brewers baseball and things

walking on his toes


Spring training came way before Billy Hamilton’s mid June .187 average. It was great being there, not only because of the Arizona sun, but because I wasn’t a slave to the camera man and his angle or the words the radio man decided to use. My eyes were the camera. I could focus on whatever part of the panorama I wanted and think whatever and so I chose Billy Hamilton hopping around. God, he looked happy, talking to opponents, to teammates, old coaches, carrying his bag of bats over his shoulder, but not lugging them in labor pain, more like a woodsman with ax on his back, energetic, glad to be at the diamond.
Watching him was better than anti-anxiety medication,
a reason for being,
to play baseball.


Author: Steve Myers

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

27 thoughts on “walking on his toes

  1. Maybe someday he’ll learn to hit.

    • Was there ever a Mark Belanger equivalent for center field? I guess the no hit, all glove players are an endangered species or maybe not since defensive WAR has gained mainstream credibility. I still can’t wrap my mind around WAR. Very embarrassing, but I am making a conscious effort to better understand it and all metrics or at least the easier ones, ever so slowly.

  2. Spring is so warm and wonderful and promising and then the dog days come and your triple slash line looks like Ed “The Creeper” Stroud. There’s a lesson in there, but I choose to not seek it too strenuously.

  3. I looked up pictures of Billy Hamilton, not knowing who he is. He gives me the willies. He looks about as intelligent as a picket fence and he resembles a million punks I’ve been on the J Train with.

    • I got a different impression of him in spring training Glen. He struck me as enthusiastic and interested in playing baseball, but then again, I only had a little look of him before the game.

      As a player, he can’t hit too much, but he makes some really breathtaking catches in centerfield. In fact, in the game I was at, Milwaukee hosting Cincinnati, in a rougher section of Phoenix, Hamilton made a catch in deep center…his momentum took him towards the wall and rather than crash into it or put up his hands in self defense, he sauntered up and across the fence like a cat might do. It was very entertaining.

      As a side note, I can’t help wondering why the Brewers train where they train and to think, they just added a couple million dollar upgrade to their Maryvale Stadium. It struck me as good enough. Anyway, the whole place seems like an insult to the neighborhood which has all the markings of ghetto…..lots of booze stores, check cashing places. and Baptist churches or maybe they’re trying to invigorate the area? Somehow I doubt it since the stadium parking lot had so much security which strikes me as a subtle way to keep sneaker-inners out. Or in another way, it makes it harder to sneak in, more of a challenge. I remember one of the strangest tricks I ever pulled. My friend and I were at Candlestick Park. We were planning on paying for tickets. But we just opened a door and it got us into where the concessions were handed out to the vendors. Not one person noticed us or they did, but didn’t say anything. Maybe they thought we were staff? In any case, we never lost stride. We walked forwards and then left and then right or something like that and eventually out the door and we were in the game for free. All that to say, sometimes security and rules are good…..makes it more interesting to find a way to break them.

      • I thought of and successfully executed every trick in the book when it came to sneaking into the good seats at Shea Stadium, including behind the screen with Seaver pitching. That was my ULTIMATE baseball game moment, at least as far as being at a major league ballpark was concerned! I sneaked behind the third base dugout at Candlestick when I was 16, and I snuck down to the field boxes at Yankee Stadium every time I went there. (The House That Ruth Built, not the current one). One time I was right behind the screen when Ed Figeroa was pitching for the Yankees against the Angels, and also during that same game, Bob Sheppard was announcing Angels owner Gene Autry coming onto the field, and he did dressed it on horseback, to the organist playing “Back In The Saddle Again”, Autry’s old theme song from when he was a cowboy Western star. Another time, I snuck behind the White Sox dugout at Yankee Stadium, and I recall Ken Brett, just a few feet from where I was, kneeling in the on-deck circle….. to pinch hit! He was quite a hitter for a pitcher, and this was WAY into the designated hitter era, too.


        • Glen, the weird thing or incredibly triumphant thing about our trick despite us doing it sort of by accident was that we didn’t sneak into good seats as you did so successfully a number of times. We sneaked INTO the actual game. Can you top that one Glen?

          • I don’t know if I can TOP it, but I’ve equaled it, although my sneaking in was more intentional. I was at Anaheim Stadium back in the 1970s, and I left the stadium for some reason (who knows why? I wasn’t driving yet, so I definitely didn’t leave to turn the headlights off in my car), and it was then that I realized that I didn’t have my ticket stub in order to get back into the stadium. But there was a large opening where there were no turnstiles, and I simply waltz back into the stadium.

            My cousin Steve, who, until he was 12, lived with my aunt and my two girl cousins in the Bronx near Yankee Stadium, told me back then (1973) that he had all kinds of ways to sneak into Yankee Stadium. One way, it seems to me, required standing in a men’s room stall inside the stadium(?) until no one was around, or something like that. I must have not been listening to him correctly because this doesn’t make much sense, does it?


            • Good job on getting back in the stadium Glen. Most people woulda thrown in the towel after realizing they had lost the stub. Yeh, your cousin Steve’s antics sound a bit weird because he would have had to have already been in the stadium to hide in the stall or maybe you could access them from the outside? Though I doubt the Yankees would have had the same bathrooms for people already in the stadium and those outside.

              Incidentally, this must have popped up at the County Stadium board meeting since tailgating quickly caught hold. They couldn’t have people peeing all over the place and those portable potties are messy and require lots of lugging around to empty so they opened the stalls to tailgaters, but kept that all important door leading into the game locked. I have however heard tales of fans climbing over the outfield fence to get in to see games, but that was back in the early 60’s at Braves games.

              • When I was a teenager, I used to have this fantasy about sneaking onto the Shea Stadium grass in the middle of the night by climbing over the center field fence and sleeping on the outfield grass or the infield all night, and then sneaking around all over the stadium before the stadium officially opened for business, where they’d never find me and never even know where I was, and sneak around until batting practice and then the game, and then watch the game on top of that. But I never did it, and now I’d be too old to do it.


                • Sounds like a mission that must be done. Today, it would require top notch bank robber precision, but there are people today who live inside the walls of shopping malls so it can be done. It must be. I implore you Glen since it was your idea.

                • Glen, about this fantasy of yours….amazing. I love it. Reminds me a bit of the short story The Thrill Of The Grass, not the smoking kind though maybe the story was influenced by reefer? Anyway, if you haven’t read the story yet, don’t. Write a new one beginning with “sneaking onto the Shea Stadium grass in the middle of the night by climbing over the center field fence and sleeping on the outfield grass or the infield all night…..”

              • I think my cousin Steve told me that he and his friends would stand on toilets in the stalls, or something like that.

                Pertaining to tailgating, I never saw anyone tailgating at Shea Stadium.

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