Tom Hanks told us a few decades ago that “there’s no crying in baseball,” but he wasn’t at Simmons Field for the final game of the season.
The Kenosha Kingfish, who have generally been successful since debuting in 2014, missed the Northwoods League playoffs after tanking the first half of the season. A spate of wins to finish out the summer wasn’t quite enough to earn our Fish a post-season berth.
Luckily, we can drown our sorrows in doughnuts and beer Saturday at Simmons Field.
If you’re wondering, like I am, “is doughnuts and beer a thing?” — the team’s general manager, Doug Gole, assures us it is.
“It’s a big event in a couple of Northwoods League markets, so we think it can work here,” he said.
Here’s the scoop: The team’s Donut & Beer Festival is 2 to 6 p.m. Saturday at Simmons Field. General admission tickets are $25 and include eight doughnut samples, unlimited beer samples and a souvenir sampling glass.
VIP tickets are $40 and include 12 doughnut samples, plus the unlimited beer samples, the souvenir glass and an event T-shirt. Plus, VIPs get in an hour early to scarf up all the good doughnuts. (But really, is there a BAD doughnut? Maybe one with prune ...)
Gole, coming off his first season with the team, is already planning for 2020.
“We learned a lot in year one,” he said. “You have to deal with things you can never anticipate happening and try to make sure you can find solutions at the drop of a hat. As much as we want to, we can’t always make everyone completely happy.”
Still, he said, “we really improved as a staff as the year progressed. We still have work to do, but I’m hopeful we can take the momentum we had late in the year and use it to our advantage.”
While he’s busy brainstorming fun stuff for next summer, Gole said, “For me personally, I’m excited about the off-season. There was so much I had to learn last year at this time. Now I’ve been through it and know how things work and what needs to be done. I’m ready to get rolling on this.”
Before signing off to whip up some doughnuts, Gole summed up what’s so great about our hometown team: “The Kingfish matter so much to so many people in the community. We recognize that and understand we have a responsibility to this community to do this the right way.”
2019 was an up-and-down season for our Fish, and while we chant “wait until next year,” we’ll hold onto our memories of toilet bowl races, the T-ball Challenge and, for me personally, the growing family of Kingfish bobbleheads.
And, on Saturday, a lot of us will dream about next season while clutching a doughnut and a beer.
Sharp-eyed readers may have noticed two spellings of “doughnut” in this column. The full-dough spelling is correct; “donut” is reserved for cute marketing and lazy spellers!
Playing through ...
Kenosha’s not some cultural backwater where the highlight of the summer season is Target’s back-to-school sales, but we’re also not a hotbed of stand-up comedy.
Which makes it somewhat surprising that Henry Cho — a veteran comedian with diverse credits that include a guest role on “Designing Women,” appearances on the network late-night talk shows and regular gigs at the Grand Ole Opry — is performing three shows this weekend at the Kenosha Comedy Club.
For that, you can thank his love of golf.
As Cho explained on the phone Monday, “I’m playing at Whistling Straits next week, and my wife said, ‘You’re just gonna play golf’? So I worked on finding a job to do during this trip. The guys in Kenosha have been great. I told them, ‘You don’t even have to pay my travel costs, just get me a hotel room for a few nights.’ I’m excited to be coming there.”
This is Cho’s first time in Kenosha; his only previous stops in Wisconsin were in Milwaukee.
He’s what’s known as a “clean” comic and describes his shows as “adult humor but nothing vulgar and no cussing.” Maybe he jokes about his golf game!
For more on my conversation with Cho (including the advice he got from Jerry Seinfeld), see today’s GO Kenosha entertainment section.
Have a comment? Email Liz at email@example.com or call her at 262-656-6271.
Photos from the 2019 Kenosha Kingfish season
When the Kenosha Kingfish begin their Northwoods League season in late May, it's always a reminder for Kenoshans that summer is just around the corner, even when the temperatures may not feel like it. And when the Kingfish end their season in mid-August, it's a bittersweet reminder that the waning warm summer evenings will soon be giving way to fall. The Kingfish wrapped up their 2019 season, the sixth in franchise history, this past weekend against the Battle Creek Bombers. Here are some of the best photos from another great summer at Simmons Field.