Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Milwaukee Brewers - Miller Park

The morning after seeing the White Sox in Chicago, Thom, Dave and I drove 90 minutes north up I-94 to Milwaukee to see the Brewers host Thom's hometown St. Louis Cardinals.

Miller Park, with its unique retractable roof, looks nothing like any other ballpark I've ever seen; my boss said it looked like an observatory. Out front is a statue of Henry Aaron, who played for many years with the Milwaukee Braves, then finished his career as a Brewer.

The scoreboard is well-designed, well laid out, and easy to read, especially with the roof partially open (or closed) so that the mound and home plate were both in the shade. Good for the hitters and pitchers, not so good for a photographer.

The iconic sausage race (Polish, Italian, Brat, Hot Dog, and Chorizo) was fun to look at, but the Presidents' Race at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C. is basically the same thing.

But the food . . . my goodness. In addition to all five sausages in the sausage race (I tried the brat and chorizo), Dave had the barbecue sliders (brisket and pulled pork) and I had to have the authentic Wisconsin fried cheese curds (and yes, they really do squeak when you eat them, and yes, they're served in a paper canoe.)

And when Prince Fielder hit the eventual game-winning homer in the bottom of the eighth, I even got to see Bernie Brewer go down his slide and wave the flag. Granted, it's not into a giant beer stein, like it was in old Milwaukee County Stadium, but it's fun nonetheless.

And in the end, in a tribute to my dad, I raised a glass of his favorite beer, Miller Genuine Draft to Miller Park. And the clouds even masked the roof's shadow, even for just a bit.

Unique stadium, great food, awesome environment, overall, we had a blast.

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