Twenty-Six Years

26 years.

A span of time that found America under the watch of four different presidents and taking part in two wars; a period where so much has changed throughout the world and the only seemingly static thing was the postseason inactivity of the Milwaukee Brewers. Until today.

Since the team I love last competed in the playoffs, they have switched leagues, they play in a new stadium, have a new owner and have endured numerous losing campaigns with some of the sorriest players to ever be deemed professional athletes.

Remember, if you’ll allow yourself, the constant seller’s mentality, the 100-loss 2002 season, Ricky Bones, the annual battle with Pittsburgh for 5th place, Davey Lopes. Look back at the Ben Grieve/John Vanderwall right field platoon, Kevin Seitzer serving as Milwaukee’s requisite All-Star, the futile excitement over past-prime players like Marquis Grissom and Royce Clayton. Reminisce of the days when Opening Day marked the first and last County Stadium sellout annually and .500 baseball was something to gloat about.

Think about the recurring feeling of deflation in seeing Greg Vaughn, Jeromy Burnitz and Richie Sexson depart. Look back to see Geoff Jenkins as the sole beacon of a franchise. Think of the past 26 years of Milwaukee Brewers baseball and every disappointment your allegiance to this team has conveyed. Look at today knowing it was well worth the wait.

When Ryan Church flied out to end the Mets’ season, I was moved to tears. It might just be the Wild Card and, yes, this feat only marks the beginning of a quest for something much greater. But I wasn’t alive in 1982, and I grew up cheering for a losing team. To many of us these sensations and the concept of baseball in October are foreign.

Remember today as the first time in 26 years when the last day of the season marked the eve of another season’s beginning. Savor this moment and hold it tightly, wrap yourself in it – don’t blink. I’ve never seen champagne showers in Brew City, and it may be a long time before it happens again… but I’m not thinking about that right now, I’m not thinking about the Philadelphia Phillies or Ben Sheets likely having thrown his last pitch in a Brewers uniform.

Right now, I’ll just be thinking about today – the day the Milwaukee Brewers became a playoff team. A day I will never forget, a day that took 26 years to get here.

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16 Responses to “Twenty-Six Years”

  1. Chris in PA Says:

    FUCK YEAH BOYS! HAMMER TIME! 26 years!

  2. Chris in PA Says:

    I wonder how long it will take Carsten to get that retraining order on me?? HAHAHAHAHHAHAHA!!!! I LOVE YOU CC!!!!!!!!!

  3. Ellen Says:

    I guess this is a long shot, but are there any other Brewers fans in Oklahoma City reading this? It’d be great to have other fans to watch the postseason with.

  4. Chris in PA Says:

    Killer entry Tyler. Flat out killer. I, too, wiped away tears today, and had a huge lump in my throat. I’m not too proud to admit that. Long time coming. 26 years.

  5. Tyler Says:

    Thanks Chris. I’m glad I’m not the only one man enough to admit tears.

  6. Derek Says:

    WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO
    HOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

  7. Kristin Says:

    I had the amazing opportunity to go to the game today, and it was the greatest day of my life. I have been waiting for this for my whole life. Ever since I can remember, I have been going to Brewers games. I can remember my friends saying that they would go to the games to see the other teams play, “real baseball teams” they would say. But not me, I went to cheer for the Brewers. Through thick and thin, they were my team.

    When Ryan Braun hit that home run today, I hugged my friend and all the strangers around me. I was ecstatic when we won. But as I stood there watching the last fly ball out of the Mets game on the big screen, it hit me, We are going to the playoffs! And I cried. This is going to be a day I will always remember, it is truly a life-long dream come true.

  8. karl hungus Says:

    This was the greatest game I ever attended. Beer tastes great tonight.

  9. Thorzul Says:

    Great post. I admit without reservation that reading this post made me tear up.

  10. Tyler (not THE Tyler) Says:

    Perfect account of the Brewers’ past, Tyler. You forget how ugly some of the teams were. You forget that (as you highlighted) it was considered ‘victory’ when .500 was attained. I’ve never witnessed anything like today. The prerequisite late-inning drama, the players becoming ‘little league-like” in their celebration and the sheer, communal joy the fans displayed.

    It meant a lot (from my perspective at least) that the brass and the players continually thanked the residents/fans of Miltown. I’m thankful that they too realize this whole thing is bigger than them- it gives a sense of pride back to a loyal fan base that has spent ‘oh too long’ waiting for it.

    Mark A. is class. Ironic that today was HIS birthday- as he’s truly the one that has bestowed an incredible gift to the state of Wisco.

    And now, for the first time since I was three years old, let the Second Season begin in Milwaukee!

  11. Kade In Dubuque Says:

    To be anything but in total shock is beyond me…. I cant even comprehend it…. The thought of us playing baseball REAL meaningful baseball is here…. no more getting enjoyment out being spoilers or hey we hit .500 no more hearing the excuses…. new season new reason…

    KC

  12. Emily Says:

    I can’t put how I feel into words so thanks for doing that for me!

    I cried three times yesterday, the first time was when Braunie hit the home run, the second was when Church made the final out, and the third was seeing Ben Sheets get as emotional as he did. To put this into perspective, I got a little choked up watching Josh Hamilton’s performance at the Home Run Derby.

    Unbelieveable, the Milwaukee Brewers are one of the best 8 teams in baseball.

    Anyone in Chicago? I need a buddy to watch some games with.

  13. D'Amico's one good year Says:

    I’m happy. Very, Very happy.

    Very.

    Happy.

  14. Kade in Dubuque Says:

    I would like to hear some RFB- possible Rotation for the series…. I think it would be a good topic to talk about. (I know a lot of it depends on the health of Sheets) Do you throw Yovani? Any comments would be appreciated

    KC

  15. Joe Says:

    I’m know we’ll have a handfull of posts in the next couple of days. I believe Sheets said he was done for the year, so we’ll have to see how it shapes up.

    Oh, and yesterday was one of the best days of my life…hands down.

  16. Johnny Says:

    This is probably the best blog in RFB history, Tyler. I got really emotional reading this.