So Bud Selig will be immortalized in bronze outside Miller Park, joining legends like Hank Aaron and Robin Yount.
Makes sense I guess, since Selig made one of the most infamous gaffes in Miller Park history when the 2002 All-Star Game ended in a 7-7 tie because they ran out of pitchers. Giving in to pressure as easily as Mark McGwire did to steroids is just the kind of requirement stadium officials should use to determine of whom they should make statues.
But if we’re awarding statues to guys who have made mistakes in Milwaukee Brewers history, lets look a little farther back to 1982.
On Oct. 8, 1982, the Brewers and Angels met at Milwaukee County Stadium in Game 4 of the American League Championship Series, a must-win game for the home team.
With the Brewers leading 5-0 in the top of the eighth inning, Bob Boone hit a smash to left-center field that would fall under the category of “warning track power.” Unfortunately for Milwaukee, however, Eddie Becker — better known as the “phantom fan” — reached over the railing from the front row and snagged the fly ball, obstructing leftfielder Ben Ogilvie.
Umpires ruled the hit a home run, a solo shot that sparked a 3-run inning for California. Fans in Beckers’ vicinity reacted angrily, to put it lightly, and the phantom fan was escorted out by the Milwaukee County Sheriff’s Department for his own safety.
Milwaukee Brewers and Miller Park officials should determine the location of Becker’s catch and erect a statue on that spot in his honor. While the home run did not cost the Brewers a trip to the World Series as it appeared it might at the time, the phantom fan is arguably the most famous Brewers fan in the team’s 40-year history.
Essentially, Becker was Bartman before Bartman was Bartman, but he didn’t actually cost his team a trip to the World Series.
If that doesn’t earn you a statue at Miller Park, I don’t know what does.
Jordan, I see your Becker, Bartman and Bud, and raise you one Borowski.
Joe Borowski, that is.
The former Cleveland Indians closer is the guy that should be immortalized in bronze in front of Miller Park, along with the rest of his team.
Why, you ask? It’s simple: the 2007 Cleveland Indians are the most successful club to ever play as the home team at Miller Park.
If you think back to Spring 2007, you might remember the terrible snowstorms that postponed the Indians’ home opener. They played their next home series in Milwaukee against the Angels, winning the series and cruising on to a 96-66 record. They then advanced to the ALCS, before blowing a 3-1 series lead to the crimson version of the Yankees.
See, there’s a reason Barry Alvarez has a statue at Camp Randall and Don Morton doesn’t: statues are for winners. Well, winners and people who die epic deaths, like George Custer.
Sure, the 2008 Brewers reminded the state the MLB playoffs can be relevant television programming. But then they lost to the Phillies in four games and decided playing for a World Series berth could wait another 25 years or so.
Can’t you imagine the inspiration fans could draw from seeing a gaggle of smiling bronze faces every time they entered the park? Who cares if it’s a statue of some other team from a shoddy franchise — technically they were the home team.
A statue of Becker’s gaffe would only tempt fate. In that case, they might as well put up a sculpture of Joe Torre and Bob Brenly shrugging their shoulders in front of a giant “WTF?” to commemorate that 2002 All Star Game tie.
Plus, old Milwaukee County Stadium was the site for scenes from “Major League,” which featured another winning Indians team, so it’s not all that random. Besides, everybody loves a winner, and they’ve been few and far between in Miller Park.