A few weeks ago, we spent a few days in Milwaukee attending every single game the Mets played against the Brewers at Miller Park this year [that would be three games]. A splendid time was had, despite the fact that it was quite a heat wave. We were hoping to see Tom Glavine pitch win number 300 on the first night, but alas, that had to wait until a few days later at Wrigley Field [no, we didn't drive down, but we thought about it], which I'll admit was quite a classy place to do it.
Miller Park is a gorgeous new-ish stadium, and the baseball was great, but what's really important there isn't the baseball. No, it's the sausage. As pictured above, we finally saw the world famous Miller Park sausage race. This event, which takes place before the seventh inning of every game, consists of a noble, valiant contest, pitting .... people in giant sausage costumes against each other, as they race around the infield warning track. The sausages represented are: the hot dog, the bratwurst, the Polish sausage, the Italian sausage, and, the most recent addition, the chorizo. And let me tell you, they take this seriously. During one of the races, they actually disqualified the hot dog for straying outside the track. Really.
At various concession stands, you can indeed purchase the represented sausages. I saw very few people ordering hot dogs-- everyone went for the good stuff instead. I sampled the brats and the polish sausage; the kielbasa was definitely my favorite (I've had a taste for the stuff since my youth, when my dad would cook it for the Superbowl; in Prague, where I spent one summer, it's the common street food). There are also veggie hot dogs at one stand on the field level, and kosher dogs, too. Since it's Wisconsin, they also serve things like fried cheese curds, fish fry, and Midwest airlines chocolate chip cookies. And of course, a lot of beer.
[A digression: I realized the other day that it's now been 10 years since the summer I spent in fair Praha. Time flies!]
And boy, do those sausages get stuffed:
You can watch one of many YouTube videos of the sausage race over here, and you can also read a history of the race and biographies of its esteemed athletes.
Another kooky Miller Park thing is Bernie's dugout, which is this spot in Left Field where the mascot, Bernie Brewer, hangs out and-- again, I am not making this up--- jumps down a big yellow twisty slide if the Brewers hit a home run. We used to see this, along with bits of the sausage race, on tv whenever the Mets visited Milwaukee, and say to ourselves, wow, Wisconsin is one wacky place. We gotta see that someday.
And now, we live here.
Also, can anyone tell us why there is a clock tower on the side of Miller Park?
SAVE THE CLOCK TOWER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
The most important event of the visit occurred on the last day, when we sat in the fancy seats-- some very good loge seats more of less behind home plate. The walkway behind our seats went right under the press boxes, which had their windows open, and we were literally about 20 feet from Gary Cohen and Ron Darling. So we stood on our chairs like idiots and yelled "Gary!!!!! Ron!!!!!!" From Ron, we got a half-hearted wave; from Gary, M. got a good point and a smile. Ron Darling was, of course, a great pitcher, but it's Gary Cohen who turned us into a shameless fanboy and fangirl. Cohen, an alum of Columbia, is probably one of the smartest, funniest, most intelligent sportscasters ever, and I say this with all due respect for Jerry Remy and many others.
Here they are:
In sum, we really enjoyed Miller Park, the Mets won 2 out of 3, and Milwaukee, what we've seen of it so far, is a fine (if small) city. As always, you can click on the "Curdistan Cam" to link to more images.
As y'all may have noticed, I've been a much less frequent poster as the school year approaches--- tons to do-- but do stay tuned, plenty more is on the way in cyberspace.