Tuesday, May 3, 2016

"Buy me some Peanuts and Cracker Jack..."

Editor's Note: Paul Tenpenny has a rare treat for you today; a brief home movie shot at Borchert Field!

"Buy me some Peanuts and Cracker Jack..."
by Paul Tenpenny
Copyright 2016 Tencentzports
Printed with permission of the Author

Dates really don’t matter much when it comes to our memories as they last us a lifetime. While not always accurate, we cherish every detail remembered.

When it comes to baseball, we all have those memories of going to a ballgame for the first time. For me it was my father taking me to see the Milwaukee Braves at County Stadium. The green grass of the outfield, the manicured infield and the colorful uniforms blended perfectly within this dreamscape of my youth. Add to that the crack of the bat, the cheers of the crowd and you have found paradise for a young fan. Not to mention, the hot dogs, sodas, souvenirs etcetera, all of it etched deeply in my memory.

Whether it was 10 years or 75 years ago…we do lose some of the details. How lucky would it have been to have someone film the experience so we could really relive that day as it happened? A movie camera is now as close as our phones these days and someone can always take pictures or videos to chronicle the minutiae of our lives.

In the pre-war days of 1940. This would have been rare if not impossible. A snapshot or two, maybe, a film, never!

Until Now...

James and Francis Keppeler
11 year old Jim Keppeler and his bespectacled brother, Francis (what a great cap!) were treated to a visit to Borchert Field by their father, Joseph on Sunday May 12, 1940.

The Brewers were hosting the Indianapolis Indians in a double header on this spring day in Milwaukee. Everyone had on their Sunday best, even the kids wore ties as you can see from these pictures. A far cry from our casual days of today.

Joseph Keppeler
Dad looked relaxed, enjoying a smoke while the boys were having the time of their lives.

While the film runs less than a minute (36 seconds to be exact), it shows us a rare glimpse of this Northside neighborhood in the 1940’s, including the peanut vendors on the street.

Inside the ballpark, dad poses for the camera, taking off his fedora, smiling and showing off his deftly combed hair. Fans behind them can be clearly seen passing a program.

What a day it must have been.

The Brewers split the double header that day winning game one 6-5 and losing the second by the score of 6-2. Fans were treated to some spirited hitting by outfielders Hal Peck (3 for 7) and Ted Gullic. (5 for 7)

It was a rough season for the Brews, finishing in last place with a record of 58-90. A detail I am sure is best forgotten.

Special thanks to Jimmy (James) Keppeler for sharing his Grandfather’s (James) memories with us here at Borchertfield.com. Priceless memories.

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