As a kid, though, the stuff that you put on your walls -- how you decorated your bedroom, in particular -- was incredibly important. Did you go with a sports motif?
|Be honest -- when you first saw the upper left hand corner, you didn't see "Flea Flicker."|
Or were you more of a rock band/music guy or gal?
|No, this is not my room. Never.|
I definitely fell on the side of putting up sports heroes, though -- sort of the area that Fathead angles for. Or, maybe girls in swimsuits if I could get away with it.
I wouldn't have done that sports look above -- first, I wouldn't want the same four posters repeated three times. More to the point, every time I saw "Hook and Ladder" my brain would want to correct that because damn it it's Hook and Lateral, not hook and ladder. The stupid WR runs a button-hook pattern and the running back comes out and gets the lateral from him and runs toward the end zone. Therefore, it's hook and lateral and not a freaking ladder.
I also wouldn't go for the rock music look because, well, I always thought that it looked weird. And, I didn't have much money as a kid, so I didn't have the money to be buying posters of bands. I barely had enough to buy their cassette tapes.
Recently, though, I bought a few posters for my walls. I bought them from the same guy off eBay that I bought that huge early Brewers lot from, and he gave me a decent deal on them. I haven't gotten around to getting them framed yet -- but I'll do that soon. In the meantime, let's take a look at the three smallest posters and see what I have:
So, obviously, this came from September of 1992 -- Wednesday, September 9, to be exact. The local morning paper at that time was called The Milwaukee Sentinel, and it issued this poster to commemorate Robin Yount's 3000th hit...obviously.
Oddly enough, I probably like this one the least of the three posters that I got. It's pretty cool and all, and it commemorates the individual career highlight in Brewers' history.
But, well, I was back at college by this point at the start of my junior year at Vanderbilt. While I saw the SportsCenter replays and all that, I really didn't feel a part of this day in Brewer history. Instead, I was just back on campus after having gone to Tuscaloosa, Alabama the previous weekend, having seen eventual national champions Alabama -- quarterbacked by Alabama legend Jay Barker -- beat Vandy 25-8. College football and college girls were front and center for me at that point, and, sadly, I really missed out on Yount's history in many respects.
Now, this one I did not miss. In 1987, the Brewers captivated baseball in many ways, not the least of which was Paul Molitor's 39-game hitting streak. No one has hit in as many straight games consecutively since that time. Jimmy Rollins came close in 2005 and 2006 when he hit in a total of 38 straight games -- 36 in 2005 and 2 in 2006.
Molitor's hitting streak started inauspiciously enough. He went on the disabled list at the end of June after coming out of a game on June 26 against Toronto in the seventh inning after going 0-for-3 there. He returned against the California Angels on July 16 with a double off Kirk McCaskill.
The streak came to an end on August 26, 1987. That game pitted Brewers' ace Ted Higuera against a kid in just his second-ever start -- current Red Sox manager John Farrell. Farrell had made his major league debut against the Brewers 8 days earlier, picking up the win in a 12-inning, 9-8 game. The first batter he ever faced as a major leaguer was Molitor, who promptly got a single. Robin Yount followed with a single, but Glenn Braggs grounded into a double play. After walking Mike "Tiny" Felder, Farrell induced a B.J. Surhoff groundout to end the threat. In the bottom of the inning, Pat Tabler won the game for the Tribe with one of his patented bases-loaded hits -- this one coming off Ray Burris.
In that August 26 game, Farrell matched Higuera zero for zero. Indeed, Higuera ended up throwing a complete game, 10-inning 3 hitter, giving up only two walks and striking out 10. Farrell went 9 innings and also gave up only 3 hits while walking 2 and striking out 7. Molitor's last at bat came in the bottom of the 8th inning -- he reached on an error on first baseman Pat Tabler.
In the bottom of the 10th inning, Molitor was still hitless, obviously. The Indians brought in their closer -- former Brewer Doug Jones -- to face hitters 6, 7, and 8. Rob Deer was the first to the plate, and he was drilled by an errant Jones pitch. Tiny Felder -- a speedster -- pinch ran for Deer. Ernest Riles was not credited with a sacrifice, but he grounded out to Jones for the first out.
With first base open, Jones intentionally walked switch hitter and current Royals hitting coach Dale Sveum. Manager Tom Trebelhorn sent former Indian (and current Indian Broadcaster) Rick Manning (who, in 1978, apparently stole Dennis Eckersley's wife, leading to Eck's trade to Boston) to the plate to bat for light-hitting second baseman Juan Castillo. Now, Manning is batting for hitter number 9 in the lineup. This puts the still-hitless Molitor on deck.
In true Rick Manning fashion -- at least in Milwaukee -- Manning did something right that still was wrong. He singled, driving in the speedy Felder from third base and winning the game for the team. The Washington Post article on the game mentioned that the sparse crowd of 11,246 -- it had rained all day and many thought the game would be postponed -- actually booed Manning for winning the game.
In other words, Rick Manning stole another man's love.
I kid, though. I liked Rick Manning. He was a super guy to fans and always had time for signing autographs. But, that one night, part of me and everyone else in Milwaukee kind of wished that he had struck out.
And finally, no discussion of 1987 would be complete without something from that magical April streak. The Brewers, of course, started off the year with 13 straight wins. That team really was "Team Streak" because, shortly after, the club reeled off 12 straight losses. Throw in Molitor's streak and the smaller streak -- Ted Higuera set a team record with 32 straight scoreless innings -- and you can see why I call it that.
The fun part of this poster is the George Webb Restaurants logo. George Webb is a local hamburger joint in Milwaukee. From the days of the Braves being in town, they ran a promotion: if the home baseball team (Braves or Brewers) won a certain number of games in a row, then the chain would give out free hamburgers all day at every location (it was franchised locally in the late 1940s).
From the excellent history website called Borchert Field, here is a photo of the promo in 1953, the Braves' first year in town:
Eventually, the magic number of wins in a row was 12. This was tied to giving out free hamburgers -- 10,000 of them -- in 1956. That season, the Braves racked up 11 straight wins -- but they could not get to 12.
Until 1987. Then, George Webb paid off -- in a big way:
These three posters were a great way to drag me back to being a teenager again in Milwaukee -- when all that really mattered to me was that the Brewers were winning, I was doing well in my sports and in school, and that I was doing well in my other extracurricular activities (debate, jazz ensemble, marching band, forensics, mock trial, Spanish club, etc.).
Maybe I will hang these on my wall -- like the old days.