MILWAUKEE, Wisconsin (WXOW) - Baseball is very popular with fans from the La Crosse area.
Some 1,750 people loaded up three dozen buses early Wednesday morning to make the trip to Miller Park for La Crosse Area Day. It was the 15th annual trip to Milwaukee. Organizer Jim Geisner said that more than 24,000 have come over the years to cheer on the Brewers. The La Crosse area group is the largest group to attend a game at Miller Park during the season according to the Brewers.
Tom Culver is one of the fans to go to Milwaukee. He's made the trip several times before. He said that its a chance to spend a the day with family and friends. "It's a really fun day. I mean it's just a total day of no stress, enjoyment, weather is usually really nice, so no problems."
Fans arrived at the ballpark to the smells of a traditional tailgate party. Volunteers from the Moose Lodge cooked up 1,500 brats, 1,200 hot dogs, and several large roasting pans of beans for the meal. As young and old enjoyed lunch, the music of a local band, Happy's Garage, played for the crowd.
Once inside, the group cheered on La Crosse Mayor Matt Harter who threw out the ceremonial first pitch. Sporting a Brewers jersey with La Crosse and the number 1 on the back, Harter waived to the crowd on his way to the mound. There he paused, then threw his pitch a bit high but still over the plate. For a Brewer fan, it was a special moment. "I've come down here a number of times from a very young age for the Brewer games and I never really pictured this day coming to be throwing out the first pitch. So it's definitely an exciting thing for me and it's nice to have a lot of friends and family from the city of La Crosse down here."
The Brewers made the game memorable as well. They scored four runs in the first inning, then got St. Louis' Lance Berkman to fly out with the bases loaded in the top of the ninth to hold on to a 4-3 win.
See more photos from La Crosse Area Day in the upper right corner of this page.
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