Milkmen Stadium back when it was known as Routine Field
Three Batter Minimum

Three Batter Minimum: Empty Stadiums

I recently changed jobs, well, not jobs but departments. I left my rural Illinois border department and took a job with a department in the metropolitan Milwaukee area. It’s presented a lot of changes, and to say I’m still getting the hang of those changes would be an understatement. One of the biggest differences has been the new terrain. I had gotten very used to taking patients down the same roads to the same hospitals over and over again with my old department. With new terrain comes new roads, destinations, and sights.

Milkmen Stadium and Miller Park are two of the sights I get to see quite frequently. Every day I am on shift I drive by one of the two stadiums. What used to be comforting sights now fill me with a sense of loss and dread. I realize baseball isn’t gone, I still watch what is taking place in Korea and Taiwan. I enjoy the heck out of those games, but, it is not baseball I can just up and go see. Milkmen Stadium and Miller Park represent the distance of the baseball I watch. I know exactly what should be taking place in both of those fields. Yet, the fields remain silent, or in the case of Milkmen Stadium have seen some of its parking space converted into a drive-in theater until baseball can resume.

As much as I love watching the action from both the Chinese Professional Baseball League and Korea Baseball Organization, not to mention the three minors leagues associated with them, I can only watch from the comfort of my home or the station. That means I have to keep driving past Miller Park and Milkmen Stadium instead of driving into their lots and entering the gates to watch a game like I should be doing this time of year. That is a depressing feeling, to know that baseball is taking place abroad but so, so far from taking place right next door to my house.

Baseball in America will be back and I will eventually be taking the shuttle to Miller Park or driving out to Milkmen Stadium. In the meantime, I keep driving by those stadiums and wishing I could just go and watch a game. Baseball is back, but it still isn’t close enough and that remains a damn shame.

Lead photo courtesy of Unknown – Unknown

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Bill Thompson
Father (human/feline/canine), husband, Paramedic, Socialist, writer Internet Baseball Writers Association of America and Off the Bench Baseball; freelance writer at various online and print publications. Member Internet Baseball Writers Association of America & Society for American Baseball Research.

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