Home. There’s nothing like it. Miller Park/American Family Field has been home for the Milwaukee Brewers and a home away from home for Brewers fans. But for the past year, we haven’t been able to be at this home. We’ve been stuck in our regular homes, not being able to see the rest of our Brewers family.
We’ve gotten a little homesick. Sick of being stuck at home and sick because we’re missing our other home so much.
But starting today, on Opening Day, we’re able to go home again. We’re able to see our Brewers family. We’re able to see the life of the party, Christian Yelich, and the rest of our Crew in person for the first time since September 2019, a time that seems like ages ago. We’re able to see our fellow fans and our ushers and team employees that we’re used to seeing.
As much as we’ve missed seeing and interacting with our Brewers players, the players might have missed us even more. The players have spoken countless times throughout the offseason and throughout spring training about how they miss the fans, the energy that we brought, and how we pick them up and support them no matter what.
Brewers fans being back in the stands for Opening Day just means more this year, and we can’t take it for granted again.
Going to the ballpark is something none of us will ever take for granted anymore. Before, if we didn’t go to the game one night, we could always go the next night or next weekend or something. The option was always there for us. Now we know what it feels like to have that option taken away. And it sucks.
Being back means so many things. It means we’re closer to a return to normalcy. There will still be reminders of what we’ve been going through, with the masks and the limited capacity and all the other precautions. But at the heart of it all, we will be there in the stands watching our Brewers play ball. That’s the most important thing.
For three hours, it will feel like normal again. We don’t want a “new normal”, we want the old normal, where we can pack the stands, feel close with each other, hug and high five strangers after a Brewers home run and watch Bernie Brewer go down his slide. Where we can see our favorite beer vendor walking up and down the aisles and the peanut vendor throwing bags of peanuts 20 rows deep.
Returning to normal life is going to be important for everyone, and getting back to baseball games is a key step in that process. Baseball is woven into the fabric of this country. It’s our national pastime. It’s as American as hot dogs, apple pie, and fireworks on the Fourth of July. The game has healing powers for this country.
No matter what hardship this country has gone through, baseball has been there to help heal the country and make us stronger.
Baseball is just good for the soul. Baseball is a part of our souls as fans. Even though it was on TV and there were technically games being played last year, we couldn’t partake. A part of our soul was missing. For a whole year.
Now, 18 months after we were last able to watch a Brewers game in Milwaukee, we’re getting a piece of our soul back.
That’s why we’re all going to be so emotional walking back into a stadium for the first time in so long. I know I will be. There will be plenty of tears shed and plenty of smiles. We’re really here. We’re back. Enjoy it everyone, and let’s make 12,000 fans feel like 120,000.
Enjoy the smell of the fresh cut grass. Enjoy the smell of the concession stands. Enjoy being back at the ballpark, at our home away from home.