Cheering for Clintonville’s Mike Jirschele
I grew up just outside of Clintonville. Our road turned into East Madison Street as you got closer to town.
My youngest brother and I knew plenty of kids around our ages on that stretch. We would get together and play football or Kick the Can at neighbors’ houses until well after dark. On hot summer days we rode our bikes to go fishing at the pond or rode up to the outdoor pool and raced home when the humid afternoons brewed heavy storm clouds in the west.
A constant of our summers was getting the boys and girls of the neighborhood together for a game of baseball. We would start a chain of calls and everyone would bring their equipment. Sometimes we played in the park or at someone else’s house, but usually we played across the dirt road that ran by our house, in a field on airport land.
Most of us had a favorite glove and bat. We cracked a few bats and wore out plenty of balls until the stitching unraveled and the cowhide came apart. We lived through scrapes, bruises and even a gash that required stitches above one neighbor girl’s eye when she was pitching. I guess we were pretty serious about the game.
The sound of baseball is the sound of summer. Through most of my adulthood, I listened to the Brewers in the background as my husband watched, but I haven’t actively watched much Major League baseball until the last couple of years. (I never understood the whole thing about “spitting” and it was a turnoff for me, but bubble gum and sunflower seeds I can tolerate.)
I did attend some Brewers games at the new Miller Park and a couple of Orioles games at Camden Yards in Baltimore, which were all great days. I love Camden Yards and there is something special about sitting in that baseball park at sundown with a cool summer breeze about the place, and a box of popcorn in your hand.
Fast-forward to the 2014 and 2015 Major League seasons. It has been very exciting cheering for the Kansas City Royals with Clintonville’s Mike Jirschele as the Royals third base coach. A couple of the games we utilized “Picture and Picture” on our TV so we could stay on top of both the Packers game and the Royals game when they were on the same night.
We have cheered the Royals on through two World Series from our living room, and on Nov. 1 we stayed up to watch them become World Series Champions in the 12th inning. What an exciting time for the Jirschele family and for those of our community who are fans.
It is nice to see Clintonville on the map for something more than the “1.5.”