College baseball is back. More importantly, so are the milkshakes at Mark Light Field. Thick and creamy, the Mark Light Shakes have a reputation just as good, if not better, than the four-time national champion Miami Hurricanes baseball team. The man behind the legendary drink is Mitch Freedman, who originally opened shop in a tent next to the stadium with his brother in 1986. Now Freedman flies solo, rotating deftly between ice cream machine, mixer and buckets of toppings.
At first, Freedman sold only ice cream as a sweet treat. Serving milkshakes was just a way to get people to buy ice cream earlier in the evening, with their food, instead of later as an afterthought. But once introduced, Freedman’s shakes slowly grew in popularity – until his kids stepped in with social media. “It just really took off from there,” he says. Even a logo was created.
At any given game, wait time for the UM delicacy can be up to 30 minutes – though devotees say it’s worth every sip. But since the wait can be long, they deliver milkshakes to the stands to accommodate the older fans. “Students come here to not even watch the baseball game,” the shake maker says. “It’s study break central here.”
–– Lizzie Wilcox