brewers baseball and things


revisiting jeffrey leonard

and so we’re awakened by news of a lock out, yes, us fans, locked out of baseball, locked out of the treasure chest, the key somewhere hiding in a dark basement.
little sweet escape magic pill effective, day after day, 365,
in winter trade talks,
in spring training players wearing 99, hoping for a break,
in opening day every team ready at 0-0, all tied,
in regular season Johnny Cueto quick pitching,
in a reliever working three full innings,
in fall pennant races,
in world series,
in winter trade talks, again, round and round we go….
lock out or no lock out, we have old games to revisit or see for the first time, like the Brewers at Detroit, on September 18, 1984, which was nothing spectacular or rather everything spectacular like the Tigers trying to clinch the division in a season which they began an incredible 35-5. Bob McLure on the mound for the Brewers and for the Tigers? Rookie Randy O’neal, making his second start of the year.

and if another inning is never played, never another major league game, it will be remembered with its creation story and heroes, from 755 home runs to Bombo Rivera.

There’s baseball cards to thumb through and an annual strat-o-matic opening day, sometime in February. Fanatics will line up outside the headquarters in Glen Head, New York, as they do every year, eager to see how each player’s card has turned out. Will the Brewer’s Tyrone Taylor, their longest tenured player….will his card against left-handed pitchers be good enough to use as a pinch hitter? A platoon?

back in the day, we held our annual strat-o-draft after the MLB season ended and then we waited, week after week after month for the cards to arrive in the mail and when they did, usually in mid to late February, one of the players in our league highlighted home runs on his batter’s cards. he did it with a yellow marker and then every time he rolled the right splits and his batter sent one sailing, a home run, he’d stick the card out, in our face. i guess he was doing a bat flip or a slow trot equivalent, a strat-o-matic Jeffrey Leonard one flap down…