From the cornfields to the baseball fields, America’s Dairyland and America’s pastime are coming together this season.
Wisconsin’s agricultural heritage was the driving force behind the name of the state’s newest professional sports team, the Milwaukee Milkmen baseball club.
Proclaiming themselves as “pro baseball that’s udderly different” and encouraging fans to “join the mooovement,” the Milkmen are preparing to open their inaugural season as a member of the American Association of Independent Professional Baseball.
The Milkmen’s first game is scheduled for May 16 on the road against the St. Paul Saints in Minnesota. Their home opener is set for May 24 against the Chicago Dogs at Routine Field in the southern Milwaukee suburb of Franklin. Construction is nearing completion on the new field.
The new Milwaukee baseball team has embraced its milk-related theme.
Promotional videos, with family-friendly, 1950s-era background music, feature men wearing vintage-style milkmen uniforms delivering bottles of milk to homes while announcing there’s a new team in town. The milk in the bottles was provided by Castle Rock Organic Farms.
The team logo features the silhouette of a player batting while wearing an old-style milkman hat and bow tie.
And among the team’s apparel is an infant onesie sporting the words “I’m spoiled” (get it, spoiled milk).
ROC Ventures, a management firm in the sports, entertainment and real estate industries that operates the Milkmen, invited fans last year to submit ideas for out-of-the-box team nicknames through an online application process.
The top 10 names all incorporated agriculture in some way: Milkmen, Farmhands, Haymakers, Cheesers, Cow Tippers, Crop Dusters, War Pigs, Bovines, Broilers and Barn Owls. The list was whittled down to three — Milkmen, Haymakers and Crop Dusters — before the winning nickname was announced.
The league aims at recruiting ex-major and minor league baseball players eager to showcase their skills.
In addition to the Milkmen, Dogs and Saints, the 2019 lineup of American Association of Independent Professional Baseball teams features an array of creative team nicknames, including the Sioux Falls Canaries, Cleburne Railroaders, Texas AirHogs, Lincoln Saltdogs, Winnipeg Goldeyes, Gary SouthShore RailCats, Kansas City T-Bones, Sioux City Explorers and Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks.
Among the other agriculture-related connections for the Milkmen is their partnership with Milwaukee Sausage Co., the official hot dog and sausage provider at Routine Field.
The Milkmen also are partnering with Hunger Task Force and WaterStone Bank to provide healthy, nutritious food for local food pantries. For every strikeout made by the Milkmen, a donation will be made to Hunger Task Force.
For more about the Milkmen, visit www.milwaukeemilkmen.com.