Ah, Groundhog Day. The day when we all eagerly await the results of a rodent named Phil, playing Peter Pan with his shadow. They say that if he sees his shadow, we are doomed to 6 more weeks of winter. Should he not see his shadow, then spring will roll in 6 weeks earlier. What a stupid day.
It did however, lead to the creation of arguably the best Bill Murray movie in history, aptly titled “Groundhog Day”. For those of you who have never seen it:
The story revolves around a reporter who is sent to cover Groundhog Day in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania. There is a snow storm and he is trapped there overnight, but when he wakes up…it is February 2nd…again. This continues for a hilarious hour and a half. Then he falls in love with a relatively mediocre looking broad and the spell is broken. He then wakes up on February 3rd. Roll credits.
This got me thinking, what Brewers game days would I not mind reliving over and over again. I thought about doing 5, but that didn’t seem right. Since it is February 2nd, I narrowed it down to 2 very special days. However, here were numbers 3-5 on my list…if you cared.
5) Ryan Braun’s 3 Home Run game at Petco Park (05/01/2012)
4) Robin Yount’s 3,000th hit (09/09/1992)
3) Ryan Braun’s Home Run to clinch the Wild Card spot (09/28/2008)
2) I Attend My First Game (07/21/1992)
– This game is special to me for a lot of reasons, but mostly because I got to go to my first big league game with my Dad and Grandpa. It was the only time the 3 of us ever went to a game together. The game was at Old Milwaukee County Stadium. I remember that we got there early, I had my glove and Robin Yount hat (that’s right, not just a Brewers hat, it said Yount and the #19 on the front). We went early so that I could take in the entire baseball experience. While we didn’t tailgate, we did go into the stadium early and watched the Brewers and Rangers take BP and do fielding drills. It was so cool to watch Yount, Molitor, Ivan “Pudge” Rodriguez (in his first full season), Pat Listach, Jim Gantner, Daryl Hamilton, and of course…Nolan Ryan warm up. We sat in the old tin/aluminum mezzanine seats on the 3rd base side. I never thought that Bill Wegman would be able to go punch for punch with “The Ryan Express”, but I’ll be damned if he didn’t. They had an almost identical box score, in fact Wegman struck out one more batter than Ryan did. I never wanted the game to end…but it did. The Brewers lost 6-3 in the 10th inning.
My grandpa passed away last January. I miss him every day. He bought me my first wood baseball bat and my first adult glove. I remember him grilling on his back porch listening to Harry Carey (this usually occurred in the afternoon, because the Cubs have more afternoon games than any team). As you get older, those are the days you wish you could have back. You can bet that my Dad and I will hit up a few games this season, now that I am back in Wisconsin. But nothing will compare to that first game. I would love to Groundhog this Day…over and over again.
1) Nyjer Morgan’s game winning single in the 2011 NLDS (10/07/2011)
-Does this really need an explanation? Without a doubt, the greatest Brewers moment of my lifetime. I wasn’t around for the 1982 season, but I have been told that there were some pretty stellar moments back then. However, this was an extra innings, walk-off, in an elimination game!! It is a fans wet dream…while also being their worst nightmare at times.
On that particular Friday, I had to work. My boss at the time was kind enough to let me listen to the game up until it was quitting time. At roughly 5pm Pacific time, I headed home with the Brewers holding a 2-1 lead. As I am driving home, the unthinkable happens. John Axford gives up a run in the Top of the 9th and blows the save. This is both good and bad for me. Good because now there is a chance of me getting to actually watch the game, bad…because now there is a chance of me getting to actually watch the game.
I get home and sprint up the 3 flights of stairs, throw open the door, let my dog out on the porch, and turn the game on. As the picture slowly fades into a baseball game, I see Carlos Gomez taking a lead off of 1st base. In my mind, I knew what was coming next. He stole 2nd base. Then it was T-Plush time. You all know what happens next, he rips a 2-2 fastball right back up the middle, Carlos Gomez scores, we go to the NLCS for the first time ever. My neighbors downstairs actually came upstairs to make sure that everything was ok. In my blind fandom, I had screamed at the top of my lungs and jumped up and down for about 5 straight minutes. I think they thought I had killed my wife.
So, if I had my choice to live out a day in Brewers history over and over again, I pick that one. Maybe because it is the freshest one in my mind, or maybe because the feeling I had that day, that moment…was one that I would love to relive.
Now, on a more realistic note…there is no baseball on February 2nd and it is the day before the Super Bowl. So I would prefer to not live this particular Groundhog Day over again, but I think I have made my point.
Happy Groundhog Day everyone!!