brewers baseball and things

there’s always larry dierker


I could always scream “A CHANCE” when my eyes open and breath and voice return in the morning, but I escape into my own thoughts instead. I slither in the sheets and eventually get the courage to sit up; rock back and forth; shake dust from my mind.

Then it’s off to the computer and before that, it was off to the tv and before that my mouth-watering for cereal and before that; where’s my mommy?

I flee to the bathroom or coffee pot nowadays. I’m on auto pilot I guess; maybe even brainwashed by hope because I could have said Booo and stayed under the blanket; played games all day, but I go to work.

I’d like to see or hear or smell the world like it was on the first day of big bang creation way back when and I know my desire is impossible and dangerous because of the potential lusts and addictions rising from the ruins of my frustration.

Snow mounds on the local baseball field look like incurable diseases.

I love coffee in the morning and the chocolate Danish and second coffee during my 15 minute work break and beer after work feels like summer vacation when I was 13 years young and just bought Combat Rock.

I loved Winkie’s Variety Store store; the racks and rows of toys and board games and aquariums filled with fish; mostly goldfish but exotic enough. And the entire front section devoted to candy and bubble gum and Topps, Donruss, Fleer and magic tricks and perfect rubber baseballs to play strikeout.

But the windows were thick cubes and you couldn’t really see through them; only colors all smeared and distorted and if you squinted or shifted to the right or left, the distortion got worse or better; depended on what you wanted; a carnival mirror or reality; maybe the same thing.

It always felt a little suspicious to me because you couldn’t see inside; could never know what was going on in there and that’s exactly how I feel now. I can’t look back inside and see what’s going on in there. I’m cut off from the past and it depresses me. I’m stuck in the prison of now, but if I accept it like death, maybe gratitude rushes in like buffalo and Larry Dierker comes to life again and it feels like the first time.

It’s not the inside of Winkie’s Variety Store. It’s not the first day big bang creation either, but it is September 1964 and that’s close enough.

Maybe everyone had a friend resembling Lawrence Edward Dierker or maybe that’s just me trying to sound clever, but Dierker did have perfect teeth and a smile on crash course with squinty eyes and freckles; a recipe for rabble rouse always the first to do; always the most outlandish.

Larry Dierker turned 18 on September 22, 1964. He also appeared in a major league game on that day; as a starting pitcher for the Houston Colt .45’s. There were younger ones; maybe Bob Feller? and definitely Joe Nuxhal who was 15 I think, but any teen on the burial mound blows me into the next state of mind and Dierker struck out Willie Mays in his first inning.

His overall debut wasn’t so good; but he pitched 2 more times out of relief in 1964 and didn’t allow a run in 6 innings. 

Maybe the Colt .45’s were desperate with nothing to lose; not afraid to make asses of themselves; no reputation to uphold or preserve.

The Brewers traded Yovani Gallardo this off-season. He was up for free agency after 2015 anyway but there is still a year to fill and Gallardo was drafted and developed by the Brewers; appeared as opening day pitcher the last 5 or 6 years. He probably won’t appear on a stamp, but he was the ace and he is gone.

Move over Yo and let drafted and developed Jimmy Nelson take over.

Nelson endured a roller coaster debut in 2014; 82 hits in 69 innings and this year could be a flop or fantastic; and so could today and that’s exactly how I like it; the unpredictability keeps me from looking over my shoulder into those window cubes.


Author: Steve Myers

I grew up in Milwaukee and have been a Milwaukee Brewers baseball fan for as long as I can remember.

14 thoughts on “there’s always larry dierker

  1. Sometimes, all we need is an inning of Larry Dierker. One inning from a rookie pitcher goes a long way. Let’s see what this kid’s got. I remember the first time I saw Barry Zito pitch. Many others – Burt Hooten, Matt Latos, Tim Lincecum, Rick Reuschel…

    I don’t recall the results, just the impression that “this guy knows what he’s doing.”

  2. “…and beer after work feels like summer vacation when I was 13 years young and just bought Combat Rock.”
    Very nice. I’ve always loved The Clash, too. I get caught up sometimes thinking about the past and wishing I could just go back and say hi, and taste the air again. Like you, once I get dressed and have my coffee, I feel like I’ve already accomplished about all that should be expected of me that day. But then I remember Matt Harvey’s pitching for the Mets again this season, and spring smells nice once more.

    • I had that Combat Rock playing last night Bill and was thinking; Damn this still captures my attention; even had me dancing a bit during overpowered by funk. Those are some raps being laid down. I think even Alan Ginsberg makes a cameo appearance on one.

  3. To riff off the Combat Rock theme, perhaps the answer with JImmy Nelson is to Give Em’ Enough Rope.

  4. Phenoms are strange. Some of them never develop; some, like Koufax, develop late; others, like Feller, are instant successes. Good luck with this one.

    • Well, they seem bent on him; trading Gallardo and saying he’s the man now; not the opening day man, but he’s got a spot in the rotation. I’d settle for a Bill Wegman like career.

  5. Did Ben Sheets have a tough time at first? I remember him being a dominate bonus baby in the minors….although my memory is shot.

    • Gary, I think you did a post about seeing him pitch against maybe Sacramento? He was roughed up a bit early on as a Brewer, but we were desperate; coming off a 100 loss season so we stuck by him and Sheets was well worth the wait. His 2004 season is the greatest single season pitching performance I’ve ever seen; in person or on a stats page.

      • Steve, I saw him pitch in Stockton (A) He pitched 7 shutout innings and fanned the “beer batter” 4 times….well, you know the story. Strange, he was under .500 his rookie year yet still an All Star. The early 90’s was a graveyard for pitching.

  6. …and after looking at baseball (the best page for stats) he one exactly ONE game for Stockton…boy, what luck!

  7. Fortunately, unlike an incurable disease, the snow mounds are ultimately doomed to melt, and baseball shall return in full health and splendor.

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