Spring training is in full swing and opening day is about a month away, as we continue our tour of all of the baseball stadiums I’ve been to over the years. The closest city, outside of Chicago, for baseball, contains the homes of the Milwaukee Brewers. Between the two stadiums that have been located in the heart of cheeseland, I’ve seen 8 games. So, without further ado, let’s take a deeper look at my history with County Stadium and Miller Park.
Stadium Name: County Stadium
Years in Service: 1953 – 2000
Milwaukee County Stadium was built with the intention of drawing a major league baseball team to Milwaukee, and it worked quicker than anybody would have expected, as the Braves announced they would be moving from Boston 3 weeks before the stadium, and the 1953 season, opened. The Braves would call Milwaukee home for the next 13 seasons before leaving for Atlanta for the 1966 season.
During the 1968 and 1969 seasons, the struggling Chicago White Sox wound up playing 20 home games at County Stadium in an effort to keep the baseball fandom alive in Milwaukee. In 1970, local businessman Bud Selig purchased the expansion Seattle Pilots out of bankruptcy court and moved them to Milwaukee and rechristened them the Brewers. The Brewers would call County Stadium home until 2000, when they would move next door in to the newly built Miller Park.
I made one trip up to County Stadium for a White Sox/Brewers tilt on July 18, 1993. The White Sox were victorious thank to a 2-run single by Bo Jackson in the 9th inning. I remember sitting out in the bleachers, but, beyond that, have no particular memory of the stadium or what amenities, if any, it offered.
Years in Service: 2003 – Present
The Brewers broke ground on a new stadium on November 9, 1996, in a parking lot behind County Stadium, with plans to open the park for the 2000 season. Construction was delayed in 1999 after a crane collapsed while lifting a 400-ton roof section, killing three workers. This caused the opening to be delayed for a year, and the new Miller Park did not open until April 6, 2001. In 2007, the stadium hosted an Indians series against the Angels after snow storms in Cleveland forced the cancellation of the previous series against the Mariners. The Astros called Miller Park home for two games in 2008 when Hurricane Ike stormed through Houston.
I made the first of my seven visits to Miller Park during the inaugural season of 2001. That May 7th contest had the Cubs squeaking out a 7-6 victory against the hosting Brewers. My most recent trip up north was this past summer, to once again see the Cubs battle (or destroy) the Brewers. Miller Park was a vastly superior replacement over County Stadium, and I’ve enjoyed each of my subsequent trips up to Milwaukee to see the local ballclubs.