WHITEFISH BAY — He’s played in front of thousands, won a world series, and now the park where former Milwaukee Brewers catcher Craig Counsell learned to play the game holds his name.
Water Tower Park in the village of Whitefish Bay changed it’s name to Craig Counsell Park following a ceremony on Saturday, July 14th. Counsell is a native of the village.
“It tells me that I’ve left my mark off the field and in a good way. It’s a special place for me because you feel like it’s your roots,” Counsell said.
The park is a place where Counsell dreamed of playing in the major leagues. Years later, those same aspirations are alive in hundreds of kids.
Along with family and friends, Brewers’ general manager Doug Melvin came to honor his former player, and now co-worker. Counsell works in the Brewers’ front office.
“You can see Craig, how excited he is here. To be able to come here and share his excitement with a lot of the little kids. It’s someone they can look up to and idolize,” Melvin said.
Hundreds of kids will now play on the field, knowing their dream of playing in the big leagues can become a reality. While the kids look up to Counsell as a hero, he has a couple of his own on the field — a seven and nine-year-old.
“They liked watching dad play baseball and now I get to watch them play baseball, which is cool,” Counsell said.
Counsell says the whole experience was humbling.
“To know that kids are going to be playing baseball at a park named after you for yeas to come — it’s very humbling,” Counsell said.
A flag pole at the park was dedicated to Tom Rice, who founded the Little League complex in the 1970s.