Tuesday, October 11, 2011


Last night Albert Pujols and the St. Louis Cardinals clobbered the Brewers. Watching the Crew lose to such a nefarious group of ne'er-do-wells was quite disheartening, but I can handle it. The NLCS is even at one game apiece as the action moves to the Gateway City. Or, it’s level pegging as my British friend Bev would say. She would also remind me that, “you can’t win them all.” 

Fortunately, I had a nice diversion to fall back on after last night’s discouraging result. And it involves a Milwaukee Brewer championship game.

On Saturday, October 9, 1982, I was sitting in the leftfield bleachers of Milwaukee County Stadium with Jimmy Gentile, Will Meurer and Kevin Hoff. The four of us were shivering in the rain as we patiently awaited the start of game four of the ALCS between the Brewers and California Angels.

While we were lucky to even have tickets for the game, the weather was miserable and we were suffering. Remember, County Stadium wasn’t blessed with a retractable roof like Miller Park.

To make things worse, due to the incessant rain, the start of the game was delayed. As we waited, we looked for diversions to take our minds off of how wretched the conditions were.

One such diversion was watching Angel outfielder Reggie Jackson slowly stroll through the warning track in ankle deep water. The future Hall of Fame player chose to trudge through the murky slop rather than on the outfield grass is because he was a petulant diva. He wanted to irritate the Milwaukee faithful and he was successful.

At least it furnished us with a diversion from our complaining about the foul circumstances we were enduring. Another diversion that was provided was the group seated directly in front of us.

The group was made up of a pair of females and a couple of males. I hesitate calling them couples because the women paid more attention to us than the guys they were seated with. They seemed totally disinterested in them. Plus there was the fact the guys didn’t speak a word of English. I think they were from India or Iran or Iraq…

My buddy, Will was especially flirtatious with the young ladies. Perhaps it was that he was the only one in our group that smoked, while their entire group smoked like chimneys. Or maybe it was because Will enjoyed flirting more than me, Jimmy and Kevin.

To Will’s credit, he was the only one of us to actually speak to one of the guys in that group. He wanted a light for his cigarette. I believe the conversation went something like, “Hey, Hadji, you got a light?” The rain-soaked foreigner just nodded and smiled as he handed over his Zippo. Will was always quite the diplomat.

Finally the game started and we were able to forgot about the cold temperatures and steady drizzle. The game was outstanding and provided me with a new hero – Mark Brouhard.

The seldom-used outfielder was called upon to fill in for Ben Oglivie who was nursing bad ribs. And he did so admirably. Brouhard’s final line: three hits in four at-bats, including a home run, three runs batted in and four runs scored, an ALCS record. Pretty good for a guy that wasn’t expecting to play that day.

The Crew won the game 9-5, then won game five to capture the ALCS and moved on to play the St. Louis Cardinals in the World Series.

Under full disclosure: Jimmy, Will and myself left early while Kevin stayed and met a friend that he was going to the Rush concert with later that night. After dropping Jimmy and Will off, I stopped at Big Star before going home to dry off.

After that game, Brouhard would return to his familiar spot on the bench and finish his career playing 304 games in six seasons for Milwaukee, with 25 home runs, 104 RBI with a .259 batting average.

By comparison, Prince Fielder had 38 home runs, 120 RBI with a .299 batting average - this season! Nonetheless, on that cold, damp afternoon in 1982 Brouhard became my hero and was one of many necessary diversions.

Writing this blog has proved extremely cathartic and provided me a much-needed diversion from last night’s disappointing Brewer game. I am much better now and look forward to Wednesday night’s game against the repugnant St. Louis Cardinals.

Programming note: due to the magnitude of the Brewer game, the official Survivor: South Pacific Recap Trilogy will not be posted until Thursday. Thank you for your understanding. Until next time…from the booth.


Leplume said...

I've been to exactly three Brewers games in my life, one at the old ball park, two at the new. And I"m not even a Brewers fan! I lived in Chicago for four years, exactly half a block away from Wrigley Field, and I'm a Cubs fan, and I never went to even one single game. I didn't have to. I could just open my window while watching it on TV and I could hear the crowd and see the game all at the same time. Still, I missed the chance..and I should have gone. Ah well, missed opportunities!

Anyway, I am cheering for the Brewers this time. I mean, after all, I am from Wisconsin and they deserve this. I have to admit it.

The Cub fan in me is sighing and thinking... "maybe next year???" HAHAHA!!!

Paul E. Vagnoni said...

I am surprised to hear that you never went to a game at Wrigley. I have been to 6 games there. Although I have never been to Miller Park, I have been to numerous games at venerable County Stadium. Go Crew!

Sue said...

Thanks for the warning that the Survivor Trilogy will be a day late ! Just goes to show a main can't multi task ! But I suppose you have the priorities right with the Brewers game !

Paul E. Vagnoni said...

Sue, how dare you! Actually the game might be postponed by rain tonight. In that case, I would try to get the blog done tonight. Maybe. ;)

bev,doris beryl cooper said...

well done sue and well done paul .

Paul E. Vagnoni said...

You Taylor girls…