While the mile-long stretch of road from the National Avenue to Lincoln Avenue – the former South 43rd Street in West Milwaukee – is still called Miller Park Way, the portion of the stadium freeway from I-94 south to National Avenue has been renamed Brewers Boulevard by the City of Milwaukee.
The change comes after the stadium naming rights were sold to American Family Insurance and the venue renamed American Family Field.
The changing out of the stadium signage began last week and is ongoing. The freeway signs were replaced Tuesday night.
The Village of West Milwaukee board voted overwhelmingly last summer to keep the Miller Park Way name permanently in its jurisdiction. (Presumably to prevent the disruption a name change would cause businesses along the street, because, well, why else?)
Now, a driver unfamiliar with the lay of the land is faced with trying to sort out that tangled mess of names (which includes "Highway 175" north of I-94 and "South 43rd Street" south of Lincoln).
However, what's disappointing is that both decisions represent, at least to this lifelong baseball fan, a missed opportunity.
Surely, the Brewers Boulevard name somewhat ensures that bit of tarmac won't face a similar issue down the, ahem, road. But what about a name – for both that section and the West Milwaukee portion – that would do the same while honoring a record-setting, heroic figure in Major League Baseball history and local history: Hank Aaron Boulevard.
Or Hank Aaron Way, or Hank Aaron Avenue, or Henry Aaron Boulevard. Honoring Aaron is the important part, the details can follow.
As I wrote upon his recent death, Aaron was a towering figure in both a Milwaukee Brewers uniform, in which he retired, and in a Milwaukee Braves uniform, in which he gave Brew City an unforgettable World Series victory.
Additionally, Aaron was a Civil Rights era icon and is universally respected in the game. How many folks can that be said about?
While, the Brewers could, theoretically, someday play elsewhere and a new team could call the stadium home (the unthinkable has happened before, though hopefully never again), rendering the street name again invalid, there would never, ever be a need to change the name of Hank Aaron Boulevard.
Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., where he lived until he was 17, Bobby received his BA-Mass Communications from UWM in 1989 and has lived in Walker's Point, Bay View, Enderis Park, South Milwaukee and on the East Side.
He has published three non-fiction books in Italy – including one about an event in Milwaukee history, which was published in the U.S. in autumn 2010. Four more books, all about Milwaukee, have been published by The History Press.
With his most recent band, The Yell Leaders, Bobby released four LPs and had a songs featured in episodes of TV's "Party of Five" and "Dawson's Creek," and films in Japan, South America and the U.S. The Yell Leaders were named the best unsigned band in their region by VH-1 as part of its Rock Across America 1998 Tour. Most recently, the band contributed tracks to a UK vinyl/CD tribute to the Redskins and collaborated on a track with Italian novelist Enrico Remmert.
He's produced three installments of the "OMCD" series of local music compilations for OnMilwaukee.com and in 2007 produced a CD of Italian music and poetry.
In 2005, he was awarded the City of Asti's (Italy) Journalism Prize for his work focusing on that area.
He can be heard weekly on 88Nine Radio Milwaukee talking about his "Urban Spelunking" series of stories.