Milwaukee Brewers Turn 40: Top Ten Moments
2009 marks the 40th Anniversary of the Milwaukee Brewers in the MLB, as they moved from Seattle to the Brew City prior to the 1970 season.
So I thought that I would share what I consider the top 10 moments in Brewers' history.
Now, I haven't been around since 1970, so I haven't seen (but I know about) every single thing about Brewers baseball, but I think all fans remember these moments vividly.
Here's to the 40 years of Brewers baseball, and hopefully 40 more.
10. 1970: The Season That Began it All
Whether you like him or not, baseball would not be in Brew Town without Bud Selig.
After the Braves packed up and moved to Atlanta after the 1965 season, Selig thought that the emptiness in Milwaukee County Stadium for four years was long enough.
He bought the Seattle Pilots and shipped them to Milwaukee in time for the 1970 season to begin, and the rest in history.
9. 1998: Brewers Move to the National League
With the Tampa Bay (Devil) Rays and Arizona Diamondbacks entering the league, Commissioner Selig wanted to even things out and send an American League team to the other side.
When the Kansas City Royals declined the invitation, the Milwaukee Brewers agreed to switch leagues.
I can't imagine the Brewers back in the AL (no more battling the Yanks or Red Sox), especially since the Cubs rivalry is stronger than ever.
8. 4/15/87: Juan Nieves Throws No-hitter
Nieves threw the first (and so far only) no-hitter in Brewers' history against the Baltimore Orioles.
The game ended on a diving catch by center fielder Robin Yount, and still draws the question of whether or not the dive was necessary.
Since it's the only one in the 40-year history, Nieves's no-hitter is still fresh in Brewers fans minds.
7. The Future Is Now
For years, Brewers fans have heard "wait until next year," and each subsequent "next year" never showed up.
Milwaukee always traded for "prospects" and never really got to set their future, at least until Doug Melvin and Mark Attanasio came to town.
The Brewers have held onto their minor league stars, and it is finally paying off.
Names like Ryan Braun, Prince Fielder, J.J. Hardy, Rickie Weeks, Corey Hart, and Yovani Gallardo should be in town for awhile and make the Brewers contenders.
6. The Hammer Returns to Milwaukee
From 1954-65, Aaron was the staple of the Milwaukee Braves, and led them to back-to-back World Series appearances, with a title in 1957.
It was the city's only World Series win, and then Hammerin' Hank left with the rest of the Braves.
After eight years in Atlanta, the greatest home run hitter in the game returned to Milwaukee and played for two seasons with the Brewers (1975-76).
Granted, Aaron didn't have stellar seasons, and only hit 22 HR as a Brewer, but he stayed true to the fans of Milwaukee, and ended his career where it began.
And to that, we say, "Thank you Hank."
5. 9/28/00: The Final Game at County Stadium
After 47 years of baseball and football games, Milwaukee County Stadium saw the end of its days.
The Brewers were set to move to Miller Park to start the 2000 season, but a disastrous crane collapse allowed County Stadium to witness one more year of the Brewers.
Yes, Milwaukee lost the final game at County, but a new was ready to begin just beyond the center field fence.
4. 4/6/01: Miller Park Opens
When it opened, Miller Park was one of a kind, as it boasted the largest "fan-style" retractable roof.
The Brewers would no longer have to worry about rain (or snow) outs, and fans now know that whenever a game is scheduled in Milwaukee, it will be played.
Milwaukee opened Miller Park the right way, with a 5-4 comeback victory over the Cincinnati Reds (the same team that denied them closing County with a bang).
This is the Brewers fan in me talking, but Miller Park is one of the finer ballparks in all the MLB.
3. 9/9/92: Robin Yount Collect 3,000th Hit
The greatest player in Milwaukee Brewers' history accomplished one of the greatest hitting marks in front of the home crowd.
In the seventh inning, Yount hit a single to right-center off Cleveland Indians pitcher Jose Mesa to reach the coveted plateau.
I wasn't at the game, but my best friend was, and the crowd gave Yount a long and well deserved standing ovation.
I can still remember the call by Bob Uecker on the radio; "Swing and a base hit to right...there it is...he's done it...3,000, for Robin!"
2. 2008: Brewers clinch NL Wild Card and End 26-Year Drought
Before the 2008 season, the Brewers' lone shot of glory was the 1982 AL Championship team, which lost to St. Louis in the World Series.
After those 26 years, Milwaukee got back into the playoffs by clinching their spot on the very last day of the season (just like '82), with some help from the Florida Marlins.
Playoff baseball had returned to Milwaukee, and even better, the Brewers did manage to win Game Three against the Phillies to allow most of the fans (like me) to see a playoff win in their lifetime.
2008 is one of the top moments; let's just hope their are more season like it to join the list of memories.
1. 1982: A Season To Remember
In a season that started in turmoil, with the eventual firing of manager Buck Rodgers, the Brewers made a change mid-season of '82.
Milwaukee brought in Harvey Kuenn to take the reigns, and the players immediately responded and found their way to the top of the standings.
The Brewers have the most feared lineups in all of baseball, and rightfully earned the infamous nickname of "Harvey's Wallbangers".
There were so many great memories in that season alone, it's hard to pick one; thus the entire season has become the best moment in Brewers history.