September 18, 2010
At last! The Miller Park page has been thoroughly revised, with major corrections and enhancements. The profile is much more accurate than before, and the overall size of the structure is just a bit smaller. It is the first update to those diagrams since April 2006. My recent visit to the home of the Brewers provided me with vast quantity of useful information that helped to get the details just right. There were no tours offered that day, but I was able to get a look at the field inside by having lunch at the TGI Friday's in left field. It's an excellent vantage point, but I would be nervous about home run balls headed my way if I were dining during a game. The retractable-roof stadium is an architectural marvel, and the high arched roof is quite daunting. It's not an ideal setup for baseball, because the roof casts a huge shadow even on sunny days when it's open, but at least it assures fan comfort during the spring and autumn months. It also takes the element of uncertainty out of the equation, so out-of-town fans can make the trip to Milwaukee without worrying about a rain-out. Overall, my impression of Miller Park was very favorable.
Earlier this month, relief pitcher Trevor Hoffman recorded his 600th save, as the Brewers beat the Cardinals, 4-2. See MLB.com, which notes, "the big banner over the left-field bullpen, the one that was stuck on 596 for nearly three months, finally read '600.'" You can see that in the photo above, which was taken on August 2. It was just a matter of time, and in any case, Hoffman is still the all-time leader in saves, well ahead of the Yankees' Mariano Rivera, who has 555 of them. Before moving to Milwaukee in early 2009, Hoffman spent virtually his entire career, 16 seasons, with the San Diego Padres.
Coincidentally, one of the photos on the PETCO Park page shows Hoffman being congratulated by his fellow Padres for his 479th career save, when he became the all-time leader in that category.
Late in August, Commissioner Bud Selig was honored with a statue at Miller Park, near the statues of Robin Yount and Hank Aaron, both of whom are in the Hall of Fame. (Aaron was only a Brewer for a couple years, but he spent 13 years with the Milwaukee Braves before they moved to Atlanta in 1966.) MLB.com. Well, you have to give Selig credit for helping his team, but it's too bad their new stadium was "tainted" by the conflict of interest between his responsibilites as owner and as commissioner. After a slow start in the years following the opening of Miller Park, the Brewers have become regular pennant contenders, and have exceeded the three-million attendance mark for the past two seasons. For a medium-small city like Milwaukee, that's very impressive. I was interested to learn that Selig's impassioned campaign to bring baseball back to his city got in the way of his plans to become a history professor. (!)