Inspired by contributing writer Eric Huber's blog about the Brewers' starting lineup this year, we thought it would to create a lineup card for a Brewers' fantasy team.
There were no hard and fast rules (as you'll see below). This exercise was strictly for fun. We used the all-time roster to draft a team of our favorites. Check them out and use the Talkback feature to give us yours.
My lineup is heavy on power, because I grew up when Harvey's Wallbangers and Bambi's Bombers were giving opposing pitchers palpitations. (I used a DH, because the Brewers had one for their first quarter century and it was a way to get Paul Molitor in as my leadoff hitter).
1. Paul Molitor, DH. How can you go wrong with the Ignitor?
2. Fernando Vina, 2B. I loved his attitude and HBP production.
3. Robin Yount, SS. Speed. Power. He had it all.
4. Prince Fielder, 1B. It takes a scary hitter to beat out Cecil Cooper.
5. Ryan Braun, LF. He's putting up Pujols-type numbers.
6. Jeromy Burnitz, RF. An underrated slugger.
7. Ted Simmons, C. A switch-hitter with power behind the boppers.
8. Gorman Thomas, CF. Purely for power potential.
9. Jeff Cirillo, 3B. Great OBP makes him another leadoff batter.
On the bench: C David Nilsson, OF Mike Cameron, SS Jose Valentin, 2B Jim Gantner, OF Darryl Hamilton,
Starting rotation: CC Sabathia, Ben Sheets, Teddy Higuera, Pete Vuckovich, Mike Caldwell.
Bullpen: Mike Fetters, Cal Eldred, Bob Wickman, Dan Plesac, Francisco Cordero, Trevor Hoffman, Rollie Fingers.
This lineup was extremely tough to piece together, but to me the best baseball teams, as stated and reflected in my 2010 perfect lineup, have balance.
1. Paul Molitor -- Third Base
2. Robin Yount -- Center Field
3. Ryan Braun -- Right Field
4. Cecil Cooper -- First Base
5. Prince Fielder -- Designated Hitter
6. Greg Vaughn -- Left Field
7. BJ Surhoff -- Catcher
8. Jim Gantner -- Second Base
9. JJ Hardy -- Shortstop
Molitor and Yount were two very smart ball players and both recorded 3,000 hits throughout their careers. Molly was also my mother's favorite player, while "The Kid" was my father's idol.
Braun could make the case as the best pure hitter in Brewers history by the end of his career and has the arm to play in right.
Cooper not only had a great pure bat, but had a golden glove while playing the far right side of the infield. He could've been the all-time best Brewers first baseman.
Fielder is just a beast and an important left handed bat who is on a mission to make his father Cecil seem like an eventual afterthought.
Lurking in the left field valley was my favorite Vaughn growing up. He seemed to go deep every time I was in the stands at County Stadium.
Surhoff was without a doubt the best overall catcher the Brewers have had behind the plate since the day I was born.
And Gantner and Hardy were defensive gems in the middle of the infield. Gumby finished 15 Major League seasons with a fielding percentage of 98.5, while the ladies' man, Hardy, finished with 97.9 while playing in Milwaukee.
Chris Bosio -- One of my most memorable moments as a Brewers fan was when Bosio plunked Rangers hitter Kevin Reimer, which started an all out brawl, and I was sitting in row five at County Stadium.
Teddy Higuera -- He was a sometimes an unhittable lefty who had good run of great seasons to start his career before injuries, including a torn rotator cuff, took a toll and he had to ultimately retire.
Ben Sheets -- Sheets was a dominant pitcher when he was healthy and had the nastiest curveball I've ever seen.
Jaime Navarro -- He was never overpowering, but he was effective, and would've been a much better pitcher on a better team.
Cal Eldred -- Eldred started 169 games for Milwaukee in nine seasons, and was an effective pitcher who struck out 686 batters and finished with a 4.51 earned run average.
In the Pen
Francisco Cordero -- There was no other closer who brought fans to their feet every time he came out like Cordero did in 2007. He also had the best stuff.
Dan Plesac -- Plesac saved 133 games for the Brewers in seven seasons, and always kept his earned run average relatively low.
Chuck Crim -- Crim was a dominant reliever in the late 80s for the crew, and did a little bit of everything; 42 saves, 251 strikeouts, and a 3.47 earned run average in five seasons.
Mike Fetters -- Fetters was as cool as his name in the mid-90s. In my opinion he was perhaps the most consistent Brewers relief pitcher ever. His earned run average never peaked above 3.50 in a single season, and he allowed just 18 home runs to opposing batters in 334.1 innings pitched.
My line-up is based on nothing more than cool Brewers' names, quirky facts and childhood memories. Hey, if you want a list of all-stars, check out a stats Web site!
SP -- Juan Nieves (1986-'90), threw the Crew's only no-hitter.
RP -- Dooley Womack (1969), Dooley, real name Horace Guy Womack -- the stick-thin (6' 0", 170 pounds) reliever -- only played for the Pilots but is on the Brewers' all-time roster, so I'm including him. He was a righty on the mound and a lefty at the plate.
C -- Phil Roof (1970-71) Come on, his name was Phil Roof and in some photos he bore a bit of a resemblance to a more athletic and less flamboyant Liberace.
1B -- George Scott (1972-76) He of the amazing sideburns and nickname Boomer.
2B -- Roberto Pena (1970-71), hit an inside the park grand slam at County Stadium.
SS -- Robin Yount, was there someone else?
3B -- Kurt Bevacqua (1975-76), could blow massive bubbles with his gum.
OF -- Johnny Briggs (1971-75), had a winning smile and walloped a two-run dinger in his first Brewers at-bat
OF -- Hank Aaron (1975-76), didn't play long for the Brewers or even his best, but Hank Aaron is Hank Aaron
OF -- Tommy Harper (1969-71), first-ever batter for the franchise as a Seattle Pilot (he doubled and scored on a Mike Hegan homer) and when the team moved to Milwaukee after its sole season in Seattle, Harper was the first batter ever in a Brewers uniform, too. Alas, he grounded out that time.
Because we'll start keeping score today, I did my list by the player's scorebook position.
1 CC Sabathia
2 Ted Simmons or maybe Dave Nilsson
3 Prince Fielder
4 Jim Gantner or maybe Rickie Weeks
5 Paul Molitor
6 Robin Yount
7 Ryan Braun
8 Gorman Thomas
9 Geoff Jenkins
OK, I know that I should go by the numbers and stats when picking my team, but despite spending the last 10-plus years getting paid to be impartial, I grew up in Milwaukee -- one mile from County Stadium -- and bled Brewers blue as a youngster. That said, I'm going with my favorites as I put together my list.
Again, these are by leaps and bounds not the best players to have worn a Brewers jersey over the years, just my own personal favorites and guys that stick out for one reason or another.
C -- B.J. Surhoff (1987-95) A few weeks before Christmas, my uncle called to ask my brother and I which Brewers were our favorites. My brother said Paul Molitor. Me, having to show off, went with B.J. Surhoff who was still a virtual unknown despite a solid rookie season. On Christmas morning, my brother opened a package containing a quasi-authentic Molitor jersey and me? I still have the tiny, pinstriped No. 5.
1B -- Cecil Cooper (1977-87) I enjoy watching Prince Fielder treat baseballs like they picked on his kids, but when I was a kid ... Cecil Cooper was as close to being "Da Man" as one could get without wearing No. 19.
2B -- Jim Gantner (1976-92) I understand the Brewers' thought process behind retired numbers, but the little boy -- and Oshkosh alum -- in me would love to see No. 17 hanging from the beam someday.
SS -- J.J. Hardy (2005-09) I thought about going with a particular Hall of Famer here but, Hardy was one of the first guys that I felt a general rapport with in the clubhouse. His offense was streaky, but the guy was a steady glove at short and was always cool to me after games. Plus, it was nice to sit in the dugout and talk fishing every now and then.
3B -- Kevin Seitzer (1992, 93-96) The smart money here would go to Paul Molitor, but the Ignitor wasn't my style. Seitzer was just one of those guys that, on some pretty awful teams, always seemed to make something happen when he stepped into the box. Plus, he tossed a baseball to a girl I brought to a '94 game as one of our first dates. Thanks, Kevin...
OF -- Robin Yount (1974-93) Do I even really need to explain this? I was a kid, growing up in Milwaukee during the '80s. Robin Yount was the King.
OF -- Darryl Hamilton (1988-95) Not long after he got called up in 1988, he appeared at a baseball camp I attended at Wick Field. My old man ran across the street to a sporting goods store and picked up a genuine American Legaue baseball that Hamilton signed and I still have on my desk today.
OF --David Hulse (1995-96) -- I had braces. I hated them. I looked like an idiot. David Hulse had braces and was a big-league ballplayer. When you were 16 ... that went a long way.
RHP -- Dave Bush (2006-2010) -- There have been better pitchers to play for Milwaukee, but Bush has always seemed to me like a good guy and a hard worker. On my flight to Philadelphia for the 2008 playoffs, I wound up sitting next to a couple from Bush's hometown in Maine and the two -- one of whom, if I recall, was one of his high school teachers -- spoke glowingly about him.
LHP -- Brian Shouse (2006-08) -- Without a doubt, Shouse is my all-time favorite athlete from a professional standpoint. Always smiling, easy to talk to and beyond friendly, he was a family man from the Midwest that busted his butt to stay in the big leagues. Plus, who wouldn't want to be a situational lefty?
Honorable mention -- CC Sabathia was as lights-out as it gets as was Ben Sheets, when he was healthy. ... I memorized everything I could about Dave Nillson in order to impress a girl in high school ... Paul Householder had a cool name, as did reliever John Henry Johnson -- I remember my old man going into a fake southern accent every time he came into a game ... Doug Henry was anything but automatic in 1993, but earned a spot in the hearts of my friends and I ... Geoff Jenkins was a good player on some awful teams during the 1990s and I remember being surprised at how emotional he was after playing his last game in Milwaukee in '07 ... Dan Pleasac was cool; I had a "Sac-Man" growth chart on my bedroom door as a kid. ... It's too bad the infield trio of Mark Loretta, Fernando Vina and Jeff Cirillo couldn't play together on a winning team. In retrospect, they were pretty solid players.
Host of “The Drew Olson Show,” which airs 1-3 p.m. weekdays on The Big 902. Sidekick on “The Mike Heller Show,” airing weekdays on The Big 920 and a statewide network including stations in Madison, Appleton and Wausau. Co-author of Bill Schroeder’s “If These Walls Could Talk: Milwaukee Brewers” on Triumph Books. Co-host of “Big 12 Sports Saturday,” which airs Saturdays during football season on WISN-12. Former senior editor at OnMilwaukee.com. Former reporter at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.