Sunday, September 28, 2008

The Brew Crew

As the Milwaukee Brewers clinch their first playoff berth since 1982, I'm reminded of the Fall Classic from all those years ago. Though my hometown team was the Twins, they weren't doing so well at the time and Wisconsin (the Brewers home state) was only 40 miles from where I resided.

I was 11 in '82 and though baseball has a much slower pace than football, it's always nice to see a regional team make it to the big show.

The Brewers lead-off hitter at the time, Paul Molitor, was a native Minnesotan. I can still remember their top three hitters: Molly, Robin Yount, Cecil Cooper.

This was back in the days when major leaguers were pretty big on chewing tobacco. The Brewers manager, Harvey Kuenn, was the most egregious offender.

Another thing I liked about the Brewers was their logo:

It looked just like a fielder's glove. It wasn't until years later that I realized the mitt actually spelled out MB (Milwaukee Brewers). My mind was blown at the discovery.

In the '82 World Series, the Brew Crew played the St. Louis Cardinals, another team that produced a lotta beer (their ballpark was named Busch Stadium). Here's a vintage 2-minute clip which played at the start of Game 2.

I remember during the Series I wanted to get a Brewers cap, so went with my grandmother to JCPenney. All they had was a really small Brewer hat for kids under 7 (believe me, I wanted the cap to fit, but it wouldn't).

I can also recall going to LaCrosse, Wisconsin one afternoon and marveling to my mother that the Series was being played a mere 150 miles away.


Timothy Smith said...

I never noticed the MB in the logo! I remember the 82 series as a Cardinals fan. I was also at the 87 series to see my team lose to the Twins (was a lot of fun though).

Should be a great playoff year for baseball, lots of interesting teams.

Thomas said...

Never noticed?! Now I don't feel so bad.

Yep, the Brewers and Twins both faced the Cards in their respective Series, 5 years apart. The Cards sure had some good teams in the 80's (Ozzie, Willie, Pena, Tudor). Both series were great, going the full 7 games.

I'm happy not only that the Brewers are back in the postseason, but perhaps even more so that the Yankees are not. :)

disestablishingpuritanism said...

Awesome! I'm so happy for the Brew Crew to reach this point since that '82 season.

Living on the border of Michigan and Indiana, I vividly remember the Cubs' team, particularly '84. We had Leon Durham, Ryne "Rhino" Sandburg, Rick Sutcliffe, and stellar closer Lee Smith. They appeared well on their way to the World Series, but Steve Garvey and Goose Gossage took advantage of some sloppy Cub play, as San Diego went on to play the Detroit Tigers.

I think my favorite memory was the day I went to see Pete Rose tie Ty Cobb's all-time hitting record with my dad and best friend at the time who now lives in Ireland. The crowd was nuts that day, hoping to witness history. He did record a base hit, but the game was strangely suspended due to darkness, no lights there then.

If the Red Sox don't make it, I'll be rooting for the Cubs. It's been 100 years since their last World Series title. The Brew crew and hopefully Twins, pending tomorrow's White Sox-Tigers outcome, are the other two. Great time of year. Strangely, I realize the game moves much slower than football and I was terrible at baseball, but I've seemed to embrace it more over the past five years.

Brian said...

Haha, I never knew that. I just thought it was the glove. I wonder what % of baseball fans know that?

I'm a huge Cubs fan, so I'm a happy man this year.


Rachel said...

I love the old school Brewers logo. I don't remember that World Series at all, but that might have something to do with me being 8 months old at the time...

Thomas said...

PJ, I also remember the Cubs teams of the mid to late 80's (you couldn't avoid them if you got WGN). Sandberg really was a class act, all the way. I remember Sutcliffe as well.

I also recall Rose's chase for most hits. My stepdad was from Ohio, so loved every minute of that.

No question, this could be the year the Cubs finally do it. After seeing both the Red and White Sox win championships for the first time in decades over the last few years, you'd think it would be possible for the Cubs as well. We shall see.

Course, I also want to see the Twins get in the playoffs as well.

Brian, that is a very good question. My sister-in-law and her husband live near Chicago, so are quite happy as well.

Rachel, I prefer the Brewers old logo as well, so if I were to buy one of their shirts, it would have to have an 80's-era design.

Timothy Smith said...

I am hoping the Cubs lose to the Rays. I love low spending expansion teams doing well.

Will be rooting for the Twins (if they make it) and the Rays.

Thomas said...

Tim, I also like seeing expansion teams kick butt in the playoffs which is why I was smiling from ear to ear when the Arizona Diamondbacks defeated the mighty Yankess in the World Series of '01. Same thing for the Marlins beating the Bronx boys in '03.