Friday, February 15, 2019

"It's All Over Now!", 1952

We've seen this photo before—it was one of the first pictures I ever posted, a decade ago when this site was new—but never quite like this.

It's all over now! Eddie Kretlow, ground keeper at Borchert field took a final look at the deserte field late Sunday afternoon after the champion Brewers had lost to second place Kansas City in the seventh and final game of the American association play-offs, 8-7. The victory qualified the Blues for the little world series against the winner of the International league play-off still in progress.
—Journal Staff
I had certainly seen this picture before, but always devoid of any context. Now we know that it was taken after the final game at Borchert field, with the Brewers scheduled to move into the almost-ready County Stadium the following spring.

Back in 2009, I wrote of this photo:
This photo is one of the more commonly-reproduced Borchert Field pictures. There's something very melancholy about it, with the usher (in his peaked cap and team coveralls!) looking away from us, past all those empty stands towards the field. I guess that's fitting, for a departed ballpark.

You can see the unique angled dugout, and that most of the "good seats" were metal folding chairs. Yikes.

I don't have any context for the photo. The "Brewers" script seems to indicate the 1940s, as they were using a Braves-inspired wordmark by the 1950s. I hope someday we learn when it was taken, and the name of the lonely figure all alone in the Orchard.
I was right about the feeling of melancholy, although I mistook the groundskeeper for an usher. It's interesting to me that they were still using the 1940s logo several years after it had been replaced on the uniforms. Then again, Edward Kretlow had been the Orchard's groundskeeper since at least the 1930s (we previously saw him oiling turnstyles before the 1947 opener), so it's possible he'd been wearing it all that time. And understanding the long connection he had with the ballpark, a sense of melancholy at its final game seems more than reasonable.

So much to love about this picture. And so glad we finally know more about it.

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