BASEBALL IN MILWAUKEE

A HISTORY

Professional Baseball in
Milwaukee, Wisconsin


jenkins

HE IS JUST A LITTLE BOY

He stands at the plate,
with his heart pounding fast.
The bases are loaded,
the die has been cast.

Mom and Dad cannot help him,
he stands all alone.
A hit at this moment,
would send the team home.

The ball meets the plate,
he swings and he misses.
There's a groan from the crowd,
with some boos and some hisses.

A thoughtless voice cries,
strike out the bum.
Tears fill his eyes,
the games no longer fun.

So open your heart
and give him a break.
For it's moments like this,
a man you can make.

Please keep this in mind,
when you hear someone forget.
He is just a little boy,
and not a man yet.

Author Unknown


THE BALLPARK

It all starts here. Every Major League City has a "Ballpark" which is unique to the community it resides.

Boston has its "monster wall" in leftfield at Fenway Park. Chicago has its Ivy, and roof-top viewers at Wrigley Field. Milwaukee has its tail-gaters, which exude smoke from their outdoor grills in the parking lot before, during, and after a game.

I was not yet four years old when "County Stadium" was opened in 1953 at a cost of Five Million dollars. On that day, on the moment of that first pitch in April, Milwaukee grew up. Grew up in a way that cannot be measured. We became a Major League City.

You can go anywhere in the world, and I have, thanks to the USMC, and simply say when asked, "I am from Milwaukee." Nobody has ever asked me where that was. I grant you that Beer had something to do with the recognition, but the simple truth was that every newspaper had the boxscores, every radio and television sports broadcast would give the scores of Major League teams. Because of baseball we are not a Grand Rapids, South Bend, or Toledo. Major League Baseball gave this city an identity.

County Stadium is where I would go with my Grandfather, Fred Rothweiler, to see the Braves play. Johnnie Klotz next door had "season tickets." When he could not attend I would accompany my Grandfather to games. I never got to thank Mr. Klotz for this, so thank you. Those days are just memories now. Soon "County Stadium" will become a memory, with a new Park being built for the 2001 Season.


stadium

Above is a picture of the last game ever playd at Milwaukee County Stadium. The date was Sept. 28, 2000 against the Cincinatti Reds. In the background can be seen the new ballpark under construction, The ballpark is named Miller Park.

At this time "County Stadium is no more. But you can see it right HERE. Click to see the Ballpark and press the "back" key to return to this page. Hey, do you smell Brat's cooking?

MILLER PARK


bush

President George W. Bush throws out the first pitch at the opening of Miller Park.



opening day

millerpark

ONE MORE THANK YOU

To the Wisconsin State Senator, George Petak, from Racine, who's vote for the new Stadium will give my Grandchildren memories and maintain Milwaukee's identity as Major League. Sen. Petak was recalled because of his vote.


CREAM CITYS




creamcitys

National League 1878

AKA: Milwaukee Brewers(I), Milwaukee Creams

This is the first time the handle "Brewers" seemed to catch on. Though the true name of the team was the "Cream Citys." Named for the color of the bricks made in Milwaukee. A new franchise in the National League, it disbanded during the 1878 seaon. They were sold in bankruptcy court for $125.61.


MILWAUKEE UNIONS

Union Association 1884

AKA: Milwaukee Brewers(II)
Nickname: Grays, Cream Citys

This team was a charter member of the Union Association, but folded late in 1884.


MILWAUKEE BREWERS(III)

American Association 1891. Western League 1892

This team was a new franchise in the American Association, and an expansion team in the new Western League. It is rumored that this team was relocated here, from a team called "Kelly's Killer's" in Cincinnati, OH. They were named after the aggressive behaviour of Manager Mike Kelly.


MILWAUKEE BREWERS(IV)

Western Association 1894-1900.American League 1901

The Western Association turned into the American League in 1901. This team was a Charter Member of this new league. In 1902 the team left and became the St. Louis Browns. In 1953 the Browns left St. Louis to go to Baltimore, where they were renamed Orioles.


MILWAUKEE BREWERS(V)

American Association 1902-1952

The history of baseball in Milwaukee, the team that made us Major League, was the AAA Milwaukee Brewers. I was born in 1949, so my generation has the fond memories of the Braves in our heart, but for the generation before me, the Brewers and beloved Borchert Field was their passion.



Built in 1888, for a cost of $40,000, the ballpark covered one whole city block which gave it a peculiar rectangular shape. It was named "Athletic Park." Located between 7th & 8th Sts., and between Chambers St. and Burleigh St.. I-43 now runs through it. Otto Borchert bought the Brewers in 1919. Athletic Park was renamed Borchert Field in 1928, the year after Mr. Borchert died.

Another strange result of the rectangle shape was the fact that the left and right field foul lines were 266 ft., while straight away center was 395 ft., this meant the power alleys in left and right were further out then dead center field. Bill Veeck bought the team in 1941, he was a very colorful character to say the least. He instituted day games that would start at 10 A.M. to accomodate third-shifters. His promotions included giving away butter, step ladders, vegetables and livestock. During the war effort, ladies could enter free if they brought a pot or pan to donate. Then there was the legendary left-field fence which would be moved in several feet when the home team came up to bat, and moved back out when the opposing team came up. This gimmick was disallowed the very next game.


49brewers

The AAA Brewers won 7 "Little World Series" during their tenure at Borchert Field. In 1913, 1914, 1936, 1944, 1945, 1947, and 1951. Some baseball experts call the 1936 team the best Minor League team EVER.

Two players who played for the Braves and the AAA Brewers were Johnny Logan and Eddie Matthews. Other notable Brewers were Joe "Unser Choe" Hauser, and Aloysius Semanski (Al Simmons). Connie Mack who knew Milwaukee and Borchert Field because he managed the "Creams" here, signed both players to Major Leauge contracts when he managed the Philadelphia Athletics. In 1924 Joe Hauser was second only to Babe Ruth in home runs. Hauser's Major Leauge career was cut short by a knee injury but he went on to play Minor League ball, becoming the first Professional Baseball player to hit over 60 home runs in consecutive seasons. Al Simmons, known in Milwaukee as the "Duke of Mitchell Street" batted over .380 four times on his way to the hall of fame.

Casey Stengel managed here, as well as Charlie Grimm who went on to manage the Cubs and the Milwaukee Braves. Grimm took the Cubs to 4 world series, (which they lost), while Stengel coached the Yankees to seven.

In 1949 WTMJ started televising Brewer home games at Borchert Field. The last game was played there on Sept. 21, 1952. Every Milwaukean 60 or older has a story or memory of the Brewers and Borchert Field.


MILWAUKEE BEARS

Negro National League 1923

A new franchise in the NNL, it disbanded during the season.

MILWAUKEE BEARS CAP


ABOUT THE NNL

The first professional Black Baseball Team was the "Cuban Giants" in 1885.

Teams played independantly until 1920. In 1923 a Man named Rube Foster created the Negroe National League.

If you heard of the "Milwaukee Bears" before, you are good!

Soon after the NNL formed, Ed Bolden started the Eastern Colored League. The two Leagues operated successfully for several years, but had to disband because of financial woes.

In 1933 a new Negroe National League was formed, followed in 1937 by the Negroe American League. These leagues thrived until the Color Line was broken. The NNL folded in 1948.


MILWAUKEE CHICKS

All American Girls Professional Baseball League 1944

Thats right, Girls. They became the "Grand Rapids Chicks" in 1945.

ABOUT THE AAGPBL

The league was the brainchild of Chewing-Gum mogul, Phillip K. Wrigley, who would inherit the Chicago Cubs. In 1943 American Men were serving in the armed forces during World War II. Wrigley developed the idea of women playing Pro Baseball into the AAGPBL. Talent for the league was abundant, high caliber of play was soon the main drawing card for the fans.
Wrigley sold the league after the 1944 season to Arthur Meyerhoff. He expanded the league. In fact, several of the AAGPBL teams drew more fans in 1948 than their major league counterparts. The league florished until 1951.

In 1943 Wrigley tried his Grand Experiment: placing a AAGPBL team in a Major League Ballpark.

Two expansion teams were formed in big cities. They were the "Milwaukee Chicks" and the "Minneapolis Millerettes". The Minneapolis team folded the first month. The hometown "Millers", (Men's Minor League), were just to popular.

The Milwaukee franchise was also a bust. Though the team was successful on the field, they never won the hearts of the fans. Forced to play day games all the time,(The Minor League Brewers played at night), the fans could not attend games. They were working.

Max Carey, a Pittsburgh Pirates Hall of Famer, managed the "Chicks" during the 1944 Season. He went on to be President of the AAGPBL for six years, 1945-1951.


peaches

Amazing Stat: Sophie Kurys, known as the "Flint Flash", stole 1,114 bases. Second only to Rickey Henderson

Recent Newsletter wish-list from former AAGPBL player Pepper Paire Davis:

Give us the lust back,
In the loving and the living.
And the joy back,
In the sharing and the giving!

Put the glow back in our face,
that shows we enjoyed the race.
The laughter back in our hearts,
The youth and the strength,
Till death do us part!

1944 SEASON STANDINGS:

    First Half
  1. Kenosha Comets (36-23)
  2. South Bend Blue Sox (33-25)
  3. Milwaukee Chicks (31-27)
  4. Racine Bells (28-33)
  5. Rockford Peaches (24-32)
  6. Minneapolis Millerettes (23-36)
    Second Half
  1. Milwaukee Chicks (40-19)
  2. South Bend Blue Sox (31-27)
  3. Rockford Peaches (29-28)
  4. Racine Bells (26-31)
  5. Kenosha Comets (25-32)
  6. Minneapolis Millerettes (22-36)

Our first Baseball Champions!

1944 MVP

Betsy Jochum .296 BA (South Bend)


MILWAUKEE BRAVES

National League 1953-1965

This franchise relocated from Boston in 1953. Milwaukee fell in love with the Braves. The years 1953-1965 will forever be referred to as "THE GOOD OLD DAYS," to my generation. The team thenrelocated and became the Atlanta Braves in 1965.

Are you ready for some memories?

1957 WORLD CHAMPIONS


ticket

Also, this PAGE memorializes the 1957 Milwaukee Braves.






HANK AARON BASEBALL CARDS


MILWAUKEE BREWERS(VI)

American League1970-1997, National League 1998-present
Nickname: Brew Crew

This team relocated from Seattle. Formerly the Seattle Pilots. Participated in the 1982 World Series but lost to the St. Lous Cardinals in 7 games. The Brewers entered the National League for the 1998 season.

LOGO CHANGES




I found a photo album of the Brewers. Excellent action photos of the "Brew Crew". To review the album CLICK on PHOTOS.

80brewers


STORIES

I welcome any stories you might have for any era of Milwaukee Baseball. Please E-Mail me anything you have. I will update this page as more information is acquired. Credit will be given to you for any article or story added to this page.

GO BREWERS



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