Jim Edmonds. Just the name conjures up memories of him patrolling the outfield of any MLB stadium with ease. SportsCenter top 10 play after top 10 play, of him making a diving catch or running a ball down at the warning track.
As a Brewer fan, I was treated to a few of these Edmonds gems.
However, those will be my only memories of Jim Edmonds playing for the Milwaukee Brewers.
The longtime Angels/Cardinals outfielder (and Brewer killer) was traded for 28-year-old outfielder Chris Dickerson in one of those "you didn't hear about it much unless you cared"-type trades.
This trade comes surprisingly soon after Edmonds expressed his wishes to stay loyal to the Brewers—the only team giving Edmonds a spring training invite to make his return to baseball after mulling retirement—and it is also peculiar due to it being a trade within the division.
For Edmonds, the benefits are numerous.
Play with a contending team, the Cincinnati Reds, and have one last chance at a second World Series.
A similar situation happened between the Brewers and Geoff Jenkins a couple years ago. The longtime Brewer Jenkins had never tasted postseason glory but stayed loyal to the Brewers organization all throughout his career. Why? He loved the city and his team.
The Brewers eventually declined his 2008 option for $9 million, and he went on to sign with the Philadelphia Phillies, winning a World Series for the first time in his 11-year career.
Edmonds will now get a chance to capture a second ring (his first coming with the '06 Cardinals) and ride off into the sunset.
His retirement is imminent, 99 percent likely following the 2010 season. It's easy to see why the Brewers were eager to honor Edmonds by sending him to a contender, while receiving a player who may contribute going into the future.
For the Brewers, Edmonds served as a mentor for the team's hitters, but also for outfielders Carlos Gomez, Jody Gerut, and the latest Brewer call-up, Lorenzo Cain.
I can only imagine the list of questions they must have had for the eight-time Gold Glove winner and four-time All-Star selection.
As Edmonds fades in what will be his final year, as a Major League Baseball fan, I'll remember him for his skill at the plate and his two-homer game against the Brew Crew in July of '08, but most importantly, he was and still is always classy.
As a Brewers fan, you can only wish Edmonds good luck, as he showed nothing but class and willingness to fit into any role necessary during his time in Milwaukee. It'll be tough to root for any Reds player, but Jim Edmonds makes it that much easier.
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