With the Brewers out of the playoffs, baseball in the city of Milwaukee may seem obsolete until next season. But for all baseball fans who want to go to a game instead of sit and watch it on the television, there is still one option open: Marquette Club Baseball.
Most Saturdays and Sundays from September through October, the MU Club Baseball team can be found at Harden Field, 3717 W. Howard Ave, just beyond Leon’s Frozen Custard Drive-In and St. Luke’s Hospital on the south side of Milwaukee.
These games are not just guys messing around on a baseball diamond. The talent and level of play on the field is on par with a NCAA Division III baseball team, as evidenced by MU Club Baseball’s recent win over Milwaukee Area Technical College, which is a Division III team.
“Almost everyone on the team could have played collegiate baseball at the Division III or Division II level,” said Tim Pauly, a junior on the team.
With a record of 8-4, there have been quite a few exciting moments already this season.
“Our team beat UW-Madison twice this September. Anthony Gattuso, team president, told us he has never beat Madison since joining the club team his freshman year. So, to beat a team that has had the upper hand over the years was a great accomplishment,” said Matthew Walters, a sophomore pitcher for the team.
“We beat Division III MATC two times and we have beaten conference powers Madison and UW-Milwaukee two times each also. All these wins were a result of excellent defense and fantastic pitching performances with a little clutch hitting sprinkled in there,” said Gattuso, the team manager and president.
These great moments on the diamond can be attributed to practice and good coaching. Practices usually run one to two hours, four times per week. Gattuso has his players “practice hard on doing the little things right.”
“I just try to help them be their best,” he said.
The guys on the team not only work hard during practice and games; they show how much they love the sport by covering the costs of travel, uniforms and equipment themselves. Marquette University only provides some funding for league fees, and allows the team to use the Helfaer Recreational Center and Valley Fields for practice.
“The university does help out, but the expenses of a club team are far more than what the university provides. When you see a club athlete participating, it’s because of the love of the game,” Walters said.
TJ Petullo, a junior on the team, describes how much he loves the game: “There are three things in my life which I truly love: God, my family and baseball. The only problem is, once baseball season starts, I change the order around a bit.
Despite the action, achievement and dedication that the MU Club Baseball team has put forth this year, the team still has trouble attracting fans to their games. Possible reasons for this range from the remote location of home games from campus and that most Marquette students do not even know that a Marquette baseball team exists.
Going to the home games at Harden Field may be a bit of a drive, but if a custard stop at Leon’s is made beforehand, it might just be worth it. And if enough people start coming, the baseball games could be moved to Valley Fields, where more Marquette students would be able to enjoy them.
“It’s fun to watch college athletes play baseball at a relatively high level,” said Jeff Parker, a sophomore first baseman on the team.
MU Club Baseball’s next home game is Oct. 16 at 7 p.m. against University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. If going home is not an option for fall break, maybe seeing a game at Harden Field will be.