Essay: Fresh Faces on the Field

Sep 23, 2013

The Brewers' Sean Halton congratulations Khris Davis on his solo home run against the Chicago Cubs at Miller Park on Sept. 18.
Credit Mike McGinnis/Getty Images

If you missed the Brewers game yesterday, you missed your last opportunity to catch them at Miller Park this season. 

They wrap up the 2013 campaign with seven consecutive road games.  The Brewers long ago gave up playoff aspirations this year.  But Lake Effect essayist Mark Siegrist says in a strange way, they’ve become more watchable lately.

Veteran baseball players often have a certain kind of swagger. I’m not talking about showing off, rather a quiet confidence. The body language is saying, “Yah, I got this.”

It’s the sign of a craftsman and the culture of the game. But in the closing days of this season, I’ve been noting a different kind of demeanor: joyful glee. More like, “Dude, it’s so cool to be here.”

And I have to say it’s kind of refreshing. It’s call up time in Major League Baseball. If the hometown team isn’t chasing a pennant, even younger boys of summer are taking the field. In Milwaukee’s case, unfamiliar names like Halton, Davis, and Thornburg are getting our attention.

The other night watching them win reminded me of another kind of play - my grandson Max’s T-ball league. His teammates are also savoring the moment, running the bases with huge grins on their faces and celebrating signs of promise - in their case, with an accidental catch or two.

Success comes at all levels of play. If only life itself could be so pure, no matter what our calling.

Make no mistake, baseball is a serious business. The fresh-faced Brewers are playing for jobs. 2014 is on the horizon. The glow of the show is providing incentive, and a developing swagger that says, “I got this.”

Lake Effect essayist Mark Siegrist is a freelance TV producer in Milwaukee.  His latest project is a documentary on the Pfister Hotel.