I attended–note, did not graduate from–a small, parochial college situated in downtown Minneapolis. (Elliot Park, for those who are familiar with the area.) We were steps from the erstwhile Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome, then-home of the Minnesota Twins.
And when I got there, those Twins sucked.
I was in attendance at the “last Twins game of the century.” The certificate they handed out to the hundreds in attendance that night is probably long-decomposed.
I was there at the fateful college night when the Twins hosted the New York Yankees. The Yankees’ left fielder at the time was Chuck Knoblauch. Former Twin Chuck Knoblauch, who was so ruthlessly heckled and had so many $1 hot dog wrappers thrown at him that the Yankees left the field, forcing a game delay and the police to descend on the left field box seats and bleachers. (For the record, I was not one of those who trashed the field or heckled Knoblauch.)
I grew up playing t-ball and little league in central Wisconsin, but Jordan’s Bulls and the NHL took off in the late 80s and early 90s, while the Milwaukee Brewers were mired in the outset of two decades of mediocrity. True story: I quit playing baseball when my parents built a house in a neighboring municipality and their baseball program didn’t have the fancy uniforms we had where I previously lived.
Another true story: I was an idiot.
So, I went to college, the Twins were terrible and I went along my way as most male undergrads tend to do: angsty, confused, single, desperate. Then, in 2002, the Twins stopped being terrible.
I remembered 1987 and the Twins taking down the St. Louis Cardinals. I remembered 1991 and the “We’ll see you tomorrow night!” squad claiming a World Series pennant over the Atlanta Braves. I have the Homer Hanky my grandparents sent me. My grandmother was a huge Twins fan, who would listen to Twins broadcasts in rural Minnesota on WCCO radio.
And there I was, two blocks from the excitement that can only come with October baseball. I caught postseason fever and it never let go. The Twins didn’t get very far in the postseason–thanks mostly to the dynasty Yankees–but that was the beginning of the Joe Mauer–Justin Morneau–Johan Santana squads that single-handedly spared the Twins from contraction and spearheaded that gorgeous (and roofless) ballpark on the other side of downtown.
As a result of being steeped in that playoff fever, I became the single-biggest Milwaukee Brewers fan I knew.
Wait, what? I know, right?
I studied journalism and was an aspiring writer, and I read the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel online religiously. That rekindled passion for the game led me to read about those Brewers teams from the early aughts. Those awful, awful, GAWD-AWFUL Brewers teams. Richie Sexson, Geoff Jenkins, Jose Hernandez and a bunch of barely four-A castoffs.
Love does weird things to people.
Love is why we’ve launched Bronx to Bushville.
In a time when digital sports media is driving CONTENTCONTENTCONTENT and pandering to almost anyone to curry favor, we wanted to start a site devoted to love and baseball: the game, the game within the game and the game outside the game. We want to tell stories about baseball and tell them well. We want to find the stories that make us laugh, cry, think, wonder and believe–and if we’re lucky, we might hit all those points in one piece. We want to feature great storytellers–some you might have heard of, others you haven’t yet.
So, this is another chapter in our story. We want to share this chapter with you from the couch to the cheap seats, from pepper games to pennant chases.
We are Bronx. We are Bushville. We love baseball.
Thanks for reading.
Brent Sirvio is a Co-founder of Bronx to Bushville.