Millie Noe, Sports Writer – A Bird’s Eye View


Ever since the Yankees won the World Series in 1996 and the camera was forever on Joe Torre's expressionless face and all the fans were living it up behind the batter, I have wanted to sit behind home plate.
I knew way back then, that someday, I, me, Millie Noe, too, would be one of those fancy people, right there in Yankee Stadium.
But that didn't happen.
New York is a long way from Wisconsin.
And I was more of a Milwaukee Brewer fan.
So, I decided that I would sit behind home plate at The Milwaukee County Stadium instead.
But then they went and tore County Stadium down.
But not until they put up Miller Park in its place.
So, I thought, "fine, Miller Park it is."
And then just a couple of weeks ago my dream came true.
All because my grandson is one of the chosen few.

"What Louisa?"
I'm merely stating the facts.
"Yes I am."
You see, he was selected to throw out the first pitch at a Mallard's game.
"What Louisa?"
He was picked to throw out one of the first pitches, out of about a dozen first pitches, at a Mallard's game.
But if you factor in that there are around 7.4 billion people in this world, give or take, that is a pretty small number of first throws. Mathematically speaking, twelve out of 7.4 billion is actually less than a few.
That is why I can honestly say that he is one of the chosen.
"It's simple math, Louisa."
And he threw that third, first pitch, right into the catcher's mitt.
Now, since Kaden was on his way to becoming a super-celebrity, it made perfect sense that he should wear his big sunglasses and that his family should hop on his bandwagon and be there to witness his moment under the stars.
That is why we grandparents ordered tickets right behind home plate.
We wanted to witness that throw of his, straight on.
Well, that and those were the tickets that Giselle found online and just by chance, happened to order.
Regardless, of how we got there, I finally made it to a seat behind home plate, right here, in Madison's very own, Warner Park.
But as soon as we were seated, we noticed that there was an even better spot than ours with an even better view.
It was up on a wire, on the other side of the protective netting. And that seat was taken by a mourning dove.
Unfortunately, the game did not start off on the right foot for the Mallards after all those first perfect pitches were thrown.
The Mallards were down four to one in the first endless inning.
Would they be calling Kaden up from the bullpen?
Or, from the stands?
Apparently they forgot to get his phone number.
Because they called in someone else.
As the new guy was warming up out there on the mound, the grandpas, AKA, Sven and Mac, said, "Ahh, we'll be right back."
And they slipped away.
Well, the new pitcher did manage to pull us out of the inning from hell.
And then Giselle received a text from Nicolette, her daughter, my daughter-in-law, mother of the superstar, that said, "Come over here. There are plenty of empty seats by us."
"You should come over here," Giselle texted back. "There are lots of empty seats by us."
"These seats are great over here," she writes back. "Come and sit by us."
So, Giselle and I deserted our missing husbands. And just like that, we gave up our high class fifteen-dollar stuffy seats and we moved over along the first baseline to be with the kids.
It was a beautiful t-shirt evening.
So, it didn't matter that the Mallards were being pummeled by the dudes in black and gray.
Giselle and I weren't paying attention anyway.
Then suddenly with a crack of a bat, a Mallard was on first base.
And then there was another crack.
And then another.
And a Mallard rally was underway.
The crowd was wild.
Stomping feet sounded so much like thunder, eyes were on the clear blue sky.
There was another hit and then a player slid across home plate.
Before the inning ended, the Mallards took the lead and it was five to four.
All the while, the mourning dove with the best seat in the house calmly watched the game below.
Sven and Mac returned with beers, only to learn that they'd been deserted. But they were jilted by just one section.
So, it wasn't like they couldn't find us.
"Where were you all that time?" I said.
"We went to have a smoke."
"You can smoke in here?"
I waited.
"You have to go down to that end," he points, "and you have step over to the other side of the fence."
"But you can't take your beer to the other side."
"Your beer stays on this side."
"And your cigarette is on the other side."
"We took the lead while you were gone," I said.
"We heard," he said.
The game continued.
Children played, a guy with fake Elvis side burns flapping in the breeze, sold beer, another had hotdogs, and between innings t-shirts were hurled into the bleachers, sand was raked by guys dancing to, "It's Raining Men," giant bubbles occupied with humans battled it out on the field, and a tiny girl hit a ball and after many errors on the part of the Mallards, crossed home plate as the crowd roared.
And then Sven and Mac said, "Ahh, we'll be right back."
That is when the Mallards scored five more runs.
It was the sixth inning when I snapped some pictures.

Image 19
Image 20

"It's a beautiful night here at Warner Park," I posted.
And then, almost immediately, it rained.
That is when the bird up on the wire decided to fly home and live stream the rest of the game.
We die-hard fans however, stayed in the stands and witnessed a rainbow.
And then a foul ball went over the rainbow.
After that the moon, just a sliver away from full, came out.
The Mallards couldn't stop hitting the ball.
Thanks to Sven and Mac and all their cigarettes on the other side of that fence, the final score was, Mallards nineteen, Black and Gray dudes, five.
It was a Thursday night; it had rained, and the Mallards were up by fourteen runs.
That is why the crowd was pretty thin by the ninth inning.
And that is why Giselle and I thought we should try out some other seats.
In the end we preferred the ones with the tables and chairs.
They were better than behind home plate.
They were nicer than down along the first base line.
And they were superior to up on that wire.
Because really, there's no place to even to put your stuff up there, you have to hang on tight with your claws, and it looks like it would be hard on your butt.

Since this story broke, Kaden's team has won a game and Sven and Mac have been contacted to make an anti-smoking commercial.


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