MILWAUKEE -- The Brewers packed their bags Sunday for a trip back in time.
Monday marks the start of a seven-game trip to Chicago's Wrigley Field and Boston's Fenway Park, the two oldest cathedrals in baseball. Wrigley Field opened in 1914 as the home of the Federal League's Chicago Whales, two years after the Red Sox moved into Fenway Park.
The next-oldest ballpark is Dodger Stadium, opened in 1962.
"The tradition is great," said Mark Kotsay, who played for the Red Sox in 2008 and '09 and has made a slew of trips to Wrigley Field during parts of nine seasons with National League teams and two more years with the cross-town White Sox. "It's fun to be a part of it, to go in there and smell the old stadiums."
It's a trade-off, because Wrigley Field and Fenway Park lack many of the amenities players have grown used to since the wave of ballpark construction in Major League Baseball. The entire visiting clubhouse at Wrigley Field is roughly the size of the players' dining room at Miller Park.
"I love playing the game there, seeing the old structures, that's pretty cool. But pregame, I'm not going to lie, I hate it," second baseman Rickie Weeks said. "It's hard to get into your routine the way you do other places. It's our job to get ready for a baseball game, and it's hard to do that."
Kotsay will take the trade-offs.
"I would assume some guys don't like it, but you have to realize that you're still in the big leagues, and you still get to perform on a Major League field wearing a Major League uniform," he said.