The Milwaukee Milkmen returned to Franklin Field on May 25th for their 2021 home opener and to celebrate last season’s stunning American Association championship in the franchise’s second year of existence.
On a warm, windy night, players received their championship rings, and a title banner was raised high in the outfield.
Several members of the 2020 championship team, which played a truncated season due to the coronavirus pandemic, have returned to play for the Milkmen again this season.
An excited crowd cheered as players, coaches and staff walked one-by-one onto the infield turf to receive their rings. Adam Brett Walker II, the Milkmen’s power-hitting outfielder who grew up on Milwaukee’s North Side and attended Milwaukee Lutheran High School, flashed a broad smile as he strode onto the field to receive his championship hardware. Walker earned regular-season Player of the Year honors for his performance last season, in which he belted 22 home runs in 57 games and drove in 50 runs.
Walker showed off his new bling in a Twitter post.
Taylor Ahearn, a key member of Milwaukee’s pitching staff during the championship run, appeared on the field in street clothes during the celebration as he found out earlier in the day that his contract had been purchased by the Los Angeles Angels. He hugged teammates as he prepared to depart for the next step of professional baseball journey.
Even Bo Vine, the Milkmen’s fun-loving mascot, got in on the championship celebration.
The Milkmen won last year’s title over the Sioux Falls Canaries, capturing the best-of-seven series 4 games to 3, setting off a wild on-field celebration at the Canaries’ stadium is South Dakota.
The unprecedented championship under the direction of first-year manager Anthony Barone and owner Mike Zimmerman came one year after the Milkmen finished in last place in their division in their inaugural season with a 38-62 record. The Milkmen captured the American Association’s regular season title last year with a 34-26 record.
The Milkmen currently received approval from the Franklin Health Department to play at 50% capacity at the 4,000-seat ballpark to start the season. Milwaukee will play 53 homes games this season and 47 on the road for a total of 100 games. The American Association is back at full strength this season, with 12 teams playing in two divisions. Last season, the Milkmen played 60 regular-season games overall, with just six teams choosing to take part in the season due to concerns about COVID-19.