Sunday was my first anniversary, and Monday was my 25th birthday (presents can be sent to the news office). My wife and I celebrated in Milwaukee, and a part of our three-day trip was to go see the Brewers play the Cardinals at Miller Park, our first time at the field.
Our goal is to visit as many MLB parks has possible, but so far, we?ve only made a trip to Chicago (Wrigley), St. Louis (Busch) and Kansas City (Kauffman), so the judgment of Miller Park comes in comparison to those three ballparks.
SEATING ? We sat in the outfield bleachers just ten rows up from the right field fence. The seats are bleacher seats. Because the Brewers are a last place team, there weren?t enough people around us to judge whether or not it was too crowded, but judging by how close the numbered seats were together, I bet Brewers fans have to cuddle up pretty close during the playoffs when the stadium is packed. (Note: Cubs fans usually have to cuddle up during playoff season too, but that?s just because we?re really, really sad.)
The coolest part about our seats were that we had an overhang ahead of us and it was filled with televisions showing the game, so if you wanted a closer look at a play, you could instantly watch the replay instead of texting your friend to ask what exactly happened.
FOOD ? Miller Park had chicken sandwiches. I don?t remember chicken sandwiches being on the menu at any of the other fields I?ve been to (Busch has a Hardees, I guess, but nobody I?m with ever agrees to make the walk all the way to the top of the stadium with me to eat there). Anyway, chicken sandwiches are a top five food to me, so I was appreciative. The sandwich itself was probably a 4/10 taste wise, but it?s the thought that counts.
HOSPITALITY ? My wife is a Cardinals fan and I?m a Cubs fan. I went in my anniversary present, an Anthony Rizzo jersey. (If you are a Cubs fan, it is custom to go to any game in Cubs gear, even if they aren?t playing. Verbal harassment doesn?t matter to us. We?re used to it from our everyday lives.)
I only got heckled for wearing a Cubs jersey once. It was by a Miller Park staffer as he was handing me a Bob Uecker bobble head (Brewers announcer and star of the ?Major League? movies. Now you don?t have to look it up.) It was super lighthearted, and in the end was overshadowed by the four or five Cubs fans that saw me and showed me love. (?Rizzoooo! Good job buddy!? ?Random guy in his car)
My wife wasn?t heckled at all for being a fan of the opposing team, but to be fair, Brewers fans are probably mentally checked out at this point because their team is, to quote one of their parking lot workers, ?a Triple-A team for goodness sake.?
BATHROOMS ? There were bathrooms right up the stairs from where we were sitting, but they were pretty crowded, and as all guys know, crowded bathrooms are the worst. It?s better to just make the short walk to the bigger and better bathrooms by the exits. You don?t have to rub elbows there.
PLAYERS ? This was the second year in a row that we were able to celebrate our marriage and my birthday with Brewers right-fielder Ryan Bruan. We sat really close to where he was last year at Wrigley when they were playing the Cubs. I really hated him when he was playing against Chicago, but he must have grown on me this year, because I was cheering for him to do well.
Brewers fans love Ryan Braun. They were cheering for him, and he was waving back to them all game. It was a major switch up from the previous year when he was greeted by boos or chants of ?steroids? or ?cheater? by the Wrigley faithful (only including me after we started losing).
There was a group of high school aged girls in the front row that particularly loved him. They made a nice big sign that said, ?Throw us a ball, Ryan Braun!? He saw the sign, but didn?t throw a ball up until the fifth or sixth inning.
Instead of just jogging over and under-handing it to the girls, he decided to sling it from a few feet out with his possibly HGH-aided muscles. He also didn?t make sure they were looking first, which almost ended in complete disaster, because the girls were texting or snapchatting or something and, if he had any accuracy on the throw, it would have taken one or two of them out. Instead, because he overthrew it, it bounced off of a few seats and back onto the outfield where a ball girl picked it up and kept it.
BONUS POINTS ? The thing we looked forward to most was watching the mascot, Bernie Brewer, slide down the Miller Park slide after homeruns. Milwaukee hit three dingers (to anybody my age and up, you?re supposed to start calling them ?dingers? again because of a YouTube channel), but we forgot to watch the slide every single time. I?m sure it was pretty cool, though.
OVERALL EXPERIENCE ? Miller Park was pretty great overall. I?d give it about an 8.5/10, because I have to take away a full point for Ryan Braun?s horrendous throw, and half a point away because of the tiny bathrooms. Oh, and the Brewers won 5-4, so there is that.
So, where should I go next? What is your favorite park to visit? Email me with your thoughts and/or suggestions at firstname.lastname@example.org.