Ask any Wisconsinite “What’s the first thing you think of when I say Wisconsin?” and you will most likely get one of four answers. Beer, cheese, Packers or Brewers. Whether you watch the Brewers or not, you know who they are and you root for them. Why? Well, because they are a part of our state and a part of who we are. So, the Brewer organization took a cue from the San Francisco Giants Wall of Fame and created the Wall of Honor.
The Milwaukee Brewers formally unveiled the Wall of Honor at Miller Park on Friday the 13th. An unlucky day to some, but a day of honor for a select group alumni. This gathering marked the largest single gathering of alumni in team history, surpassing the 31 players who came in for the final game at County Stadium in 2000. The event was part a celebration of 45 years of Brewers history and part a chance for teammates from the 70s-90s to have a reunion. A total of 58 people were recognized on the Wall of Honor, which is on permanent display outside Miller Park.
Players wore replicas of their old jerseys and mingled in a tent outside Miller Park before the Brewers vs Reds game. Current players came to the ceremony to see the wall, talk to the alumni and pay their respects. The honorees were then introduced to the fans before the game. Thirty-six former players were presented with replica plaques in a private ceremony emceed by Brewers broadcasters Bob Uecker. Another eight players sent a representative from their families. Bob Uecker and Bob Seling also made the wall.
The Brewers made it a point to make sure the wall was inclusive, not exclusive. The criteria was 2000 or more plate appearances; 1,000 or more innings pitched; 250 appearances as a pitcher; winner of a major award (MVP, Cy Young, Rookie of the Year, Fireman of the Year) ; manager of a pennant-winning team; those with statues on the Miller Park Plaza; and members of the Baseball Hall of Fame.
WALL OF HONOR MEMBERS
Hank Aaron, Jerry Augustine, Sal Bando, Chris Bosio, Johnny Briggs, Jeromy Burnitz.
Mike Caldwell, Bill Castro, Jeff Cirillo, Jim Colborn, Cecil Cooper, Craig Counsell, Chuck Crim.
Rob Deer, Cal Eldred, Mike Fetters, Rollie Fingers, Jim Gantner, Moose Haas, Bill Hall, Darryl Hamilton, Teddy Higuera.
John Jaha, Geoff Jenkins, Harvey Kuenn, Sixto Lezcano, Pat Listach, Mark Loretta.
Davey May, Bob McClure, Paul Molitor, Don Money, Charlie Moore, Jaime Navarro, Dave Nilsson, Ben Oglivie, Dan Plesac, Darrell Porter.
Ken Sanders, George Scott, Kevin Seitzer, Allan H. “Bud” Selig, Richie Sexson, Ben Sheets, Ted Simmons, Jim Slaton, B.J. Surhoff, Don Sutton.
Gorman Thomas, Bill Travers, Bob Uecker, Jose Valentin, Greg Vaughn, Fernando Vina, Pete Vuckovich, Bill Wegman, Bob Wickman, Robin Yount.
Note: John Axford, Ryan Braun, Prince Fielder, Yovani Gallardo, J.J. Hardy, Corey Hart and Rickie Weeks are the seven active players that, as of today, qualify for induction into the Wall of Honor following their retirement. Active players closing in on the thresholds include Jonathan Lucroy and Carlos Gomez.
Photo credit: daveynin / Foter / Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)