Monday, April 4, 2016

Opening Day, 1950

Today, the Milwaukee Brewers will welcome the San Francisco Giants to Miller Park to kick off the 2016 season. Opening Day games are always fun affairs, with the promise of a new season laid out before us, and everyone involved can get into the pageantry. This was true going back to the Borchert Field days. This photo shows the festivities at the Orchard on Tuesday, April 18, 1950.

There's a whole lot to love here. We can see the Brewers and Minneapolis Millers on the baselines. Some of the Brewers are wearing their navy wool jackets, and the Millers' jackets aren't half-bad either. Notice the two different styles of "2" across the backs of the jerseys; I presume that's a batboy at the front of the line, possibly wearing last year's uniform. His counterpart across the plate is wearing a Brewer road uniform.

Note also the pitcher warming up near the top of the frame. The Orchard was so small that the baselines were about the only space available for a bullpen.

The Journal used a cropped version of this photo taken around the same time in their game coverage:

The Brewers' opening day had everything from sunshine to rain Tuesday afternoon—everything but victory. The (picture shows) Mayor Zeidler at the microphone welcoming the baseball team and promising it the city's support, with Chris Seraphim at the right awaiting his turn to speak as county commander of the American Legion

As you can tell from the headlines, the Brewers were unsuccessful that day, losing to Minneapolis 8-5 in a rain-shortened, six-inning contest.

But neither the ninety-minute rain delay, nor cutting the game short, nor the loss itself could dampen the spirits of the Milwaukee faithful. After all, the beauty of baseball is its long season, and there's always another game tomorrow.

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