SINGAPORE – I am all ready to watch the Brewers follow up their first National League Central Division Title with a strong playoff run. I will be following the action so much differently than I did in that amazing 1982 season.
For game one I will have to set my alarm to 3 a.m. to catch the first pitch on Sunday morning. I will turn on my laptop and click on mlb.com. The Brewers feed will be pretty clear and I will see things live, as they happen. I will most likely be the only person in Singapore tuned in, but that's cool. I won't get to tailgate or enjoy a brat with kraut and sauce, but the idea of those things will be on my mind. I will watch the game, cheer when the guys get hits and runs and feel terrible when the other team does anything good. My mood for the day Sunday will surely be dictated by the outcome of the game. I will repeat that exercise for each game and it will hopefully culminate in a World Championship.
In 1982 I was in law school. I was young, relatively care free and followed the Brewers all summer long. I was at the late Terry Evans' house for that last regular season game against Baltimore that propelled the Crew into the playoffs. Terry, Joan, David, Kelley, Christine, Joan, Josh, my Dad and I cheered like crazy. The Evans family dog, Rourke, even donned a Brewers t-shirt and was renamed "Brewer Dog" for the rest of the year.
I was lucky enough to attend every home game during the playoffs. I loved County Stadium and still think of it in my mind as the home of the Brewers, in spite of the fact that it has been gone for a long time. I can almost feel the cool crisp air of October in Milwaukee (in Singapore there is never cool or crisp air unless you are standing directly under an aircon vent). I loved going to the games with my Dad, my late Uncle Stan and my brother Josh. We were lucky enough to get rides to some of the games in squad cars (it caused a scandal at the time, but I think the state of limitations has run by now so we can't be brought to justice). Someone rented a big RV for our group of family and friends and it was in the parking lot for our use the whole playoff run. We had some great tailgate parties. I remember beer, brats, hits, runs and huge wins. Cecil Cooper, Robin, Paul Molitor, Vuke, Rollie, Gorman – all the wall bangers. I also recall the huge party on Wisconsin Avenue even after the Brewers lost and of course the County Stadium rally with Robin Yount riding in on his motorcycle. It is hard to believe that was 32 years ago.
I've watched more games this year than I ever did when I lived in Milwaukee. I got to go to one game earlier this summer when my boy and I visited Milwaukee. My boy, Sanjay, born in Singapore, has totally gotten into baseball this season as he is about to turn 6. He was awestruck when he walked into Miller Park. His only point of reference to that point was the picture on my laptop. He found out that his favorite Brewer Prince Fielder (or Princey as he calls him) is an actual (larger than) lifesized person. Every morning this season, at breakfast, he asks about the Brewers score. Last Sunday during his soccer practice he ran over to the sidelines to check on the score.
Through the Internet I am also tuned in to the Brewer wave – Facebook, Twitter, ESPN, MLB, OnMilwaukee and more. I have new cyber friends like John Axford, T-Plush, Bernie Brewer and old friends from my youth, from college and many other phases of my life are now new friends as we post and toast the Crew. Current and former Milwaukeeans like Andrea Pandazi (Milwaukee), Amy Sheyer (LA), Tom Brown (Palo Alto), Mario Jennaro (Denver), Sarah Fitzgerald Knackmuhs (DC), Leslie Hiller (Up North), Jeff Ek (Waukesha) and Paul Schwartz (Milwaukee) have all weighed in and jumped on the Bandwagon. I've also converted folks from the UK, South Africa, Philippines, Indonesia, Singapore and China into Brewer fans.
So, as we tip off the playoffs Sanjay and I will be watching, cheering and proudly toasting, boasting and posting about our Brewers.