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June 26, 2005

Madison Mallards 5, Lacrosse Loggers 4.

My cousin Mike, at bat above, plays for the Mallards of the Northwoods League, a summer league for college players who either haven't been drafted yet or haven't been drafted high enough to justify leaving college.

It so happened that he was playing in Lacrosse while I was camping nearby, so I took in a game. He went 2 for 4 with a two-run home run that turned out to be the difference.

A few days earlier I had seen him play in Madison and he went 4 for 4, though it was hard to tell with all the loud music, promotions and sound effects, apparently designed to distract fans from any baseball that was going on. I felt like I had gone to Mancow's Morning Madhouse and a baseball game had broken out.

He is the third generation on that side of the family to find success in baseball, all beginning with my grandfather, who coached amateur ball for decades. Thus I found something natural and comforting in seeing "ROHDE" on the back of a jersey, like pulling up to your driveway after a long absence and seeing your name on the mailbox.

Photo taken: June 21, 2005