Now is the best time in history to be a Milwaukee Brewers fan
October 4, 2018
The thrilling shout from Bob Uecker echoed all throughout Chicago, and into the northern parts of Wisconsin. “Everybody on their feet. Hader ready again, here it is! Swinging, fly ball, into right center. Broxton is there! And they’re the champions! They have done it!”
The Milwaukee Brewers had won the NL Central Division title and secured the best record in the National League for 2018. Six days later, the Brewers drew one step closer to reaching the World Series. The Brewers continued their hot streak into the National League Division Series against the Colorado Rockies, sweeping the NL Wild Card winners in a short three-game series.
With the three-game sweep over the Rockies, the Brewers are riding on an 11-game win streak dating back to September 23rd in a series against the Pittsburgh Pirates. Now the Brewers will be facing the NL Western Division Champions, the Los Angeles Dodgers, in a best of seven games series for the National League Pennant.
This year’s edition of the Milwaukee Brewers may be the best ever in franchise history. Older Brewer fans may still argue that the 1982 American League Champions Brewers team is better than the 2018 edition of the Brewers. The 1982 Brewers had to play the other Los Angeles team for the American League Championship Series, the California Angels, to win the AL Pennant.
As a reminder to all the people who are confused about the Brewers playing for an AL pennant long ago, the Brewers first entered the major leagues as an American League team in 1969, then as the Seattle Pilots. They were purchased the next season by future MLB commissioner, Bud Selig to move into Milwaukee for 1970 and was named the Brewers. From 1970 up until 1997, the Brewers remained in the American League, until Commissioner Selig moved them to the National League for 1998. This was to balance the teams in each league for the newest teams in the Major’s for 1998; the Arizona Diamondbacks and the Tampa Bay Rays.
Now that the history lesson is over, time to get back to comparing the two best Brewer teams of all time.
The 1982 edition of the Brewers had three future MLB Hall of Famers on it. The 1982 AL MVP shortstop Robin Yount who lead the Brewers with a .331 batting average, 29 home runs, and 114 runs batted in. Third baseman Paul Molitor who posted a .302 batting average, 41 stolen bases, and a .366 on-base percentage. Finally, the game’s first elite closer Rollie Fingers, who lead the team with 29 saves and a 2.60 earned run average in only 50 relief appearances.
The 2018 Brewers do have players that can match up to these Brewer Legends with today’s team. The leading NL MVP candidate right fielder Christian Yelich who lead the Brewers with and National League with a .326 average, 36 home runs, and 110 runs batted in. The man who I believe will be the MVP for the NLCS, center fielder Lorenzo Cain who posted a .306 batting average, 30 stolen bases, and a .395 on-base percentage. Finally, the all-star reliever who took over as the team’s closer halfway through the season, Jeremy Jeffers, who recorded 14 saves, a 1.29 earned run average, all in 73 relief appearances.
If this numbers comparison to the Hall of Fame players of old are not enough to convince readers that this is the best time to be a Brewers fan, then let the final two months of the 2018 season be a reminder to why it is. Christian Yelich practically put the team on his back, and lead the Brewers into the postseason by hitting for the cycle not only once against the Cincinnati Reds, but twice. The team went a National League-best 19-7 in the month of September, and they clinched their postseason berth for 2018 on the road at Busch Stadium against their division rivals, the St. Louis Cardinals.
Now the Brewers are going into the NLCS on an 11-game win streak against a team they have a losing record against this year, the Dodgers. The Brewers are fortunate to have home-field advantage in this best of seven games series, but they will have to face the best left-handed pitcher of this decade, Clayton Kershaw. Kershaw did spend some time on the disabled list this year, but while healthy and pitching, Kershaw posted an era of 2.73 in 161 innings pitched. Although, if anyone has followed any postseason baseball in the past five years. They should be aware that Kershaw has not been the same dominant ace he is during the regular season in the postseason.
The momentum the Brewers and their fan base are going into the NLCS on a tremendously high momentum. With guaranteed home-field advantage for the entire postseason, until they match up between Houston or Boston in the World Series. This Brewers core of young elite players hungry for a chance at the Series, and a town that is looking to have its first World Series trophy brought home. This October is, without a doubt, the best time to be a Milwaukee Brewers fan in franchise history!
Theodore Tollefson is a student at UW-River Falls.