Friday, Aug. 27, 2010
Shocked by all the Selig hate
I was shocked earlier in the week reading the comments over at JSOnline.com on the stories about the Bug Selig statue that was unveiled in front of Miller Park. I was shocked to learn of the vitriol that so many seem to carry for him. I was in high school when the surge to build Miller Park was happening and was admittedly blissfully unaware at the time. I wasn’t yet a baseball fan and I didn’t follow as closely as I should. I learned a lot this week about what proponents of the stadium went through in order to reach a deal. I’m taken aback that there are people out there still bitter about a .01% tax that adds up to about $20/year/person. For the cost of a Terrace Box ticket to one game, we have state of the art facilities that play host to not just the Brewers, but allows Milwaukee to host things like the Farm Aid concert that will be coming in October. And people are still upset about the tax. I find that fascinating. Ten years is a long time to carry that bitterness. On Tuesday, Milwaukee was the center of the baseball universe. MLBNetwork televised the unveiling ceremony. You can’t buy that kind of publicity. Miller Park frequently ranks among the best ballpark experiences. Just last week ESPN had info on a “pilgrimage” here and noted that Miller Park has the top tailgating in the bigs. Sports Illustrated rated it as providing the best fan value in the majors, We’ve hosted an All-Star Game, bowling tournaments and concerts. These all bring attention and money to Milwaukee. And that’s all due to the tireless work of Bud Selig. You have to separate your feelings on him. Yes, he was a cheap owner. That was years ago and you need to move on. Yes, his time as commissioner has been riddled with problems. That’s not part of the discussion here. You have to be able to look beyond PEDs and steroids and go back to the used-car salesman who wouldn’t allow Milwaukee to be without baseball. And every summer night I spend in comfortable, inexpensive seats, sometimes covered from the rain, other times enjoying a beautiful breeze, I have to thank Bud Selig for the opportunity. That’s the part that thing you have to peel away the layers to find. I went from never watching baseball to attending 40 games a year in less than 4 seasons. That wouldn’t have happened if Milwaukee was stuck with a minor league club or, god-forbid, completely without baseball. And that right there means Bud Selig deserves my thanks. And if current owners Mark and Debbie Attanasio want to thank him with a statue, who am I to judge.