Sweet Prelude to 2019

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Dateline: Milwaukee, Wisconsin– yes, another great American city.

Along the west coast of one of the Great Lakes, great Lake Michigan, up the shore eighty some miles from Chicago.

About 88 degrees West, 43 degrees North. Stuck in the middle. The middle north.

It snowed with blizzard like conditions, the afternoon of Game 7 this Saturday.

It gets cold up here.

It had its fifteen minutes of fame. Maybe even a little bit more.

In between automobile, insurance, beer ads and comments from Joe Buck.

Dugout 54

Something about the baseball team here almost getting to the World Series against a team from LA.

Even if some of its main players live in suburban LA.

It gets cold here.

Not much celebrating here?

Dugout 54, just north of Miller Park where the final game took place in Milwaukee was where I thought I would see what the mood was with the game.

Curbside next to all the sports bars along Bluemound, where usually people parked, it was coned off for cabs, limos and busses for the game. I would have to figure something out.

I listened on the radio, hearing legendary broadcaster Bob Uecker, who’s as old as my mom, doing the play by play as I pulled in. So I knew what was going on. Since it is Milwaukee, I find parking right away, just around the corner. For free. Definitely not LA.

Throughout the series, I had been frequenting Sports Bars, like Ol’ Wisco in Delavan, Getaways like Snug Harbor on Turtle Lake, even talked them into thinking outside the box and changing the channel to FS1 at Planet Fitness in exurban Milwaukee: Burlington. Later, when I wanted to watch Game 3, (finding out they got in trouble for changing it from HGTV and three other channels): that one I watched on my phone.

Dodger fan in the middle of Brewer country

People were interested. The radio even carried the series on their main station giving the Packers and Bucks second status. The almighty Packers!

The night of Game 7 this place was packed. Local TV reporting was set up and they were interviewing someone with a Dodgers shirt, matching cap while everyone else donned Brewers attire. I asked if he was from LA and he answered, “I wish.”

It gets cold up here.

I introduced myself as a writer for the Los Angeles Post-Examinerand it suddenly got real quiet. Now what? Will they attack? I expected people to start yelling at me about Manny Machado kicking Jesus Aguilar as he ran out a groundout at First Base in Game 4.

No mention at all.

And no mention of the Brewers winning 12 in a row meaning free hamburgers at George Webb, which Joe Buck seemed to be very interested in.

Miller Park as the Dodgers and Brewers compete for the National League Championship

Instead people said they were happy their team got as far as they did. Beating the Cubs, for the Division, leaving the Cardinals behind and what one local said was “Just a really good year of baseball. You couldn’t ask for anything more.”

Well, yes, you could — but I understood. I thanked them for their time.

They had the most wins in a year the Brewers had ever had — in all their years. Even the year they made it to the World Series in 1982. Who knows? Maybe, 2019 will be even be better for them?

Bittersweet nevertheless.

I finished off my sugar free Red Bull — and on my way back to the hinterlands, stopped at Gilles in ‘Tosa, for what Milwaukee is also known for, besides the Brewers and beer: a vanilla malt made of not vanilla ice cream, but custard.

One sweet way, anyway, to celebrate.

Photos by Jeff Worman
Top illustration by Jeff Worman shows Manny Machado tripping possible NL MVP Christian Yelich
Click the illustration below for a larger version

Dodgers shortstop Manny Machado tripped Jesus Aguilar in Game 4 of the NLCS. Christian Yelich said Machado is a dirty player. It won’t trip up the possible NL MVP