I get giddy about Opening Day. I feel the awe of walking into the stadium and seeing the ball field for the first time each year. I have even begun to travel around a bit to see other team's parks.
This past Friday I did something I had been wanting to do but never had gotten around to it. I drove up to Appleton with some friends to watch the Brewers' single A team, the Wisconsin Timberrattlers, play a game. Its only like a 75 mile drive but something me and friends had only talked about before.
I have heard the tales about single A ball. How the games are quaint, the players giving it their all in the hope of climbing the ladder to the Big Show. But most of all, I was looking forward to that small town charm that I had heard about.
That small town charm being the weird games and antics they do between innings. Or even in this case, during the inning. Things from $1 beer night- something they would never do at Miller Park- to selling cheese curds in the stands. Seriously. There was a guy walking up and down the aisle selling cheese curds.
We got to stadium a bit late. But not too late to tailgate. We busted out the grill and got our brats out and cooking. As we waited with beer in hand we wondered what the big line to get in was about. We never did find out. When we decided to go in, the crowd had dissipated.
We grabbed a beer, a Timberrattler Red, and went to our seats. It was the top of the second and the visiting Clinton Lumberkings had just tied the score at 1. And some people were in our seats. Not a big deal. Normally I would take some other seats but the other open spots were the first row. I knew that wouldn't fly. Plus the rest of our party was going to sit behind us. So we kicked them out. Except for one guy who kept rifling through his tickets thinking I was wrong. What a dickhead!
The Rattlers would go on to score 6 runs in the bottom of the inning. Those kids were hitting everything solid for singles. Everything dropped on in and the runs came around. Meanwhile their pitcher found a groove and was tossing a solid game.
But as I said, I was there for the silliness between innings. I got what I wanted at the bottom of the 2nd inning. Sumo fight!
There were some more of these games. There was a wet ball race and racing go karts. Funny part was a guy cheated during the go kart race. As they took off, he reached around and manipulated the governor, giving himself a huge lead. Quite smart actually.
But neither of those compared to the glory of the cheese race! Not quite Racing Sausages but a lot of bumping going on.
The Rattlers held on to win and then the fireworks started. I was back at the truck drinking beer while this went on. NOt sure how the decided the music for this event. They played 80s hits and then went into old TV show theme songs. I guess that is what you get from the minor leagues.
Other shots of the field: