Growing up in greater Chicagoland, I had two baseball options. Despite pressure from my hardcore extended White Sox family, I became a Chicago Cubs fan. Perhaps my recessive genes kicked in.
Despite my local team affiliation, I attended games at both Wrigley Field and Comiskey Park. I remember when the Cubs played home games exclusively during the day, and when the White Sox played on the other side of 35th Street. As my baseball interests expanded beyond just my team, I became intrigued by ballparks. Each team had unique homes with rich histories. I established a goal to get out of my media market and visit every Major League Baseball park. Little did I know, the park closest to home is one I’d never visit.
During the early-1980s, my family spent substantial time visiting my paternal grandmother in Milwaukee. We enjoyed countless lunches at the nearby Ground Round. I threw peanut shells on the floor and accumulated more mini Brewers helmets than my Mom could stand. On our way home one day, my Dad took a different route. We looped around Milwaukee County Stadium, then the home of the Brewers, before one of the World Series games in 1982. My jaw dropped and my eyes widened. I had never seen so many cars in a parking lot. Even the Goodyear blimp hovered over the ballpark.
The Brewers continued playing their home games at County Stadium through the 2000 season before moving to Miller Park (renamed American Family Field in 2021). To the surprise of the 9-year-old in me, I never attended a game at County Stadium (I did see a Paul McCartney concert there in 1993).
Despite having a date with the wrecking ball, the Brewers guaranteed the memory of County Stadium would endure. Baseball fans can enjoy the home plate marker placed where Henry Aaron and Eddie Mathews powered the Milwaukee Braves to a World Series championship in 1957, and Robin Yount and Paul Molitor won the American League pennant in 1982. Just a few feet away, there’s a memorial honoring the Braves brief Cream City tenure. Speaking of Hammerin’ Hank, fans will find an added treat in the parking lot with a marker commemorating where the final home run of Aaron’s career landed.
Going to a game? Make sure to visit the Brewers Team Store in the Left Field Corner at American Family Field. There is a wall entirely constructed with bricks from County Stadium.
Heading to Milwaukee soon? The new SABR Baseball Map will provide the precise location of these markers, the Walk of Fame and the Wall of Honor outside of American Family Field.