Thursday, March 31, 2011

Play Ball!

As the Brewers open the season in Cincinnati, we take a look back at two Opening Days as seen by the fans at Borchert Field.
Play Ball!
Sentinel photo
Born 50 years too soon might have been the thought running through Mayor Bohn's mind as he showed excellent form in pitching the first ball yesterday as the Brewers opened their home campaign.
And with that, the Brewers opened their 1946 season. Pretty good form out of the Mayor. John Bohn served as mayor of Milwaukee from 1942 through 1948. He had been president of the Common Council when Mayor Carl Zeidler resigned in 1942 to enlist in the Navy. Zeidler was lost at sea in November of 1942 and officially declared dead two years later. Bohn served as Acting Mayor until 1944, when he was elected to a full term. He did not run for re-election in 1948, and was succeeded by Frank Zeidler, Carl's brother. Frank also liked to get into the Opening Day spirit. In 1950, he welcomed boxer Jack Dempsey to Borchert Field to act as his catcher for the first pitch. Dempsey wore a catcher's mask with his suit; Zeidler wore a Brewers cap.

A full house-plus of 13,856 of the faithful had the Borchert Field seams bulging Tuesday as the Brewers opened their 1950 baseball season—and lost to the Minneapolis Millers, 8 to 5, in a game halted in the 7th inning by rain.
Sentinel photo
Pitcher Frank Zeidler (the mayor, that is) and Catcher Jack Dempsey of boxing fame quietly (?) plan the first pitch strategy. The mayor threw a fast breaking curve that was somewhat wide of the plate. And...
This Is What Zeidler Did to Dempsey

Associated Press photo
Pitcher Zeidler and his (shall we say) rather wide throw did something to Catcher Dempsey many good fighters couldn't do—they had him on the "canvas" (above).
Ah, Opening Day. When anything is possible, when every team starts undefeated, and a Socialist mayor can knock down a boxing champ in front of 14,000 cheering fans.

No comments:

Post a Comment