Mother Nature Reigns on Milwaukee Milkmen Home Opener

Image may contain: outdoor

Image may contain: one or more people, table and indoor

Image may contain: 4 people, people smiling, people standing and indoor

After numerous meetings, public hearings, debates, discussions, and on-the-record votes, it was clear that at Monday’s home opener of the Milwaukee Milkmen in Franklin’s Routine Field, project organizers had one component they couldn’t control: the weather.

Still, there was a noticeable buzz and excitement inside the ballpark, despite cloudy skies, rain showers, gusty winds and cool temperatures.

Four hours and seven minutes after the first pitch the Milkmen lost to the Gary South Shore Rail Cats, 3-2 in 11 innings. That mattered little to enthusiastic fans. Franklin had witnessed what for so long seemed so impossible: minor league baseball in a brand new beautiful facility.  What a memorable day,  even with the pesky dark clouds.

Around 2:00 p.m. as workers scurried to put on the final touches the day looked promising.

Box Office

Our daughter Kyla and I had the opportunity to see the stadium before it opened to fans.

Kyla with Sign

Kyla on Field

Lo and behold, who’s that?

Mike Bunting

Mike Zimmerman, Owner and Executive Officer of ROC Ventures who is most responsible bringing the Ballpark Commons to Franklin was securing bunting  near the entrance of Routine Field.

He had time to take a break from his pre-game preparations.

Kyla and Mike

All systems go!

Field 1

Field 2

Fans began arriving as early as 4:00.

But then shortly after 5:00…


The skies opened, and how, for awhile.

There was hope, however.


Time for the opening ceremony.


Van McNeil of Channel 12 served as the on-field emcee.

Plenty of local pols were on hand.


Franklin Aldermen Mike Barber, Steve Taylor, Franklin Mayor Steve Olson, Alderman Mark Dandrea, Alderwoman Kristen Wilhelm, and Alderman John Nelson.

Mayor Olson spoke to the crowd.

Olson Speaks

So did Alderman Steve Taylor.

Taylor Speaks

Taylor and Olson

Mayor Olson presented a special proclamation to Mike Zimmerman declaring June 24, 2019, as Routine Field Milwaukee Milkmen Day in Franklin.

Mike and Olson

The scheduled 5:30 ribbon cutting at the entrance to Routine Field had to be postponed because of a torrential downpour. So it was moved to the field.

Ribbon Cutting


Ribbon Cutting 2

Next up, the ceremonial first pitch by the mayor and aldermen.

Several Milkmen wait for the tosses.

First Ball

The idea was to have the balls thrown all at once. We can forgive the mayor who got a bit excited and let his fly early.

First Pitch 1

First Pitch 2

Field Fun

Player introductions. The Milkmen line up along the third baseline.


The Franklin High School Choir sang the national anthem.


Now we needed the official ball to get the game going. It came via special delivery.

Copter 1

Copter 2


Catcher Christ Conley looks out from the Milkmen dugout, anxious for play to start.

Player Dugout

Starter on the mound for the Milkmen Jordan Kraus lets the first pitch loose and we’re underway!

Player Pitch

This event was significant, not just because it was the inaugural game and the home opener, but because for the first time in more than a month the Milkmen had a home crowd to play for.

Congratulations to everyone involved who played a role in making Monday’s opener possible. Best of luck this season. And thank you.

3 thoughts on “Mother Nature Reigns on Milwaukee Milkmen Home Opener

  1. The “opener” was symbolic in view of what the thoughtless of the location brought to the residents in this area who are burdened with the noise, lights, and traffic congestion forced into their home environment …. the sour milk of the “milkmen” and a gloomy washout topped off the day.


  2. Pingback: My Most Popular Blogs – The month of June 2019 | This Just In… From Franklin, WI

  3. Pingback: THE TOP FRANKLIN STORIES OF 2019: #1 | This Just In… From Franklin, WI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s