Thirty years ago I created the costumes for and ran in what would become a national craze. A relatively minor one but still . . . The Milwaukee Brewer’s Racing Sausages. They were the first racing mascots in Major League Baseball. Now over half the teams have them.
Then twenty years after that first race, my friend Karen, the Chocolate Sommelier, convinced the Brewers to have me throw out the first pitch, much to my chagrin—but I did as I was told.
Tonight (Or possibly yesterday, depending on when I publish this—a few days ago now, it turns out) I throw/threw out the first pitch at the Brewer’s game in honor of that first race. Thirty years ago. OMG. I am old.
The first sausages were these cartoons. I did not draw them. They existed—not unlike the sun or Wednesday—when I got my hands on them.
There’s me, the bratwurst in the middle. I won, of course. I insisted on winning, I made the damn things after all. Even if they were just tubes of foam rubber.
So the Brewers called me last week and asked me to throw out the first pitch on the 30 year anniversary. I was hesitant because I am not the world’s greatest pitcher. In fact, on a scale of one to twenty, I’d rank in the 4 to 6 range. But I accepted. And when they asked if I wouldn’t mind a few interviews. I mean, what the hell, why not?
Below is a radio interview with. WKLH.
And then, later that day I had a television interview which you can see here:
But these were nothing compared to what happened when I got there. OMG. For the twentieth anniversary when I threw out the first pitch, I just threw out the ball and walked off the field relieved that I’d gotten the ball over the plate. And that was that. This time it was like Cleopatra’s triumphant entrance into, I dunno, Thebes?
When the guy came to get me out in the Miller Park concourse (yes, I know it’s some other name now but it will always be Miller Park to me, unless American Family wants to sponsor my blog in which case It would be thestuffamericanfamilyeats.com) he first gave me a Brewer’s jersey with my name on it and the number 30. (I was thrilled!!!) Then when he began to explain what was gonna transpire, I could tell it was a little more elaborate but OK, throwing out the ball a little hoopla, another interview. I dunno, fine. But we walked out onto the field it turned out I was the star of the show.
There was an elaborate introductory video about me and the sausages up on the gigantical television screen and then it was time for me to I walk out . . . me up there in full view of everyone, poised on the verge of a panic attack, and in full terror mode, prepared to make a fool of myself in front of approximately 40 billion people. The sausages behind silently judging me.
My fears were unfounded. I got the ball to the pitcher, OK, yes, there was a bounce but it got there that’s all I cared about. My sister made this great video. You can see the jersey and the toss which looks a lot better than it felt in the moment:
And then, in the second inning I was interviewed standing on the dugout, again up on that huge screen. I hope my parents were watching. They probably were because that thing is big enough to see from heaven, fer chrissake.
That’s me up on the Jumbotron gassbagging on about what-the-fuck-ever, being clever and charmingly amusing, not that anyone could hear a thing there. Then I walked off fist pumping, high-fiving and handshaking my way up the stands. It was exhilarating beyond words.
A week of mind-numbing anxiety in exchange for 15 minutes of thrilling fame. Seems a decent trade off. And now I return to my humdrum life. I’m going to have to wait for another 10 years for a repeat, I guess. I can wait.
On the def plus side I’ve got something to wear for weddings and funerals.