Erb and Finger enjoy All-Star Game

Local duo end strong summer season with trip to Miller Park
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Leader file photo Clintonville’s Kyle Finger caught the final three innings of the Legion All-Star Game.

Each year, the Wisconsin American Legion Baseball All-Star Game rewards some of the state’s top young talents with an unforgettable experience: playing a game at Miller Park in Milwaukee.

This year, Bonduel’s Wyatt Erb and Clintonville’s Kyle Finger each played in the All-Star Game, which took place Sunday afternoon following the Milwaukee Brewers’ extra-inning loss to the Colorado Rockies.

The duo helped form the Stripes team, which suffered a 6-3 loss to the Stars team.

Erb started the nine-inning game on the mound, striking out two batters and allowing an unearned run across two innings. He received three at-bats in the contest. Finger caught the final three innings and had two at-bats.

Even though the Stripes came up short, the local all-stars enjoyed the experience.

“It was a lot of fun to play in such a huge place like Miller Park, especially when you’re such a big fan of the Brewers like I am,” Finger said.

“It was really exciting. It was nice to meet a bunch of different kids from around the state and to play ball with them,” said Erb, also a Brewers fan. “It was great to be able to play a ball game on the field of the team I have followed growing up.”

On Saturday night, the players were introduced to their teammates, opponents and coaches. The all-stars also were on hand for two Legion Hall of Fame inductions. Prior to the start of the Brewers game, the all-star teams were announced in front of the Miller Park crowd.

“It was fun to play and see some of the better talent around the state,” Erb said. “The field was just as nice as you would expect, and the mound was perfect.”

“To play in a place like Miller Park is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and then to be surrounded by so many talented players was a privilege in itself,” Finger said. “I won’t forget when I was up to bat, I looked way out into the outfield. It seemed to go on forever.”

Bonduel Legion coach Jason Boldt had the honor of helping coach the Stripes team.

“It was a great experience,” Boldt said. “Just being able to see the facilities and the field up close was special. But once the game started, it was just like playing in Bonduel. Lots of great talent around the state for sure.”

While their talent on the ballfield is what helped Erb and Finger earn spots in the All-Star Game, both ballplayers gave credit to their families and friends.

“I would like to thank my dad for coaching me and introducing baseball to me,” Finger said. “I would also like to thank my mom, brother and sister for commuting to all my games over the past 14 years. Thank you to my buddy Austin (Arnold, who) passed away two years ago. You were and still are my inspiration in baseball and in life. Also, a big thank you to my coaches, family, friends and teammates that have pushed me to be a better player, teammate, son, student and person. You’ve all guided me in the right direction and have been there for me along the way over the years.”

“I would like to thank my parents and grandparents for always getting me to games and practices,” Erb said. “I would like to thank my dad for playing with me in the yard while growing up and teaching me how to pitch. I would like to thank all my coaches throughout the years for helping me to become a better ballplayer and teammate.”