Friday, May 12, 2017

Getting an Award and Meeting a Hall of Famer, no big deal or nuthin

A few days ago, I was honored by the Milwaukee County Historical Society with the Gambrinus Prize, which is given annually to the author of the best book-length work on Milwaukee history. 

Big deal, right?  

I'm not posting this to brag about that... well, maybe a little... but one of other award winners that night was MLB's commissioner emeritus and recently-elected Hall of Famer, Bud Selig. Baseball fans tend to have strong opinions on Selig... mostly negative opinions. His election to the hall this past winter upset a lot of people and called into question whether or not voters would continue to frown so mightily upon PED users. But in Milwaukee, people tend to deify Bud. He is seen as the savior of baseball in the city, the man who not only brought the Brewers here in 1970, but kept them from leaving in the late 1990s. 
Our pet rat, Ruth, inspects my award.

I fall somewhere in the middle on Selig. Without him, it is unlikely that Milwaukee ever would have gotten a team after the Braves skipped town. But his tenure as Brewers president featured a lot of questionable moves, many that might have been aimed more at securing a new stadium than fielding a winning club. As commissioner, his record is similarly mixed. Overall, I find him to be one of the most fascinating figures of the last half-century of baseball. He gets unfairly blamed for (some) things on the national stage, and is often let off too easily by Milwaukee baseball fans. 

A pair of old Milwaukee boys

After arriving at the event, Selig talked with reporters for a few minutes before moving towards the ballroom where the dinner was held. I stopped him along the way and asked if I could get a picture with him (I had numerous requests from friends and family for a picture with Bud) and he couldn't have been nicer about it. 

Anyway, that's my story about getting an award and meeting a hall of famer.