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Someone lucky enough to live on Milwaukee’s near north side between 1888 and 1952 could experience the world without ever leaving the neighborhood. Nestled between North Seventh and Eighth Streets and West Chambers and Burleigh, Borchert Field was Milwaukee’s major sports venue for 64 years. In this rickety wooden stadium (originally called Athletic Park), Wisconsin residents had a close-up view of sports history in the making, along with rodeos, thrill shows, and even multiple eruptions of Mount Vesuvius. In Borchert Field, baseball historian Bob Buege introduces the famous and fascinating athletes who dazzled audiences in Milwaukee’s venerable ballpark. All the legendary baseball figures—the Bambino, Satchel Paige, Ty Cobb, Joltin’ Joe, Jackie Robinson, the Say Hey Kid—played there. Olympic heroes Jim Thorpe, Babe Didrikson, and Jesse Owens displayed their amazing talents in Borchert. Knute Rockne’s Fighting Irish competed there, and Curly Lambeau’s Green Bay Packers took the field 10 times. Buege tells stories of other monumental moments at Borchert as well, including a presidential visit, women ballplayers, the arrival of television broadcasting, the 1922 national balloon race, and an appearance by scat-singing bandleader Cab Calloway. Borchert Field is long gone, but every page of this book takes readers back to the sights, sounds, and spectacle of its heyday.
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