Brewers fans from around the world flock to AmFam Field to celebrate NL Central Division champs
MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- The parking lots of American Family Field opened to tailgaters Tuesday, Sept. 26 ahead of the Milwaukee Brewers matchup with the St. Louis Cardinals, and fans fired up the grills and put drinks on ice.
Thousands of fans hoped Tuesday's tailgate would be the start of a historic day with the Brewers on the verge of winning the Central Division.
There was also a sense of accomplishment for fans, an appreciation for the long season.
Many fans have been there throughout the ups and downs; many of them spoke of the connection they have not just with the team but with each other along the way.
"It's definitely fun for us. I'm looking at that girl over there, I know her, I wave to her. I know the guy that's first in line and everything else. It's neat," said Rick Natynski, a Brewers season ticket holder.
Vicki Cernohous told us she was "very excited to see them win tonight!"
Brewers fans came from near and far and even farther to celebrate the final week of the season and a push for another division championship.
Aljay Van Deomeowe lives in South Africa. He told us, "I've been coming from South Africa for quite a while now."
His wife Adel said, "Oh I love it here. The people are super friendly. We enjoy it, it's brilliant."
Adel and Aljay flew 20 hours from South Africa to visit a family friend and catch the Packers' comeback win Sunday, and then hopefully a Brewers clincher.
Adel said, "So I'm sure today we will also be the lucky charms for the Brewers."
Rick Natynski lives a little closer, but the connection is still just as special. He said, "I used to attend Milwaukee Braves games. My father would take us and we'd sit in the bleachers. And since I got out of the service, I attended Brewers on a regular basis now."
Over the past six months, fans have celebrated the ups and downs of the long season.
For the past few weeks, they’ve been keenly watching the calendar and changing plans when necessary.
John Cernohous of River Falls said, "We saw it was probably going to end up being pretty close to clinching time."
Cindy Jorgensen of Milwaukee told us, "I said, 'I got to be here today, just in case.' He said, 'ok.' So, we're retired, went online, bought some tickets right behind the dugout, and we're hoping for a win."
Fans hoped their timing was just right to celebrate Brewers history.
Vicki Cernohous said, "I hope they go all the way, let's just put it that way. We've got hopes for them this year."
And they hoped to take home some memories that will last a lifetime.
Aljay Van Deomeowe said of his first tailgating experience, "This is different. Tailgating is fun. We should try this."