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List of Things Every Brewer Fan Should Know
This list is not in order of importance, but rather it is just a compilation of historical things that have happened. I believe a person who claims to be a Brewer fan should know some basic things. Even though the Brewers started playing in Milwaukee in 1970, they are still relatively young in terms of Major League Baseball Teams when you think about how long other teams have been around like the Cubs, White Sox, Red Sox and Reds for example. Because the Brewers have not been around that long compared to other teams, I feel like knowing basic Brewer facts should be relatively easy. Without further ado, here is the list:
- Bob Uecker Has Broadcasted on the Radio for the Brewers Every Year in the Franchise’s Existence except for 1970!
2. 1992 was a year the Brewers made a valiant run for the playoffs, but fell short before there was such as thing as a wild card. In Phil Garner’s first year as the Brewers Manager, the team finished with a record of 92-70. For his efforts in the 1992 Season, Pat Listach won the Rookie of the Year award. After the 1992 Season, longtime Brewer Paul Molitor departed as a free agent. Longtime Brewer Jim Gantner also retired after the 1992 season. This means that only one of the players who were a part of the “Triumphant Trio “returned for the 1993 season. Only Robin Yount was still there and he played without his other two longtime teammates in 1993.
3. Two other significant events took place in 1992. On September 9th, 1992, Robin Yount recorded his 3000th major league hit. On that same day, Brewers Owner Bud Selig became interim commissioner of Major League Baseball.
4. It may be a fact that you will not ever have to recite, not even on Jeopardy… but since Robin Yount is the “face of the franchise, any Brewer fan should be able to properly say that Yount debuted in the majors as an 18 year old Shortstop in 1974 and ultimately played through the 1993 season. When the Brewers changed uniforms for the 1994 Season and also celebrated the fact they were starting their 25th season in Milwaukee, it was the first season without Robin in a long time! Robin was inducted to the Baseball Hall of Fame on July 25th, 1999 and became the first member of the Hall to wear a Brewers cap. His speech was memorable, as he invoked some humor into it when he talked about never winning a World Series, but he also showed compassion when he reached out to the families of the people who died during the Miller Park Crane Collapse.
5. The Brewers moved to the National League Central before the start of the 1998 season. As a result of the Brewers vacating the American League Central, the Tigers moved from the AL East to the AL Central. The Brewers were the first team to switch leagues, but now the Astros have also jumped from one league to the other.
6. Bud Selig was the Brewers’ longtime owner who was on board from the birth of the Brewers in 1970 until 1992 when he became acting commissioner of baseball. In 1998, he was named the OFFICIAL commissioner, and since he was in charge of all of baseball the Brewers team was handed down to daughter Wendy Selig-Prieb. Mark Attanasio bought the Brewers and officially became the 2nd owner in franchise history on January 13th, 2005.
7. As of November 4th, 2015, the Brewers have had four Playoff Appearances. In 1981 they appeared in the playoffs as part of a strike shortened season. Unfortunately, they lost the American League Division Series to the Yankees 3 games to 2. In 1982 they made it all the way to the World Series, but ultimately lost in 7 games to the St. Louis Cardinals. In 2008, they finally returned to the playoffs, but this time they were a member of the National League since they had moved in 1998. The Brewers were defeated in the Division Series to the Phillies by a margin of three games to one. The Fourth Playoff Appearance occurred in 2011 as the Brewers won the National League Central Division Title. This playoff berth meant the most to me, because I am not the hugest fan of the Wild Card. In addition to not being the biggest fan of the Wild Card, I was born AFTER the Brewers ONLY World Series appearance in 1982, so I felt a lot of elation at the fact that my Milwaukee Brewers had actually won a division championship in 2011. To this present day, I still can’t fathom the fact that the Brewers won an NL Central title in 2011 despite the fact they had the Cardinals, Reds, Pirates and Astros in their same division. Anyways, that is the Brewers’ Playoff History, and every person who calls his or her self a Brewer fan should know about it.
8. Milwaukee County Stadium served as the Brewers’ home for many seasons, but ultimately it was replaced. Eventually, County Stadium made way for Miller Park. Every person who calls him or herself a Brewer fan cannot talk about the Brewers without mentioning the fact that a very severe crane collapse occurred while the new ballpark to replace County Stadium was being constructed. When the crane collapsed on July 14th, 1999 the opening of Miller Park was delayed a year. In addition to delaying the opening of Miller Park, three lives were lost when the crane collapsed. County Stadium had started as the home of the Milwaukee Braves in 1953 and remained in service through the 2000 baseball season. The Brewers began play at Miller Park in 2001. The construction of Miller Park was made possible when State Senator George Petak changed his vote on a controversial funding bill for the Miller Park stadium. He'd initially promised to vote against the bill, but changed his mind after being persuaded the Brewers would move out of town without a new park. To this day, a stadium tax is in effect to help fund the ballpark and any necessary maintenance.
9. In 1987, several milestones happened for the Brewers. The team started off the year with 13 straight wins. During that span, the only no hitter in Brewers history occurred when LHP Juan Nieves hurled it on April 15th (Tax Day) at Baltimore. Also during the winning streak, Dale Sveum hit a walk-off home run at County Stadium to give Milwaukee a 6–4 victory over the Texas Rangers. This victory, which came on April 19 (Easter Sunday), led the Brewers to a 12–0 record on the season before they won their next game to bring the total to 13 straight. Earlier in the same game, Rob Deer hit a three run homer in the bottom of the 9th to tie the game and give the Brewers a chance to extend their streak. Unfortunately for the Brewers, the 13 game winning streak that they had to start the season was all but erased when they embarked on a 12 game losing streak that ended almost exactly a month after their winning streak ended.
Paul Molitor also had a 39 game personal hitting streak which started on July 16th.The streak ended with Molitor in the on-deck circle when Rick Manning got a game-ending hit to beat the Cleveland Indians on August 26, 1987. Fans booed Manning for driving in the winning run and thus depriving Molitor of one last chance to reach a streak of 40 games. The streak stands as the fifth-longest in modern-day baseball history, and remains the longest since Pete Rose's 44-game hit streak in 1978.
When all was said and done, manager Tom Trebelhorn finished his first full big league season at the helm of the Brewers with a record of 91-71 in the memorable 1987 season.
10. Lastly, Brewer fans should know about some familiar ballpark faces. The Brewers have Bernie Brewer as their mascot. The idea for Bernie Brewer started in 1970 when a 69 year old fan by the name of Milt Mason said he would sit atop the scoreboard until the Brewers could draw a crowd of 40,000 at home. After a period of 40 days, the Brewers drew the desired crowd, and Milt slid down a rope from his perch. Bernie Brewer officially appeared at home Brewer games starting in 1973. At County Stadium, he had a chalet and slide into a beer mug, which is now at Lakefront Brewery in Milwaukee. At Miller Park, he has his own dugout and slides down to a platform shaped like home plate.
The Klement’s Racing Sausages originally started as a scoreboard entertainment feature in the early 1990’s, but they were so popular with fans that they eventually began to race live and in person on the field at EVERY home Brewer game starting in the year 2000 at County Stadium. The current lineup features five varieties: Italian, Hot Dog, Polish, Bratwurst, and Chorizo. Many other teams have now held races of their own. Pittsburgh has a Pierogi Race. The Nationals have a Presidents Race. The Marlins have a Sea Creature Race. The Sausage Race at Miller Park easily provides the most opportunity to “meat” new friends.
The Brewers used a Barrel Man logo in the 1970's and he can be seen greeting fans at Miller Park today. The latest edition to the Miller Park entertainment lineup is Hank the Dog. In April of 2014 the Brewers announced that Hank would get his own doghouse at Miller Park which can be seen beyond the outfield wall. Also, in addition to the real live dog, there is a mascot which travels throughout the stadium and greets fans.