The Brewers’ 8-1 loss to the Cincinnati Reds was not significant that day. The fact that it was the last game at County Stadium…was.
That’s what led the crowd to County Stadium, and in the shadow of Miller Park, on September 28, 2000 for what otherwise would have been a meaningless game.
But anytime you say goodbye to a place that was a second home for so many for 48 years, it has meaning.
Meaning that led to tears. And cheers. For a team that wasn’t competing for a playoff spot, but was playing in front of a crowd creating a playoff-like fervor.
And for the two hours of ceremony with Earl Gillespie, Merle Harmon and WTMJ’s own Bob Uecker turning County Stadium into a Field-of-Dreams like atmosphere with Braves, Packers and Brewers legends filling the grass and infield dirt with Hall of Fame-caliber greatness.
It ended with the powerful words of Bob Uecker, as the lights went out for the last time at County Stadium, months before they would go on for the first time for a game at their new home of Miller Park.
“It is here where boys became men, men became champions and champions became legends. It is a very sad time for me, for I have been here as a fan, as a player, and for the last 30 years as a broadcaster. But tonight is the final curtain. It’s time to say goodbye. We will never forget you. For what was will always be,” he said.
“So long, old friend, and good night, everybody.”