Every year on Sept. 28, I think of my greatest Brewers memory of all time. It was, without a doubt, witnessing an impromptu '82 (and '87) reunion on Sept. 28, 2000, the night of the last game at County Stadium.
It was so great, in fact, that I went home and wrote it all down for posterity.
First, let me give you a bit of back story. The conduit for my meeting with the Brewers that night was our very first OnMilwaukee employee, Marypat Wulff. She was a spitfire of a salesperson, and kept us in check in the early days. She was also close friends with Paul Molitor's then wife, Linda. For some strange reason that I no longer remember, Marypat had us order a laptop for Molitor that week, ostensibly because we knew more about computers than the now Hall of Famer did.
Anyway, Marypat knew what a Brewers fanatic I was, and she graciously let my friend Eron and I tag along on this most memorable evening. Reading my notes, I make mention of the late Darrell Porter, who stood out as a surprising highlight from that evening (and therefore, I was genuinely sad when he died in 2002). I also reference Eron's old-school Brewers tattoo and the Robin Yount growth chart from 1985, now hanging in my office.
What follows is my unfiltered account of what I deemed then to be one of the best nights of my life. The writing could be a little tighter and without profanity, and I apologize, but I think it's better to present it as is, without any editing. I don't think any of this is libelous, but again, I didn't write this at the time to be published (not sure if that would hold up in court). Enjoy, and thanks again, Marypat, for the memories …
Sept. 28, 2000
On the day of the final game at County Stadium, we started early. We tailgated all morning, enjoyed a shitty game and wrapped up the teary post-game celebration around 9 p.m. Afterwards, my saleswoman, Marypat, called me and said, "Meet me at Elsa's at 9:30. You won't be disappointed."
Eron and I hauled ass home, took showers, and headed to Elsa's. At the table with MP was Paulie, Rollie Fingers and Treb. Molly's wife and sister were there, also. So was Bo Black and Rollie's trophy wife.
Eron and I sat there, stunned. I made polite conversation with Treb, while the real stars basically ignored us. Linda Molitor and her sister-in-law were chatty, even kinda sassy. They left after an hour or so and headed to The Pfister.
We joined them, because MP had Paulie's uniform in the car. At The Pfister bar, no kidding, was Robin, Benji, Coop, Rob Deer, Dale Sveum, Charlie Moore, Darrell Porter, Spahnny and so many others. We nearly crapped ourselves.
No one was talking to Benji, so we helped ourselves. We talked to the lanky (and probably drunk) outfielder for a good 15 minutes about all sorts of stuff, including photography. At one point, he looked deep within himself, and said," Photography. Stop baths! F stops!" It was quite surreal.
Every so often, Eron and I would go off in a corner and do the ol', "So, uh, you hang out with the '82 Brewers often?" We saved the high fives till after we left.
An unusual (as if all of this wasn't unusual) part of the night was when Darrell Porter strolled down and sat next to us at the bar. I wondered why he wasn't talking to the rest of the Brewers. I recalled that he played for the Cardinals in '82, but I couldn't remember much else. Anyway, MP flirted with him for a while, and finally he gave her his e-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org. I said, "Wait a second, were you the World Series MVP, Darrell?"
He said, "Yeah, for one of them."
I said, "For 1982?" He said yes. Then I realized why he wasn't talking to the other Brewers. He was the Brewers killer, and also the nicest player in the bar. Irony can be pretty ironic.
Before we left, we made MP introduce us to Robin. Eron and I blabbed on for about a minute before he excused himself. I might have told him about the Robin Yount Growth Chart in Baltimore, but I'm not sure. Eron showed him the tat.
Right before we left, his wife, who looks a lot like him, came up to me with a tipsy martini in hand. She said, touching my chest, "Are you Marypat's boss?" I said yes. She said, "Hey, you're pretty cute." I said, without missing a beat, "You're not so bad yourself, Mrs. Yount."
It was, perhaps, my finest line ever.
Andy is the founder and co-owner of OnMilwaukee.com. He returned to Milwaukee in 1996 after living on the East Coast for nine years, where he wrote for The Dallas Morning News Washington Bureau and worked in the White House Office of Communications. He was also Associate Editor of The GW Hatchet, his college newspaper at The George Washington University.
Before launching OnMilwaukee.com in 1998 at age 23, he worked in public relations for two Milwaukee firms, most of the time daydreaming about starting his own publication.
Hobbies include running when he finds the time, fixing the rust on his '75 MGB, mowing the lawn at his cottage in the Northwoods, and making an annual pilgrimage to Phoenix for Brewers Spring Training.