Tom Haudricourt is the Brewers beat writer for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, and has been since the mid ’80s. During that time he has developed a sort of folksy style – it’s less that he’s talking to you from a press box, and more like he’s sitting next to you at the counter in George Webb’s.
While that style may rub some people the wrong way in his columns, it is perfectly suited to his newest endeavor, 100 Things Brewers Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die, published by Triumph Books.
In a way, there is also no better time for Tom to tackle this idea. In the last five years or so, the Milwaukee Brewers have been adding a chapter or two to their relatively short baseball history, and Haudricourt himself has been lucky enough to cover all of it. He has also seen the end of great careers in Robin Yount, Gorman Thomas, Paul Molitor, and Jim Gantner – as well as the growing legend of players like Prince Fielder, Zack Greinke, C.C. Sabathia, and Ryan Braun.
With that changing of the guard, the fan base of the Brewers is beginning to shift as well. For every fan that can recite stats for Ben Sheets and Ryan Braun, there is another who may not know anything about Sixto Lezcano or Ben Oglivie. The fans are definitely younger, and the preservation of Milwaukee’s baseball past is certainly a task worth undertaking.
The book ranges in short, punchy stories that highlight the good – and a fair amount of the bad – moments and stories from the history of the team, stretching back to its one dismal year in Seattle. It features a fair amount of background information (inside baseball, if you prefer the pun) that can lend new insight to even the most knowledgeable of fans.
While I chose to take on the book cover-to-cover, I think would be just easily tackled at random, flipping through to a new story on a whim whenever you have a few minutes. The book is arranged without a chronological order, more an impromtu ranking of where Tom thinks these events and activities range in the minds of fans.
If you’re anything like me, you’ll breeze through this light affair. What it lacks in density, of course, it more than makes up for with great stories and insight to some of the events that likely shaped your view of Milwaukee baseball. I couldn’t help but remember growing up through some of these events – Nolan Ryan‘s 300th win, for example, or the day that Mark Attanasio bought the Brewers.
The book is on sale now, but we’d like to give you the opportunity to win one copy from us. All you have to do is post in the comments below and let us know what you think should be the one thing Brewers fans need to know or do before they head off to the ballpark celestial.
That’s it. Just let us know, and by the end of the week, we will contact one lucky reader with a brand new copy of this book. We’ll even pay for the postage.
So regale us with your memories or your insight, and you could spend this nice warm weekend we’re getting with a good book in hand.
We’d like to thank Tom Haudricourt and Josh Williams of Independent Publishers Group for helping us out with this article.