I’ve been blessed with a 9-month-old that has loved sports since she was born. Maybe it was the World Cup playing in the hospital room while she exited the womb, or maybe the 6-4 Brewers win over the Reds later that first night. Maybe it was something a few weeks down the road.
Either way, if there are sports on TV, she’ll cuddle up in your lap and watch. Baseball, hockey, soccer, football, basketball — even curling — she’s into it. Baseball is her first love, though.
With the Brewers coming oh-so-close to the World Series last year, it’s been a long winter for us all in the Krebs household. But this year has started about as exciting as last season ended — with Milwaukee winning tight ball games and getting contributions from everyone on the roster.
Lorenzo Cain closed an Opening Day win with an exclamation point, robbing a home run, and reigning MVP Christian Yelich hit homers in the first four games of the season. Before game three of the season against St. Louis, a cold Saturday, March 30 morning, my wife told me that she dreamt we went to the game, and after waking up, started perusing for tickets.
We almost pulled the trigger, but with Monroe’s baseball doubleheader against Watertown not cancelled, we decided against going — for just a day.
I found four tickets in the 300 Club level for the Sunday series finale at just six dollars more than normal priced tickets in the nose bleeds. I figured that taking a 9-month-old to her first game would either be awesome or a day of tears and screaming (like my eldest’s first one 12 years prior). In the 300 level, the hallway is enclosed and climate controlled, so it wouldn’t be cold like the rest of the walkways around the stadium and any bottle feedings or noise-controlled issues could be eased up on the couches by the back windows.
The game was worth it. Baby Vivian was all smiles walking through the front gate. Once she saw the diamond, she exploded in happy kicks and babble from her stroller. Only twice did she give a fuss — when she finally reached nap time in the fifth (and promptly fell asleep in my arms for two innings), and in the bottom of the ninth — you know, when the crowd exploded as Yelich hit a walk-off double. I think the sudden excitement of the crowd frightened her, but she calmed down in a matter of moments and was back to all-smiles as we walked out the door and back to the car.
Years from now I will be able to tell Vivian all the little trivial highlights from her first baseball game — Corbin Burnes striking out the side in the first three innings of his first major league start; Yelich’s fourth straight game with a homer and late walk-off; the five Jesus Aguilar bobbleheads we brought home; Marcus Mumford throwing out the first pitch; parking directly behind another Monroe family in the parking lot; and the No. 4 Hot Dog winning the sausage relay race (my baseball number was 4, and in my 100+ games I’ve attended at Miller Park, only one other time the Hot Dog won).
Such a game wouldn’t have been possible if we had gone the night before. Yes, we could have witnessed Josh Hader’s immaculate inning for the save and another Yelich longball, but I would have had to skip Monroe’s first baseball conference win in almost two years. As a former Cheesemaker that has been watching and/or playing in games at the MHS diamond for over 20 years, I loved what I saw and am excited for the season. So, I think we made the right call on attending the Sunday game.
There’s just six months remaining in this MLB season. It goes by so quick. I hope there’s at least another two or three highlights left.
— Adam Krebs is a reporter for the Times and remembers watching Russell “The Muscle” Branyan smack two homers off the scoreboard at Miller Park on Opening Day in 2005. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.