It’s safe to say our Kenosha Kingfish are not enjoying an all-star year.
After a horrible start, we were hoping they would swim to the surface in the second half of the 2019 season. Alas, so far, the team remains in last place in the standings with three weeks of baseball left.
As the Northwoods League comes off its All-Star break and our team plays at Simmons Field today, we hand out our own Kingfish All-Star Awards ... but remember, you don’t read this column for any actual baseball knowledge:
Best reason to break out your ugly Christmas sweater: The Kingfish are celebrating “Christmas in July” for today’s 1:05 p.m. game against the Kalamazoo Growlers. We’re hoping Santa Claus stops by — we’re asking him to bring us a Kingfish victory and a Slinky — and we’re brushing up on our gingerbread house making skills, just in case.
Celebrating our MVP — Most Valuable Paul: McCartney and the rest of the Fab Four won’t be in attendance at Simmons Field Thursday night, but Beatles Tribute Night is a great excuse to head to the ballpark. The Brits just hosted their first Major League Baseball games in June, and we’re thinking our local team could take us all on a London field trip next season. Just think of the Kingfish/fish and chips tie-in possibilities!
Who needs victories? We’ve got fireworks! Yes, the bombs bursting in air help us forget the lack of on-field success this season. Remaining home games that will end with fireworks are July 26 and Aug. 10.
Free souvenirs are available! This comes with a caveat: We have two Kingfish baseballs, but we had to “take one for the team” to get them. First, my husband, Rex, was struck by a foul ball a few seasons back — it clipped his fingers, and staffers quickly brought an ice bucket, so no lasting damage. To soothe his feelings, they gave him a colorful Kingfish souvenir ball. Earlier this season, I went home with an actual game ball when it crashed onto our picnic table behind the third-base side. Thank goodness it missed my burger! And my head.
Elvis goes to the dark side: The team’s next bobblehead is “Lord Elvis,” with our beloved King Elvis turning a metallic gray and clutching a snake as Voldemort’s evil twin. Or, as he’s known, “The Bobblehead Who Must Not Be Named.” Perhaps he can cast a spell on the visiting Kokomo Jackrabbits.
The Kingfish will help you finally understand Millenials: OK, we kid here. (How can we relate to people who think the Kardashians are role models and vaping isn’t annoying?) Still, the team is offering a “Basic Fish” bobblehead on Aug. 1 that looks an awful lot like those folks living in their parents’ basements while “finding themselves.”
Hey, we’re all friends here. And “Friends,” too: Though the TV show “Friends” long ago joined the ranks of syndication, the NBC “Must-See TV” hit, which aired from 1994 to 2004, will be celebrated Aug. 7. Since we’re loyal Kingfish fans through thick and thin (and wins and — gulp — losses), a few verses of the show’s “I’ll be There for You” theme song should help us survive the rest of this season.
Run, Elvis run! We’ve noticed that Elvis, the Kingfish mascot, has been showing off some new moves this season, climbing around the stands and perching over the dugouts. On Aug. 5, the big fish can make like Forrest Gump and set off on a cross-country run ... or, at the least, a jog across Simmons Field. That night, the team hands out the final 2019 bobblehead, “Elvis Gump,” modeled after the 1994 Tom Hanks film.
Sweet “Dreams”: On Aug. 2, fans of the baseball film “Field of Dreams” have the chance to meet Dwier Brown, who played John Kinsella (the father of Kevin Costner’s character) in the beloved 1989 movie. No word yet on whether he’ll “have a catch” with anyone.
Choose your comfort “food”: There are a few friends I see almost every time we’re at Simmons Field. And they’re always smiling, no matter what’s happening on the field. When I asked one of them how he shrugs off our team’s struggles, he smiled and said, “Well, they still serve beer!” True, a cold brew does a lot to calm frazzled nerves. Not a beer drinker? You can snuggle up to a brownie sundae. No one can stay unhappy while consuming ice cream. Beer bonus: If you are looking to sample some brews at the Kingfish, remember that if the game’s “Beer Batter” strikes out, beers are two-for-one at the ballpark through that inning. It has to be the most popular promotion of the summer, at least in Section 109.
And, on a related note … I’m wondering if beer can be used to solve our nation’s problems. I’m not 100 percent convinced, but two drunken guys sitting near us at a Kingfish game spent a few innings debating Social Security and health care, and they made as much sense as anything we’ve heard from Congress in the past two decades.
If you need a distraction: When the on-field action really gets you down, you can always start the eternal baseball debate: National League vs. American League. If beers are two-for-one, this discussion can get quite lively.
We’ve given you a dozen positives about the Kingfish this season, and we haven’t even mentioned bratwurst. Now you have 12 chances left in 2019 to catch the game in action at Simmons Field.
Go ahead and say it ... play ball!
Have a comment? Email Liz at firstname.lastname@example.org or call her at 262-656-6271.