Sunday, May 5, 2013

Turning Back the Clock to... 1913!

Our American Association Brewers haven't always received their due, overshadowed by the Braves in popular memory. Their National League namesake club has hosted two previous Turn Back the Clock events in their honor, one in 1993 and the second in 1996, but not since then.

How could I possibly miss this game, especially since I had a small hand in putting it together?

I attended the game with my BorchertField.com collaborators Paul Tenpenny and Dennis Pajot. We got there nice and early, so I could meet Doug Russell and sit down with him for a pregame interview on Newsradio 620 WTMJ.

Doug is a true gentleman. I'm grateful for his putting me in touch with Tyler Barnes, the Brewers' Vice President of Communications. Tyler was in charge of the event, and what a spectacular one it turned out to be.

After the interview, we went right in the park to make sure we each got a Corey Hart bobblehead. All the better to decorate our mantles. My sons were particularly keen on bringing these home.

I was also curious to see how the actual uniforms stacked up with the bobblehead—production demands meant that they had to lock that design in long before the on-field product was created by Majestic and New Era.

We needn't have worried; the Brewers were well-stocked. Here's Paul posing with the little guy:

Before the players' introductions, the Brewers produced a video, giving a potted history of the 1913 Brews and broadcast on the center field scoreboard:

Outstanding stuff. Glad to see some of the reference material I sent them make it in.

From the first moment we saw players on the field, I knew that Tyler and his crew had hit a home run.

That's the first pitch! If you look closely at the scoreboard, you can see that the Miller Park graphics crew even replaced the Brewers' barley-M logo with a simple white block M, reminiscent of their Braves throwback games.

At the top of the second inning, it was time for Paul and me to make our way to center field for our top-of-the-third on-camera interview with FOX Sports Wisconsin.

I hope we did the subject justice.

While we were waiting for our interview, the Cardinals jumped out to a 6-0 lead. Ugh. The 1913 Brewers were the class of the American Association, while the 1913 Cardinals were a truly dreadful team that finished in the National League's cellar. Today, we knew, the roles were reversed.

But at least we had lots of 1913 goodness to look at. What struck me was that everyone was wearing their pants high, showing off plenty of navy socks. Even the bullpen coach was wearing his pants correctly:

I was also surprised to see that the team had removed the decals from their batting helmets, creating a lid that had 1913 style even if it offered 2013 levels of protection:

This picture pretty much tells the day's story: gorgeous uniforms, ugly play.

They even looked good at manager Ron Roenicke's somber post-game press conference:

And, of course, there was an opportunity to take some of the day home. I didn't see many of the jerseys in attendance at Miller Park, but the caps seemed to be moving.

I'll have more updates to this reap as friends and family send their photos in. Thanks to everyone for an amazing day!

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