Sunday night, I attended a Madison Mallards game and had a lovely time, saw some pretty good collegiate-level players swinging wood bats. Summertime.
But you know me: I likes my history. And so it was a lovely surprise to discover that a fine baseball relic stands just three short blocks from my lodgings: Breese Stevens Field.
Now they play soccer there, but they used to play baseball. After the jump, more images ...
First, a little history:
One of the things I love about Madison is their bent toward history. Swear, you can't make it more than half a block before tripping over some historical plaque. Anyway, there's no evidence here at the park, but I've been told that Satchel Paige pitched here, probably while barnstorming. Also, it's likely that Warren Spahn, while pitching for the Evansville Bees in 1941, pitched here against the Madison Blues.
There's still some lovely terracotta on the exterior walls:
Alas, I didn't jump the fence and wander around inside. This was taken from outside, far beyond where the center-field fence would have stood. But you can get a good sense of the bleachers surrounding the infield, and in the background you'll see the imposing Wisconsin State Capitol, just a mile or so away.
After walking all the way around, Carson and I played some catch. Carson used to actually play baseball; fortunately, he took it easy on me. Also fortunately, I had my vintage Warren Spahn glove with me; here's said glove and one of the old ticket windows:
There are a lot of things to see in Madison. But "the Breese" is right up there. For a nerd like me, anyhow.