Thanks to inclement weather, the Milwaukee baseball team played a record 34 road games in a row to open this season, making the start of 2018 one of the toughest in program history. On Saturday, the Panthers will once again be playing somewhere besides their own Henry Aaron Field, but this time they’re more than happy about it.
Milwaukee is entering the final stretch of its schedule, and this weekend brings one of the season’s highlights. The team hosts Wright State in a three-game home series, and Saturday evening’s contest will be played at Miller Park. The Horizon League game starts at 5 p.m.
A fun annual tradition, the Panthers have played at the Brewers’ ballpark every season since 2002 through a marketing agreement with the club. Milwaukee has gone 17-10 at the Major League stadium.
For just the third time in 17 years, the Brewers will not be playing before Milwaukee on the day of the game, so the start time is not subject to change. Parking lots and gates open at 2:30 p.m., and admission for the game and parking are both free. Concession stands will be open until late in the contest.
According to a news release, the first "Milwaukee Athletics Tailgate" will take place Saturday before the game at Miller Park inside the first base concourse. Beginning at 3 p.m., the tailgate celebrates student-athlete success with festivities surrounding the inaugural "Black & Gold Scholarship Fundraiser." Events include an opportunity to meet members of the coaching staffs of all sports, a silent auction and a scholarship raffle drawing for the chance to win a custom-painted Harley Davidson motorcycle.
Friday’s game against the Raiders has been canceled (makeup date TBD), the Panthers announced Wednesday, while Sunday’s first pitch is set for 5 p.m. The Panthers (20-24 overall, 11-10 conference) are currently in third place in the Horizon League standings, behind UIC and first-place Wright State (30-15, 18-6).
As a northern team, the early part of Milwaukee’s season is always a battle against the spring weather, but this year it was particularly difficult. The Panthers’ first six home games were either canceled or postponed and they couldn’t play at Henry Aaron Field until April 26. Next year, though, Milwaukee will have a new home.
The program is moving from Henry Aaron Field – one of the worst ballparks in college baseball, where it’s posted a 266-112 record over the past 24 seasons – to a new stadium in Franklin. Part of the Ballpark Commons project and developed in partnership with ROC Ventures, the 4,000-seat stadium is currently under construction and scheduled to be ready for the 2019 season.
Born in Milwaukee but a product of Shorewood High School (go ‘Hounds!) and Northwestern University (go ‘Cats!), Jimmy never knew the schoolboy bliss of cheering for a winning football, basketball or baseball team. So he ditched being a fan in order to cover sports professionally - occasionally objectively, always passionately. He's lived in Chicago, New York and Dallas, but now resides again in his beloved Brew City and is an ardent attacker of the notorious Milwaukee Inferiority Complex.
After interning at print publications like Birds and Blooms (official motto: "America's #1 backyard birding and gardening magazine!"), Sports Illustrated (unofficial motto: "Subscribe and save up to 90% off the cover price!") and The Dallas Morning News (a newspaper!), Jimmy worked for web outlets like CBSSports.com, where he was a Packers beat reporter, and FOX Sports Wisconsin, where he managed digital content. He's a proponent and frequent user of em dashes, parenthetical asides, descriptive appositives and, really, anything that makes his sentences longer and more needlessly complex.
Jimmy appreciates references to late '90s Brewers and Bucks players and is the curator of the unofficial John Jaha Hall of Fame. He also enjoys running, biking and soccer, but isn't too annoying about them. He writes about sports - both mainstream and unconventional - and non-sports, including history, music, food, art and even golf (just kidding!), and welcomes reader suggestions for off-the-beaten-path story ideas.