Opening Day Wax

No fan base in baseball does Opening Day better than Milwaukee. It’s more than an event. It’s the people’s event. Every ballclub has an entertaining “run of show” once inside the ballpark leading up to the first pitch of the season. But, what makes Milwaukee special is what goes on in the parking lots. NOBODY tailgates like Milwaukee. It’s a spontaneous community connection. No cues necessary. It’s an atmosphere that makes memories not just for fans, but for players alike. Recently, I had a chance to ask a number of Brewers players about Opening Day in Milwaukee:

Trevor Hoffman: “There is something special about that day, obviously a lot of the hype that surrounds it, the excitement of putting on a fresh uniform, getting out in front of your hometown crowd, getting to play that game again that you waited a long time in the offseason to get too. Opening Day is great, but you also don’t want to get too high from it, and understand that you have 161 games left. (Milwaukee fans) are passionate! Our fans are our voice and our ears, it’s fun to be able to come to the park and know that the energy is going to be in the ballpark, they are behind you the whole way, it’s a great atmosphere to play in.”

Yovani Gallardo: “Opening Day…it’s a feeling I really can’t explain. Obviously, just to go out there for the first game to kick off the season, having a sold out crowd in Milwaukee, it’s great. It’s just very exciting. I’m sure every player is as nervous as if it were their Major League debut. (Being the Opening Day starter) means a lot to me. A couple of years ago, I missed a whole year with (knee) surgery. It was a setback for me, but you know, I was able to get past that last year and get a full season under me.  I think every starter would want to be the number one starter, and to start Opening Day…it’s a privilege. It’s just very exciting.”

Prince Fielder: “I’ve only played in Milwaukee, but I feel the fans are, like they’ve been waiting all winter for us to get there. They’re very excited, anytime you come home, come to your stadium, people are showing you that much love, and want you to do well, so it’s really motivating to see how much the fans even care about what your doing, because they really do care, it makes it really easy to come play everyday.”

Ryan Braun: “Last year, the thing I remember most about Opening Day was the traffic!  We had come back from San Francisco, landed at about 3 or 4 in the morning, had a day game the next day…I remember a lot of guys struggling to get to the ballpark (laughs). Aside from that, a lot of energy, a lot enthusiasm, everybody is tailgating and the whole scene has more of a football game atmosphere. It’s amazing. It’s cool. It’s definitely something that I look forward to every year.”

Casey McGehee: “I’m definitely leaving the house a lot earlier than I did last year! I’m sorry to you folks out there who I cut off on the interstate trying to get to the park. Some may say Milwaukee is a small market, but the fans we have, we got 3 million again last year, and they’re not just showing up and sitting in their seats. Our fans are into it! It’s a fun place to play. It’s packed. It gets loud…you can’t ask for a better atmosphere. I’ll never forget coming in as a visitor the year the Brewers went to the playoffs. That last series of the year…it was unbelievable. We were in the clubhouse when they finally clinched it. When the last out was made of the Mets/Marlins game, we felt like we were sitting right out in the middle of the stands, it was so loud! The place was rockin’! I’d like to be in the home clubhouse and hear that one of these days.”

Alcides Escobar: “I’m excited because it’s my first Opening Day in the big leagues. I have a lot of emotion about it…my family, too. I’m a happy man!”

One comment

  1. sev212

    There is NOTHING better than opening day @ Miller Park!!!! The sights, smells & all of the camaraderie amongst total strangers that are there for just one thing, BREWERS BASEBALL!!!!!
    If you have never been to an opening day, you OWE it yourself to get to @ least one in your lifetime!!!!! You will never forget it!!!!!!!

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