Friday, June 7, 2013

June 4- Milwaukee Brewers

I’ll never forget the first time I saw this hat. I was sitting at the lower social media table at Fan Fest for the Oakland Athletics back on January 27th. I had just wrapped up a Q&A session with a few members of the marketing team and I was still in the process of trying to clarify my answer to the final question as someone had asked me who I thought the starting rotation was going to be. At first I wanted to reply with, “I don’t know, I’m not Bob Melvin, that’s kind of a stupid question for me to answer,” but I didn’t think that anyone would understand that I was joking, so I didn’t say that. Instead, I answered it as best I could, with the knowledge that a few players were still injured and/or suspended. I made sure to type in each person’s Twitter handle when I answered, which was a seemingly easy task considering the fact that I was using the A’s Twitter account and they only follow 149 people. I typed in Tommy Milone, Jarrod Parker, AJ Griffin, Dan Straily and… I mean to type in Brett Anderson, but I hit Travis Blackley’s account by mistake and send at the same time. Almost immediately I had people saying, “Well what about Anderson?” After realizing my mistake I quickly corrected myself and said that I meant to hit Anderson. But even after doing that the questions kept coming, asking why I left him off the list. Others asked about Bartolo Colon, which I didn’t bother going into on account of his suspension. Rather than continue, we just cut it a few minutes short as the main festivities were about to begin.

What was I supposed to be talking about again? Oh yah! This hat. So after the final question fiasco I just sat at the desk, not really knowing what I was supposed to do or where to go from there. Just as I thought they were going to tell me, “thanks, we’re done with you,” they asked if I wanted to run their Instagram account for the day. On the outside I said, “Sure that would be awesome.” On the inside I of course was going crazy with joy. Anyway, I signed out of Instagram on my phone, handed it over, they put in the username and password, handed it back and I was good to go. Now, the Athletics at the time only followed five people with their account: MLB, MLB Fan Cave, Brett Anderson, Travis Blackley and me. That’s still a badge of honor I’m really proud of, but out of the other four I only follow two of them. When they logged me on the first thing that appeared on my screen was the Milwaukee Brewers fan designed uniform and hat combo (this hat) for their YOUnifom contest they had held. Needless to say, as soon as I saw it I couldn’t take my eyes off of it.

My friend Will MacNeil (@RFWill149) talked about this hat at great length in the month to follow. Actually, the thing that really brought that discussion up in the first place was that I wanted to pay Will back for the Stockton Ports hats he had given me during Fan Fest. Will had told me that he and bunch of other people were going to down for Spring Training and I said I was too (or so I had thought). My last day of finals at the University of Oregon was slated for March 18th, and I was more than ready to get out of Oregon for a few days to enjoy some baseball in Arizona. As payback for the hats all Will asked in return is that I pick him up one of these hats while I was down in Arizona. As it turned out, the Brewers were only selling them during the games in which they were going to be using them (March 22nd and March 30th), or so we both thought. Well, to make a long story short, I was broke and couldn’t get down to Arizona; however, we both noticed that Lids and other hat Web sites were carrying them, so there was no need to rush… or so I thought again.

A few days before I went to Florida to visit my girlfriend Angie Kinderman (@sconnieangie) I ordered a few hats for what I got back. One of the hats that I ordered was this one. Now, Will and I both wear the same size cap (7 3/8), but the problem I ran into was that the Lids Web site only had one left. Needing to pay Will back for his generosity, I bought his for sure; however, trying to track down a second one for myself turned into a greater challenge. I would have to wait almost a month and find one by happenstance at the New Era Flagship store in Miami; which if you end up in Miami, go check it out. It’s awesome, and they employees are amazing. When I went back to Oakland this last time for their series against the Kansas City Royals and Bacon Friday, I made sure to pack it along with me and get it to my right field brother.

From early November through December 13th, the Brewers held the “Design a YOUniform” contest to allow their fans to come up with something clever and develop a stronger interaction with their clientele. The winner, Ben Peters of Richfield, Minnesota, was flown down to Phoenix to attend the March 22nd game against the Chicago Cubs in which the Brewers would be wearing the uniforms of his creation at Maryvale Baseball Park. In addition, Peters was given as assortment of hats and shirts with his logos. Personally, I think that’s pretty awesome, but a little bit of money would have been nice to come with that too.

Due to the fact that this cap was only worn for two games I had to pay tribute to the players who did well for the Brewers in both of those exhibition games. Much to my surprise it was a ridiculously easy task to figure out.

#18- Khris Davis was drafted in the seventh round by the Brewers in the 2009 amateur draft out of Cal State Fullerton, one of the top baseball colleges of the last 20 years. From 2009-2012 he worked his way through the Minor Leagues, batting.291 throughout his time. On March 22nd Davis got the call to start in left field in the Brewers’ 4-1 loss to the Cubs. The game wasn’t a total loss to Davis though. In his third at-bat he teed off on Cory Wade scoring the one and only run for the Brew Crew. Davis’ spring training was so impressive that the Brewers invited him to Milwaukee to stay up with the team and made his Major League debut on April 1st. Unfortunately he only lasted 14 games on account of him batting .188. After their game on May 1st the Brewers demoted Davis down to AAA Nashville for more work with the Sounds.

#23- Rickie Weeks attended Southern University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. As a sophomore in 2002, he batted .495 with 20 home runs, winning the NCAA Division I batting title. The next year, he batted .479 with 16 home runs, winning a second straight batting title and finishing his career with a .473 batting average, highest in NCAA history. In 2003 he also was named Baseball America College Player of the Year and the Golden Spikes Award, given annually to the top amateur player. The Milwaukee Brewers selected him second overall in the 2003 MLB Draft.

He made his major league debut on September 15, 2003, but did not become a full-time player for the Brewers until June 2005, when he was recalled from Triple-A Nashville, despite playing much of the 2005 season with a thumb injury. In his first full MLB season in 2005, Weeks had a batting average of .239 to go with 13 home runs and 15 stolen bases in 96 games and he finished in sixth place for the National League Rookie of the Year award. These HR/SB number are consistent with his minor league totals (playing in 209 games) of 21 home runs and 24 stolen bases. In 2006, Weeks hit .279 with 8 home runs, 34 RBIs, and 19 stolen bases in 95 games.
Weeks has always had a tremendous amount of power, but his consistency at the plate is lacking, as are his defensive capabilities. He has routinely been one of the “worst” firlders for his position on a yearly basis, averaging 13 errors per season. He’s only made one All-Star Game appearance in 2011.
On March 30th the Brewers went back to Milwaukee to host their final two exhibition games at Miller Park. On this day they were facing the Chicago White Sox. In his first at-bat Weeks ripped the cover off of a Gavin Floyd fastball for a two-run home run, his only hit of the game. The Brewers ended up wining 5-4, but it was Weeks’ momentum in the early going that helped fuel the Brewers for victory.


  1. I have no idea how you keep coming up with this great blogs but I'm lovin em!! I love sports and I have a great deal of sports knowledge but reading blogs takes me to a another level...thanks bro! By the way the next time you come to visit your girl don't forget to stop my store so we can finish up our forgotten legends of the NBA discussion


    1. BJ!!! You have no idea how much I'm looking forward to that discussion. You're seriously the first person in about 8 years who I've been able to go way in depth on forgotten NBA stars. I will definitely let you know when I'm back in town.