The recent history of Brewers base hit celebrations
2011: Beast Mode 1.0
Prince Fielder’s sons were big fans of the movie Monsters, Inc. and one of the characters, Sully, puts his arms out when he wants to scare someone as monsters stereotypically do.
They called it “beast mode” and the Brewers took it and ran with it. Fielder, Ryan Braun, Nyjer Morgan, and the entirety of that Brewers lineup used that as their celebration. It was the basically the core piece of the personality of that team. They were all in beast mode all the time.
The fans made the gesture back on base hits, shirts were sold merchandising it, signs were made about it.
When thinking back to that 2011 postseason run, it’s difficult for the Beast Mode celebration to not be a major piece of that memory. Remember Nyjer Morgan’s walk-off single in the NLDS? Remember the celebration? Morgan ran into the arms of his teammates with his arms fully extended in Beast Mode. One of the most iconic images in Brewers franchise history is Morgan doing the Beast Mode.
It was the first postseason series victory for the Brewers since 1982. Beast Mode brought the Brewers to new heights, and set the foundation for future base hit celebrations.
2017: The Gauntlet gets thrown
The Brewers were in the early stages of a rebuild that a lot of people were expecting to take several years. Instead, Brewers fans and the front office fell in love with a roster that was having a ridiculous amount of fun for a group that was expected to be one of the worst in the league.
It started early in the year, with Orlando Arcia believed to be the mastermind behind The Gauntlet. After every home run, the Brewers would form a line of players in the dugout and do a series of jumping elbow bumps with Arcia typically being the final player in the line for one big final elbow bump and then Arcia and the homering player would scream in exuberance.
Fans would look forward to Brewers home runs not just because that meant the Brewers scored, but because that meant we got to watch another run of the Gauntlet. The bigger the home runs, the more exciting Gauntlet runs there were.
The excitement and fun of that team surged them to a better than expected finish, just one game shy of making the postseason. It also helped push the front office to move their chips into the center of the table and go from a rebuild to going for a World Series.