The Ashland Beacon
It’s official. I am ready for the 2018 baseball season to be over. After this last road trip, and especially the 4 game sweep by the Chicago Cubs, I wish I was done with baseball for the year. All the nights in a hotel room, the countless flights, car rentals, parking costs at hotels (the one in Chicago is $71.00 a night), the too many to count meals eaten in a restaurant, the not packing the right clothes so have to go buy something else, days away from home can take its toll. Granted, I don’t have to travel so much but if I want to see my husband regularly its the only way to get to spend any time together. Most games are in the evening so we have the day to get out and explore whatever city we are in and share a meal together. The end of August when you are playing for a draft pick can really best be described as the dog days of summer. However, I know just how fortunate we are to be able to see the country, watch baseball and make so many great memories because of this game.
We just returned home and are heading right back on the road this Thursday to face the St. Louis Cardinals who are on a major winning streak and then on to the Pirates in Pittsburgh. I talk a lot about the things we do in cities we travel to and I am thankful we have made so many friends along the way. One friendship that goes back 45 years is the relationship Marty has with Bob Uecker and one that I have now had for over ten years. You may recall the feature I did on Bob a few years ago here in the Brennaman Report. Not much has changed and he is still broadcasting almost all of the home games for the Brewers and makes only a few road trips each year. Bob is 85 but still looks great and is just as funny as ever. The tales they tell in the booth and the quick little comments he makes, its easy to see why he had his own sitcom and appeared on Johnny Carson countless times. He is a funny, funny man and its people like him that make leaving your home every other week so enjoyable.
Since our trip last October to the Maine coast Marty and I have become major lighthouse fans. We stayed in one in Maine back in July and will be booking that very same trip next All-Star break but in the meantime we are amazed by how many lighthouses there are in the country that dot our shores, guiding ships safely around our coast. It never even dawned on me that Wisconsin would have lighthouses. But guess what? They do and a couple of them are right in Milwaukee. This is the reason I always rent a car when we travel, there is only so much you can see walking around a city, sometimes you have to expand a bit to really get a feel for the area. We visited 5 lighthouses in an afternoon along the lakes before Marty had to head to the ballpark and before I spent the evening at the world famous Kohler Spa in Kohler, Wisconsin. If you have never been to Milwaukee to see a game or to take in this great area of the country, do yourself a favor and go. It’s beautiful, they have great food, the best popcorn in baseball, friendly people and there is never a rain delay at Miller Park because of the retractable roof. It really is one of my favorite cities we get to visit.
This past weekend in Chicago the Reds players and all of major league baseball enjoyed what is called Players Weekend, where major leaguers get to show a little of their personalities by being allowed to customize their bats, batting gloves, spikes, wristbands, catcher’s masks etc, and by having their choice of names on the back of their uniforms. The uniforms themselves looked great and was a colorful alternative to the traditional uniform. All of this is done with the hope of increasing interest in the game of baseball and getting the younger generation more engaged. The uniforms were inspired by uniforms that you might see in Little League and while some of the color schemes looked a little wild, I love the idea. There was some great names the players used all across the league, some of the best in my opinion are Shane Bieber of the Indians as “NOT JUSTIN”, Charlie Morton with the Astros as “GROUND CHUCK” and some good ones for the Reds were Michael Lorenzen as “ZEN MASTER” and just to show you how unique Joey Votto is he used “IN FLANDERS FIELDS”. All in all, I think this weekend is a great idea, I know the players love it and if it generates more interest in the game without really changing the game then I am all for it.
Thanks for letting me vent about our baseball life. I am sure after a few days at home I will be back and ready for the next road trip and before too long counting down the days until spring training.
Until next time,
Amanda Ingram Brennaman