With the renaming of Miller Park officially happening at year’s end, here at Reviewing the Brew, we’re going to remember the top Brewers moments in Miller Park’s history.
Starting on January 1st, the Brewers home stadium will no longer be called Miller Park, but instead will be called American Family Field. Despite fan uproar about the change, it’s going to happen. The stadium has been named Miller Park for 20 years and has brought some incredible memories to Brewers fans.
We are going to be remembering some of the most important moments that came from this stadium and tell the stories of these days. Next up is Bill Hall‘s infamous walkoff on Mother’s Day in 2006.
Bill Hall’s Mother’s Day Walkoff Home Run (May 14th, 2006)
Baseball is a sport of statistical oddities and the Brewers have been well-known for a specific one in recent years. Heading into their Father’s Day game back in 2019, Milwaukee had the worst record in MLB history on the holiday, and somehow the best record in MLB history on Mother’s Day, as noted in this piece by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
Luckily, this is a story about one of their many wins on the latter holiday, a win that was capped off in quite the dramatic and emotional fashion.
The 2006 Milwaukee Brewers team was a squad that was still a year away from being true divisional competitors. Prince Fielder was in his first season of major playing time with the team while Ryan Braun was still a year away from his MLB debut. 2008 and its incredible finale wouldn’t come around for another two years.
Arguably the best offensive player from that team was shortstop Bill Hall. He not only set career highs, but led the team with 35 homers, 85 runs driven in, 101 runs scored, and an .899 OPS. One particular hit from that season, though, remains one of the most famous in Brewers lore.
It happened on Mother’s Day of 2006 against the New York Mets. Milwaukee had their work cut out for them that day as they were facing off against one of the best pitchers in MLB history in Pedro Martinez.
The Mets would strike first when ex-Brewer Jose Valentin clubbed a two-run double in the top of the second to give New York the early lead. Valentin would end up going 4 for 5 on the day in one of his few “revenge games” against his former squad.
The Brewers would strike back quickly, though. Back-to-back, one-out walks to Fielder and third baseman Corey Koskie in the bottom of the second put two on base for Damian Miller, who promptly swatted a three-run shot off Martinez to give the Brewers the lead.
After a solo homer by second baseman Rickie Weeks increased the Milwaukee lead to 4-2 in the fifth, New York would tie it up in the seventh when long time Mets captain David Wright collected a two-run double of his own.
The game of back-and-forth continued in the eighth when Brewers right fielder Geoff Jenkins hit a sacrifice fly that scored pinch hitter Gabe Gross, giving Milwaukee a 5-4 lead and a chance to close things out in the ninth.
But the Mets had other plans as Xavier Nady would tie the game for New York on an infield single, handing Brewers closer Derrick Turnbow his first blown save of the season and, unfortunately, foreshadow a rough rest of the season for the Milwaukee fireballer.
The Brewers would go scoreless in the bottom of the ninth with the Mets doing the same to start the tenth. Then, in the bottom of the tenth, with Weeks on first after a one-out single, it was time for Hall to provide his infamous theatrics.
There are so many great parts to that video. Hall with the bat flip. Brewers TV announcer Daron Sutton shouting, “Happy Mother’s Day!” But the best part by far is seeing Hall’s mother going crazy in the stands, on Mother’s Day of all days!
For as much as my father was a huge reason why I love baseball, my mother and I bonded over baseball as well. She took me to my little league games, kept score, and eventually taught me how to keep a scorebook. And we’ve been to plenty of Brewers games together at Miller Park since I converted her from being a Cubs fan (honestly, one of my life’s crowning achievements.)
So many baseball fans can speak to how they have connected with parents, siblings, and friends over the game. That’s why a single walkoff homer from a season where Milwaukee would go on to finish just fourth in the division holds such a special place in many Brewers fans’ hearts.
Stay tuned to Reviewing the Brew as we continue to go through our series of top moments in Miller Park history.