By Hub City Times staff
MARSHFIELD — A member of the Marshfield American Legion Blue Devils had a chance to play at Miller Park in Milwaukee. Jake Brueggen, Marshfield, participated Aug. 5 in the State American Legion All-Star baseball game.
Brueggen said the experience was very rewarding.
“Awesome. Everything is so much bigger,” he said. “It was fun. I played first base a little bit — that was an experience. Pitching didn’t go as well as I wanted it to, but still got a chance to pitch at Miller Park. I got an at-bat, which was awesome. Made contact with the ball, which is all you can ask for. Got an RBI. It’s a dream come true really.”
On the mound, Brueggen pitched the third inning. He gave up a base hit, walked in a run, and struck out two batters while walking three, and he did drive in a run in his only at-bat of the afternoon; that came in the second inning of the game, and the run helped the All-Star Stars beat the All-Star Stripes 6-3, as part of American Legion Day at Miller Park on Sunday.
“I was chosen and selected by my coach and other coaches from around the state to come play,” Brueggen explained. “It’s a huge privilege and honor to be able to come here and play ball with obviously the best players in the state. I never thought I’d be standing in Miller Park like this. I’ve been wanting to play here for years, since I was little.
“I’ve worked hard for it. Baseball is what I’ve been wanting to do for a long time. I didn’t play in college, but I came back for Legion, and I coached freshman baseball, and it’s just something that I’ve worked hard for, and something I can’t just walk away from.”
The All-Star game was Jake’s last appearance in a Blue Devils’ uniform as a player. He says it was a great way to put the recent AAA Region 2 tournament at Witter Field in Wisconsin Rapids behind him. Jake was the starting pitcher in a game the Blue Devils lost to Wausau to open the tournament July 21.
“Losing that game was sour,” he said.
After a win over D.C. Everest, Marshfield was eliminated by Wisconsin Rapids on July 23. The game ended with Jake on deck, and he never got another at-bat as a Blue Devil; until Sunday, Aug.5, at a Big League ballpark.
“I’ve been playing for six years, and to have my final game as a Blue Devil be a loss, it was tough,” stated Brueggen. “But, the guys made it fun all year, and I just thank them for that. All the teammates I’ve had over the years made this game a lot more fun for me.” But, the lasting image of Jake waiting on deck in what he thought was going to be his last plate appearance in his No. 11 Blue Devils’ uniform is now gone, washed away by his one and only at-bat at the home of the Milwaukee Brewers.
“It’s awesome. I don’t know what else to say about it,” he added.
Brueggen says he may coach someday if the opportunity presents itself.
Jake is currently employed by Weber’s Farm. He is a Marshfield High School graduate.