This week at Miller Park, a new feature will be debuting. The feature is comprised of 1500 square feet of artifacts and gear to honor retired Commissioner Emeritus and former Brewers Owner Allan H. "Bud" Selig. It's called "The Selig Experience at Miller Park."
The highlight, or perhaps the climax, of the show is "a surprising encounter with the Commissioner himself inside an authentic reproduction of Selig's County Stadium office, using a technology found in only a handful of exhibits around the world. After the show, Milwaukee fans will be delighted to take a sneak peek into Selig's office for themselves."
Speaking for myself, that is not a tour I would want to take. Now, don't get me wrong -- I appreciate all of Selig's hard work in tirelessly crusading for the return of baseball to Milwaukee in the time between the Braves left until Selig and his team of financiers took the Pilots from Seattle and bankruptcy. I appreciate his willingness to spend money in the late 1970s and early 1980s -- before we heard Selig complaint about how competitive balance would be destroyed by free agency -- to build a team that could and did win and made it to the World Series.
But I have to admit that the Selig Experience leaves me cold. Again, don't misunderstand -- he made sure as the commissioner that revenue sharing was put into place, that the smaller markets might have a chance to succeed. The biggest problem I have with Selig is that he spent his time worrying about being Commissioner for far too long as his own team rotted. Selig became acting commissioner in September of 1992. The Brewers finished 1992 with a 92-70 record, 4 games out of first.
In my opinion, it is not a coincidence that the Brewers did not have another non-losing season -- even a .500 season -- until 2005. Guess what happened in January of 2005? Yup, the Selig family sold the Brewers to current owner Mark Attanasio. The problem is clear when you hear what he told his former fraternity brother at the University of Wisconsin, Lew Wolff, who owns the Oakland Athletics: "When you join this, try to put baseball first and your team a very close second."
From 1992 to 2005, the Brewers were a very distant second. Or maybe third, behind carrying the torch that small-market teams could not compete with larger market teams and making sure that the team was so bad to prove his own point.
Perhaps it's fitting that the team has sucked this year. It is, after all, the Selig Experience.
I had to get that off my chest.
Now, to a far more positive experience -- the Chopping Block.
Specifically, I am talking about getting cards from the Chop Keeper himself, Steve from the Card Chop. I know there are a lot of Dodgers bloggers out there, but I seem to trade with more Braves bloggers than anyone else. That might have something to do with my location in Atlanta, I suppose.
A few weeks ago, Steve ripped through some Gypsy Queen packs and pulled one of those white framed parallels of one of my PC guys, Ryan Braun. I had to claim it, of course, and it showed up shortly after.
Being the awesome guy that he is, that was not the only card to make its way to the ATL from the Card Chop. Indeed, that is probably the lesser of the two top cards:
This Team Tandems from the Absolute Memorabilia set -- one of those Donruss sets with 200 cards and 2000 parallels from the mid-2000s -- features one-and-a-half year wonder Danny Kolb, who racked up 60 saves between July 19, 2003 and the end of 2004 -- and none other than one of my PCs, Ben Sheets.
Sheets will be representing the Brewers at the 2015 MLB Draft on June 8. Others appearing include Hall of Famers Reggie Jackson (for the Yankees), Andre Dawson and Tony Perez (for the Marlins), and Mike Schmidt for the Phillies. Lesser lights appearing include Bob Boone for the Nationals, Lee Smith for the Giants, and B.J. Surhoff...for the Orioles.
For the Braves? Ralph Garr and Greg McMichael.
I bet that will still be more uplifting to me than The Selig Experience!
Steve, thank you very much for these and the other cards you sent to me -- they are greatly appreciated!