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‘He’s smiling from heaven:’ Woman says ‘Milwaukee Milkmen’ name honors late father 🥛⚾

Nancy Raabe

FRANKLIN -- When the name of Milwaukee's newest professional baseball team was revealed, everything came rushing back for the Raabe family.

"That was him with the big smile. He was always smiling," said Nancy Raabe of her later father.

FOX6 caught up with Raabe as she looked at pictures of her dad, Norbert Elroy Schattschneider, who had a couple of passions, his job and the game of baseball.

"That's him on the end with the curly, kinky hair. He gave that to me. I'm so lucky. He loved (baseball) so much. He wanted everyone to enjoy it. He played the infield, shortstop and second base," said Raabe.

He took his love of baseball with him as he served in the Navy in the South Pacific during World War II.

"When there wasn't fighting going on, they would island jump from island to island and play teams that were organized by other units on the various, different islands. They would think of back home. You know, for maybe that hour, two hours kind of thing, I can put this war out of my mind for that amount of time and do something that I enjoy doing," said Raabe.

 

After the war ended, Norby, as he was known, returned home and went back to work.

"He was a milkman at Golden Guernsey Dairy for, I think it was, 43 or 44 years, and he loved what he was doing. He loved the people that he was able to serve. Everybody knew Norby -- Norby the milkman," said Raabe.

He spent his career serving people in the North Shore, and during his time in the Navy, baseball was part of his job.

"He'd be driving down the street in his truck to deliver that day's delivery, and he'd see a bunch of kids playing ball or playing catch out in the street. He'd actually pull over and go and play with them," said Raabe.

Norby took his job personally, and had an approach that endeared him to his customers.

"He would go right in the house. They wouldn't even lock the door. They'd say, 'Oh, Norby's coming today. We've got to leave the door open so he could put all the stuff in the refrigerator,' and they'd leave him a little card, 'This is what I want you to bring next time you come,'" said Raabe.

The honorable profession would disappear for the most part shortly after Norby retired in the early 1980s.

"He never got any praise from anybody, even though he brought them food two, three times a week, whatever amount of time it was, but just to see a normal person saying you were something special and you meant a lot to this community," said Raabe.

The recognition might have come in September of 2018, when Milwaukee's newest professional baseball team was officially named the Milwaukee Milkmen.

"I almost fell off the chair," said Raabe.

Nancy Raabe

The independent team will play at The Rock Sports Complex, behind Raabe's home.

"I just kind of sat there for a minute and I said, 'Wow! Finally, the milkmen of the past era are getting recognized by something,'" said Raabe.

Because of Norby's professionalism and love of his job, he only missed one day of work, and that was because of snow. Raabe said she believes he and others who shared the "milkmen" title deserve respect.

"I loved my father dearly. He was a wonderful man. He touched many people's lives throughout his career, and I just, it brought me to tears. I said 'I can't believe this.' I was just very impressed, very pleased," said Raabe.

She said she believes Norby is watching, as his two passions come together in his daughter's backyard.

"He's smiling down from heaven," said Raabe.

The Milwaukee Milkmen begin their inaugural season May 24, with their home opener. Raabe said she and her husband plan on going to the games to support the team that honors Norby.

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