop Verot 3-0
38 3/18/2014 Eagles View vs Bishop Verot HS Fort Myers, FL Bishop Verot 8-0
37 3/17/2014 St Louis vs Boston MLB Fort Myers, FL Boston 10-5
36 3/16/2014 University of Dubuque vs Bethel College College Fort Myers, FL Bethel  12-1
35 3/16/2014 UW-Stout(JV) vs Plattsburgh State(JV) College Fort Myers, FL UW-Stout 4-0
34 3/15/2014 McDaniel vs Otterbein College Fort Myers, FL Otterbein 10-6
33 3/14/2014 Cape Coral vs Mariner HS Cape Coral, FL Cape Coral 2-0
32 3/13/2014 Estero  vs Riverdale HS Fort Myers, FL Riverdale 4-3
31 3/12/2014 Washington vs Houston MLB Kissimmee, FL Houston 10-9
30 3/11/2014 Philadelphia vs Atlanta MLB Kissimmee, FL Atlanta 9-1
29 3/10/2014 Houston vs Washington MLB Viera, FL Houston 7-4
28 3/9/2014 Salem State vs Baldwin Wallace College Port Charlotte, FL Baldwin Wallace 8-0
27 3/9/2014 Salem State vs Marietta College Port Charlotte, FL Marietta 8-4
26 3/9/2014 Georgetown vs SDSU College Port Charlotte, FL Georgetown 7-4
25 3/8/2014 Baltimore vs Boston MLB Fort Myers, FL Baltimore  13-2
24 3/7/2014 Minnesota vs Pittsburgh MLB Bradenton, FL Minnesota  6-5
23 3/6/2014 Toronto vs Pittsburgh MLB Bradenton, FL Cancelled Rain
22 3/5/2014 Miami vs New York MLB Port St. Lucie, FL Miami  5-2
21 3/4/2014 Cape Coral vs Cypress Lake HS Cape Coral, FL Cape Coral  6-1
20 3/3/2014 Minnesota vs Baltimore MLB Sarasota, FL Minnesota  9-2
19 3/2/2014 Pittsburgh vs Philadelphia P MLB Clearwater, FL Pittsburgh  4-1
18 3/1/2014 Boston vs Minnesota MLB Fort Myers, FL Minnesota 6-2
17 2/28/2014 Baltimore vs Tampa Bay MLB Port Charlotte, FL Baltimore 4-2
16 2/27/2014 Boston College vs Boston Col-MLB Fort Myers, FL Boston Red Sox 5-2
15 2/27/2014 Northeastern vs Boston Col-MLB Fort Myers, FL Boston Red Sox 5-2
14 2/26/2014 U of Miami vs Maimi Col-MLB Jupiter, FL Miami Marlins 5-2
13 2/25/2014 Nebraska-Omaha vs St Bonaventure College Port Charlotte, FL Nebraska-Omaha 6-2
12 2/23/2014 Creighton vs Minnesota College Fort Myers, FL Creighton 8-0
11 2/22/2014 Iowa vs Ball State College Port Charlotte, FL Iowa 16-6 
10 2/22/2014 St Bonaventure vs Iowa College Port Charlotte, FL Iowa 2-0
9 2/21/2014 Mississippi Valley vs Ball State College Port Charlotte, FL Ball State 12-1
8 2/21/2014 Nebraska-Omaha vs UW-Milwaukee College Port Charlotte, FL UW-Milwaukee 5-4
7 2/21/2014 Kansas vs Northwestern College Port Charlotte, FL Kansas 14-10
6 2/16/2014 Indiana State vs Ohio State College Port Charlotte, FL Indiana State 8-6
5 2/16/2014 UConn vs Auburn College Port Charlotte, FL Auburn 7-3
4 2/15/2014 Indiana State vs Ohio State College Port Charlotte, FL Indiana State 7-3
3 2/15/2014 Indiana State vs UConn College Port Charlotte, FL Indiana State 3-0
2 2/14/2014 UConn vs Ohio State College Port Charlotte, FL Ohio State 8-2
1 2/14/2014 Auburn vs Indiana State College Port Charlotte, FL Auburn 4-0

Check back tomorrow. I have a great story, especially for all the Brewers and Dodgers fans out there!

If you enjoy this story and you would like to help me complete the “Baseball in America Tour 2014”, which is roughly 265 days, please click on the following link to see how you can help .  Please, also ,share this on your Facebook page and Twitter, I appreciate all the help I can get!


Posted on 2 Comments

Day 41 “Can’t Move History”

packardI went to see ASU take on Arizona yesterday at Bobby Winkles Field which sits in Packard Stadium at Brock Ballpark, in honor of William Guthrie Packard and the Sun Devils’ Hall of Fame coaches Jim Brock and Bobby Winkles. Brock coached the Sun Devils to a 1,100-440 record (.714) from 1972–94, while Winkles coached them to a 574-173 record (.768) from 1959-71.  I love how they added all the names to this place! I loved this stadium. As I walked in I could feel the history of the place. No, it was not “state of the art” but it had a personality. It was built in 1974, so all were celebrating its’ 40th year. Unfortunately, this is the last year that the Sun Devils will play here. I was saddened to hear this because of so many past events, records made, crowds, students which became apart of this grand stadium – it’s history. Plus, it is situated right on the campus, across the street from Sun Devil Stadium. My question is why? Why does the program have to move to a different field? Who made this decision? Did they take the fans into consideration?

ASU is one of the most successful college baseball programs in the country. The Sun Devils have won five national championships, the fourth-most by any school, and are second only to USC in total number of alumni to ever play in MLB. Sun Devil baseball alumni notables include Reggie Jackson, Rick Monday, Paul LoDuca, Barry Bonds, Bob Horner, Andre Ethier and Dustin Pedroia. With all this baseball royalty, and the rich history of the ball park, why move? I think of Dotty and Ralph (Day 7 “Red Sox Love”) when they explained to me what it was like going to Fenway,  “…it always gives us butterflies and the excitement is hard to contain when you start walking up the ramp and you start to see all the green of the ballpark”, saying, “it is overwhelming with so much history.”  I wonder if they would feel the same about the Red Sox if they had built a new stadium or just decided to move. I never got to see a game at the old Yankee Stadium (I kick myself). I will see the new Yankee Stadium this year and I am sure I will be impressed; but, it isn’t the house that Ruth built. I love going to Wrigley Field, so rich with history. I remember watching WGN and hearing Harry Caray when I was growing up. When you go there you still have the history that hits you and it is such a great feeling.

WinklesFans turn out not to just watch a baseball game, if that was the case the attendance won’t be as good (just my opinion), but they show up for so many different reasons. I went to the game yesterday on a recommendation. A rivalry game! ASU and Arizona don’t like each other and I am glad I went along with the other 3800 fans that showed up on a Wednesday afternoon! I was impressed with the attendance and was able to talk with a few alumni that came. I found they, too, are very sad that the team is moving to a MLB Spring Training complex that is not being used. They asked the same question of why? I talked to a couple of kids from Idaho that were in town for spring break to play some baseball. They showed up to support a player on Arizona’s team that attended their high school.  I saw a couple of brothers decked out in their ASU gear who brought their young children. The kids were more interested in a hole they found in the grass seating area than the ballgame but the brothers got to watch the game.  I stood on the third base side for part of the game and was talking to an older gentleman who was asking where I lived in Wisconsin. I told him and he told me he was to Eau Claire a few years ago to see his grandson play for the Eau Claire Express of the Northwoods League. ‘What did he like about the experience?’  Carson Park Baseball Stadium – it has a rich history and is on the National Registry of Historic Places. I have to admit that I love the older stadiums, it is a big reason I show up, or have a desire, to see different places. McKechnie Field, the spring training home of the Pittsburgh Pirates, is my favorite place of all the spring training fields I have been to.

McKechnie is the oldest one, with a great presence, personality and it’s history!

ASU“The park was open and airy, home plate was less than 30 yards from the street, the place had a very historic feel to it. Recent renovations made it possible to walk around the entire stadium and sit in the outfield.” I wrote this about McKechnie a few weeks back…  Recent renovations is my point here at ASU. I feel if some are needed, the fans will be okay with it. You “can’t move history” of a place. Ruth never played on the new Yankees field, he played on Fenway’s! I like Miller Park in Milwaukee which is very fan friendly for only being a tad over 10 years old. There is a lot of entertainment going on, not just the ball game. I had no problem with them getting rid of the old County Stadium, there was some history but it was short lived. The Braves won the 1956 World Series but they bailed to Atlanta. The Brewers were in the 1982 World Series and for 17 years it had Yount, Molitor and Gantner playing together. However, County Stadium lacked mystic and the history was spotty. Some places can start over, others need to look at the historical significance. I know the Yankees did and they would have saved Yankees Stadium if they could but it wasn’t in the cards. ASU, in my opinion, you don’t need to move from your stadium that is only 40 years old and still structurally sound. If Chicago can rework Wrigley, you can save the Bobby Winkles Field which sits in Packard Stadium at Brock Ballpark – just look at the name! So much history and memories gone when you move!

As for the game, ASU scored 10 runs in the 6th inning and beat Arizona 14-6, coming back from a 6-1 deficit. I wonder how often that has happened? Anyway, I will get off my “soap box”. I am sure that the new stadium will be a nice sterile place to play a ballgame. There are so many “new” ones now-a-days.

If you enjoy this story and you would like to help me complete the “Baseball in America Tour 2014”, which is roughly 265 days, please click on the following link to see how you can help .  Please, also ,share this on your Facebook page and Twitter, I appreciate all the help I can get!




Posted on 2 Comments

Day 40 “7th Inning Stretch”

Nico's question inspired this blog post!
Nico’s question inspired this blog post!

Yesterday I went to a Spring Training game between the Milwaukee Brewers and San Francisco Giants.  A friend from Milwaukee, Jared Olson, was in town with his family.  He purchased a ticket for me and his family welcomed me into their “inner baseball circle” for the game, I enjoyed talking to his family and friends. They are all about the Brewers and baseball. During the 7th inning when everyone got up, stretched and sang “Take me out to the ball game”, Jared’s step-son, Nico asked what everyone was doing and why…  That is a great question, one that I never have asked! Jared turned to me and said, ” I need to tell him about President Taft”, I played along like I knew what he was talking about!

I had, absolutely, never have, even remotely, questioned the 7th inning stretch. I felt like a total baseball failure!  For the first time on this trip, I questioned my baseball “knowledge”, “experience”, whatever you want to call it!  I have read lots of baseball related stuff. I can tell you starting line ups from the 1970’s, hold my own in discussing baseball strategy, pick out talented baseball kids, but I cannot tell you how the 7th inning stretch originated or why we do it! I was humbled by a  10 year old’s simple question! Well, what I do have is a platform to look into this kind of thing and what I have found out is a lot of people go along with the “President Taft” theory! The origin of the seventh-inning stretch is much disputed, and it is difficult to certify any purported history.  I took the following from Wikipedia:

“One claimant is Brother Jasper of Mary, F.S.C., the man credited with bringing baseball to Manhattan College in the late 19th century. Being the Prefect of Discipline as well as the coach of the team, it fell to Brother Jasper to supervise the student fans at every home game. On one particularly hot and muggy day in 1882, during the seventh inning against a semi-pro team called the Metropolitans, the Prefect noticed his charges becoming restless. To break the tension, he called a time-out in the game and instructed everyone in the bleachers to stand up and unwind. It worked so well he began calling for a seventh-inning rest period at every game. The Manhattan College custom spread to the major leagues after the New Your Giants were charmed by it at an exhibition game.

However, a letter written by Harry Wright of the Cincinnati Red Socking’s dated 1869 – 13 years earlier than Brother Jasper’s inspired time-out — documented something very similar to a seventh-inning stretch. In the letter, he makes the following observation about the fans’ ballpark behavior: “The spectators all arise between halves of the seventh inning, extend their legs and arms and sometimes walk about. In so doing they enjoy the relief afforded by relaxation from a long posture upon hard benches.” Another tale holds that the stretch was invented by a manager stalling for time to warm up a relief pitcher.

A popular story for the origins of the stretch is that President William Howard Taft at a Washington Senators game in 1910 was sore from prolonged sitting and stood up to stretch. Upon seeing the chief executive stand, the rest of the spectators in attendance felt obligated to join the president in his gestures. This story is set at a far later date than the others, however.

As to the name of the practice, there appears to be no record of the phrase “seventh-inning stretch” from before 1920. By that time the practice was already at least 50 years old.

Jared, Kelly and Jordyn
Jared, Kelly and Jordyn

Well, there is the explanation, now I can confuse people when they ask about the 7th inning stretch…  When I was writing this post I also wondered why we sing, “Take me out to the ball game” aren’t we already at a ball game?  Another thought, who wrote the song?  I just kept thinking, thoughts I should have had when I was 10 years old! (I am wondering if anyone thought “Perfect of Discipline” was a weird title or if it was just me, had to get that out so I could move on.)

So I utilized Wikipedia again and found some answers, the history of the song is a good one;

“Jack Norworth, while riding a subway train, was inspired by a sign that said “Baseball Today – Polo Grounds”.  In the song, Katie’s (and later Nelly’s) beau calls to ask her out to see a show. She accepts the date, but only if her date will take her out to the baseball game. The words were set to music by Albert Von Tilzer. (Norworth and Von Tilzer finally saw their first MLB games 32 and 20 years later, respectively.) The song was first sung by Norworth’s then-wife Nora Beyes and popularized by many other vaudeville acts. It was played at a ballpark for the first known time in 1934, at a high-school game in Los Angeles, and researchers think it made its debut at a major-league park later that year.”

There are two versions of the song the original is from 1908 and it was redone in 1927 I included the versions below:

1908 Version
Katie Casey was baseball mad,
Had the fever and had it bad.
Just to root for the home town crew,
Ev’ry sou1
Katie blew.
On a Saturday her young beau
Called to see if she’d like to go
To see a show, but Miss Kate said “No,
I’ll tell you what you can do:”
1927 Version
Nelly Kelly loved baseball games,
Knew the players, knew all their names.
You could see her there ev’ry day,
Shout “Hurray”
When they’d play.
Her boyfriend by the name of Joe
Said, “To Coney Isle, dear, let’s go”,
Then Nelly started to fret and pout,
And to him, I heard her shout:
[Chorus] Take me out to the ball game,
Take me out with the crowd;
buy me some peanuts and Cracker Jack,
I don’t care if I never get back.
Let me root, root, root for the home team,
If they don’t win, it’s a shame.
For it’s one, two, three strikes, you’re out,
At the old ball game.
Katie Casey saw all the games,
Knew the players by their first names.
Told the umpire he was wrong,
All along,
Good and strong.
When the score was just two to two,
Katie Casey knew what to do,
Just to cheer up the boys she knew,
She made the gang sing this song:
Nelly Kelly was sure some fan,
She would root just like any man,
Told the umpire he was wrong,
All along,
Good and strong.
When the score was just two to two,
Nelly Kelly knew what to do,
Just to cheer up the boys she knew,
She made the gang sing this song

Brewers racing sausages!
Brewers racing sausages!

I found all of this very interesting, but the questions kept coming and I had this one, “When did the sausage races start with the Milwaukee Brewers?” It is fun to see and fans really get into it but, why do they do it? My ten year old brain has kicked into high gear! Guess where I found my answer…

“The Klement’s Famous Sausage Race began as a scoreboard animation in the early 1990s with just three characters—The Bratwurst, The Polish and The Italian—running toward Milwaukee County Stadium against a backdrop of the city of Milwaukee.

In the fall of 1992, Milwaukee graphic designer Michael Dillon of McDill Design presented an idea to Gabe Paul who was the Vice President of Operations for the Brewers, to transform the race from the scoreboard to live action.

On June 27, 1993, as the Sausages approached Milwaukee County Stadium on the scoreboard video, the left field doors swung open and—much to the surprise of players and fans—out came the larger-than-life mascots. The three made their way to home plate with The Bratwurst (worn by Dillon) winning the first-ever live race.

For the remainder of the 1993 season, the Sausages raced live only at those games with particularly high attendance. In 1994, the live Sausage race resumed on Sunday, May 29—the day the Brewers retired Robin Yount’s number 19 jersey—and became a fixture at every home game since—with Klement’s as the official sponsor.

At the outset, the Sausage Race featured only 3 entrants: The bratwurst, the Polish sausage, and the Italian sausage. The Hot Dog joined the race in the middle-1990s. In 2007, after a one-race tryout the previous year, The Chorizo rounded out the group of five Sausages fans see today.”

That is the end of the questions and today’s post!  I want to thank Jared and his family, Nico, you really inspired me to question more!  Jared’s family (Tara, Jim, Ryan, Becca and friends Jason and Chad) also donated money to my adventure and I appreciate that so much. You were all very generous and a joy to watch a game with.  Jared was one of the first people I told after I made the decision to leave my job, he is very supportive of this trip and his excitement is unwavering.

If you enjoy this story and you would like to help me complete the “Baseball in America Tour 2014”, which is roughly 265 days, please click on the following link to see how you can help .  Please, also ,share this on your Facebook page and Twitter, I appreciate all the help I can get!


Posted on 2 Comments

Day 39 “2000 Miles”

Yesterday I was in El Paso, Texas and watched a great 14U Rec League game between the EP Dodgers and Socorro Bulldogs.  The Bulldogs won the game 3-1 by scoring 2 runs in the top of the seventh inning.  I enjoyed talking to the fans that were watching their kids play.  Since it was rec league the skill level was all over the map.  But the thing that I really liked was how respectful the players, coaches, and parents were to each other, there was some grumbling late in the game because it was close and the teams were tied for first place but overall it was a great experience.  You could see Mexico from the bleachers I was sitting in, it was just a couple miles down the road so that was interesting.  I am still extremely tired, I have driven 2000 miles since last Friday, I was able to make it to Phoenix today to meet up with my friend Jared Olson and his family to watch the Brewers play.

I will eventually recover and get back to posting some great stories and profiles but I need a few days to recover!  I slept in the car last night at a truck stop in Lordsburg, NM.  It was dark when I got there and when I left so I didn’t get to see to much of the scenery, when the sun came up I was pleasantly surprised at how beautiful it was in the hard scrabble landscape of Arizona.  I stopped in Tucson, Arizona to get Starbucks and I made the mistake of asking if this is where Arizona State is, she said “NO!  U OF A!”, I apologized and the lady gave the low down on the differences of the schools.  Well tomorrow Arizona is playing Arizona State here in baseball so I might go to that game instead of a spring training game.  It was suggested by a friend of Jared’s who lives here and says he wishes he could attend if he wasn’t working!   That is all for today, I was late to post!  I am extremely tired and I will edit this tomorrow…  Beth no worries on doing it until tomorrow!

If you enjoy this story and you would like to help me complete the “Baseball in America Tour 2014”, which is roughly 265 days, please click on the following link to see how you can help .  Please, also ,share this on your Facebook page and Twitter, I appreciate all the help I can get!

Posted on 1 Comment

Day 38 “Catching Up”

My view most of the day; West Texas!
My view most of the day; West Texas!

As I type this I am sitting in the bleachers at a youth baseball game in El Paso, Texas.  I drove over from  Austin, Texas today, I am grateful to have found a game, I was worried that I won’t since I had to drive 8 hours across west Texas, that was a very cool experience, there isn’t a lot of towns for the roughly 500 mile trip. The speed limit is 80 so I of course went 85, and it wasn’t to boring. I usually blog about the day before, but I included yesterdays game and experience in yesterdays post, I have been driving a lot and I don’t have a lot of time to write.  I need to be in Phoenix, Arizona tomorrow to meet some people at a Milwaukee Brewers spring training game, so I still have a 6 hour drive tonight and tomorrow to get to the 1:05pm game.  I plan on being in the Phoenix area for the next week so I will get a nice break!  I will try to post my schedule of games tomorrow night or Wednesday morning after I work it out.

That is all for now!  I am going to relax and enjoy my first youth baseball game of the season!  So now I will be caught up!

If you enjoy this story and you would like to help me complete the “Baseball in America Tour 2014”, which is roughly 265 days, please click on the following link to see how you can help .  Please, also ,share this on your Facebook page and Twitter, I appreciate all the help I can get!

Posted on 2 Comments

Day 37 “SEC Baseball”

LSU - Football Stadium in Center Field!
LSU – Football Stadium in Center Field!

I went to a couple of SEC conference baseball games yesterday and today. I know everyone talks about the SEC and football but let me tell you, the fans get a little crazy for baseball also!  Last night I slept in my car across the street from the beautiful baseball stadium that LSU built a few years ago. If you find that weird, I was with a bunch of LSU fans that were doing the same thing!  I was going to get a hotel room but I wanted to experience the “fans”. There were about 50 large RV’s filled with people partying until the wee hours of the morning in the parking lot of Tiger Stadium (where the football team plays). Everyone told me that this was nothing, show up on game day for football and there are hundreds of RVs.  LSU beat Georgia 2-1 on Saturday night and there was over 8,000 people at the game (this is for college baseball). I had to buy a ‘standing room only’ ticket!   The fans were really into the game, it was very fun and exciting to be there, (I was distracted for some of the game because my Wisconsin Badgers were down 12 at halftime during the NCAA basketball tournament to Oregon, but they came back to win!  Go Badgers!) .  LSU fans take their sports very seriously, I never felt as much excitement before. I haven’t been to a ton of college sporting venues so I might be a little naïve….  I had to wake up early to drive to College Station, Texas (about a 6 hour drive) to watch Texas A&M take on the Florida Gators.

Texas A&M - Football Stadium in Center Field!
Texas A&M – Football Stadium in Center Field!

When I got to the campus of Texas A&M, I was floored by the size of this campus!  It was huge, I drove down the main gate, had to be a mile long drive or longer. I saw Kyle Field (football stadium and home to the original 12th man, sorry Seattle) towards the back side of campus. I figured the baseball field would be near that. When I got to the guesstimate location, I was floored again by the sports complex!  It had the football stadium, softball field, basketball field house, track and field, etc… the sheer size of their campus sports complex is hard to explain!   The baseball stadium was almost new and gorgeous! I was told that Johnny “Football” Manziel was at the sold out game yesterday. Today’s game was cold, windy and I’d say that the stadium was half full save the student section, which was rocking and they were funny! Anytime the catcher for Florida went to the mound to talk to his pitcher and tapped him on the butt, the student section cheered. One time the catcher put his hand on the pitcher’s butt for an extended time, the crowd was cheering loudly and someone yelled, “you need a cigarette”.  I have to say that I enjoyed both SEC games. The fans were into the games and they had no problem being very vocal! LSU beat Florida in thrilling fashion in the bottom of the 11th inning.

I highly recommend baseball fans to go to both of these venues. The stadiums are awesome and the people – funny and friendly!  Football reigns supreme in the SEC and has a huge presence even at the baseball games! That is all for now! I have to get to Phoenix via El Paso in the next couple of days, 1100 miles….  Check my Twitter @_baseballbuddha to see some of the other pictures I have posted. I will also post a bunch of pictures to my Instagram of random stadium pictures so please follow me there!

If you enjoy this story and you would like to help me complete the “Baseball in America Tour 2014”, which is roughly 265 days, please click on the following link to see how you can help .  Please, also ,share this on your Facebook page and Twitter, I appreciate all the help I can get!

Posted on 1 Comment

Day 36 “Travel Day”

Chuck & Brian Jerolman's Family!  Mom is in orange on the left.
Chuck & Brian Jerolman’s Family! Mom is in orange on the left.

Well the first day away from South Florida went well!  I drove to Jacksonville which took about 5 and half hours.  I went to Jacksonville University to watch the Dolphins take on the Mercer Bears, the game was at 6:30pm, I made it in plenty of time.  I sat next to a family that was there watching a relative coach for Jacksonville, Chuck Jerolman, a former draftee of the Boston Red Sox. Click here to see Chuck’s stats  Chuck’s brother Brian is currently playing Triple A baseball for the Washington Nationals,  Chuck and Brian’s mother was there with other family members, I would love to have profiled them since they were very outgoing and personable, I told them what I was doing and we had a great conversation about baseball, I enjoyed watching the game with them.

Mercer vs Jacksonville!  Mercer won 4-2!
Mercer vs Jacksonville! Mercer won 4-2!

Bob & Me!
Bob & Me!

I was tired and had planned to do my blog today about baseball bats.  However, I drove 5 hours after the game to get to Pensacola, Florida, game ended at 9:30 so was extremely tired.  Met a friend for coffee (Bob Hanson, hadn’t seen him since High School) and then drove another 4 hours.  I am learning that I can’t do all the things I want too…  I am working my way over to Arizona, so I am thinking that some of these posts are just going to be pictures with a few notes.  I am going to see LSU play Georgia today in Baton Rouge and I will take a bunch of pictures and post tomorrow, it looks like LSU is pretty crazy about baseball just like they are for football.  I will be getting up early tomorrow and driving to College Station, Texas (about a 6 hour drive, so I won’t have time to write to much).  Anyway, this is all I am going to post, need to get to the LSU game!

If you enjoy this story and you would like to help me complete the “Baseball in America Tour 2014”, which is roughly 265 days, please click on the following link to see how you can help .  Please also share this on your Facebook page and Twitter, I appreciate all the help I can get!