No matter your age, you remember “The Year”—the year the Milwaukee Brewers almost did it. For some of us, what coulda’ been in 1982 was nearly certain to culminate soon thereafter for a team boasting four future Cooperstown inductees. Sure 1987, 2008, 2011, 2014, and plenty of other campaigns were fun. But could 2018 be “The Year”?
Yes, here we are in July 2018, with the Brewers (as we go to press) a season-best 17 games over .500, good for the best record in the National League. No matter how old we are, here we are together, watching an incredibly fun roster of personalities and players. Is a World Series title guaranteed? Not at all. Lotta baseball left to play, sources tell Milwaukee Record.
Which means we have plenty of time to think about statues. Take a walk around Miller Park’s perimeter and you’ll encounter larger-than-life bronzed renderings of Hank Aaron and Robin Yount, as well as former Major League Baseball commissioner Bud Selig, and, of course Bob Uecker (there’s another Uecker statue up in the cheap seats). And while the recent Ryan Braun/Orlando Arcia “gauntlet” bobblehead is a fun honor for one Brewer and one, um, Colorado Springs Sky Sox shortstop, let’s have some fun figuring out which members of the 2018 Crew will be metal meeting spots for all eternity.
Legacy: The club’s all-time home run-leader has a league MVP to his name, has represented Milwaukee in the All Star Game six times, and has collected five Silver Slugger trophies. Braun was suspended for PEDs in 2013, but will the punishment blemish his career to such a degree that the franchise favorite won’t get the statue treatment?
Proposed pose: Holding one hand up in the batters box to let the umpire know he’s not quite ready to face off against the opposing pitcher.
Legacy: Drafted by the Brewers, Cain made his promising debut in 2010 before being included in the Greinke trade to Kansas City. He won a World Series as a Royal in 2015, and returned to the Brewers on a five-year deal that might see him retire in Milwaukee.
Proposed pose: Raising his hands at second base in the “gimme some” gesture that has symbolized the team’s success in 2018.
Legacy: The man just keeps getting better, and he’s on track to have a very nice career, leading the team’s regulars with a near-.300 average and 19 dingers this season. Aguilar is dryly hilarious, ambling through the dugout after homering in what might be a penguin walk?
Proposed pose: After grounding out to end an inning, the large first-baseman has a habit of removing his helmet and tossing it to awaiting coach Carlos Subero in perfect free-throw form.
Legacy: Having grown up in Whitefish Bay as his father worked for the Brewers, the gritty utility infielder won two league championships (with the Marlins in 1997 and the Diamondbacks in 2001, when he was NLCS MVP). His hometown club brought him in to close out his career, with Counsell retiring as a player after four years with the Brew Crew. His rise to becoming Milwaukee’s manager was all-but inevitable by the time it was official in 2015, thanks to his high baseball IQ and incredible ability to coyly state the most obvious and sound bite-averse platitudes in post-game press conferences. Forget the sub-.500 career record, as that will swing in the right direction soon enough.
Proposed pose: Looking serene with a bent knee raised to the top step of the dugout, staring intently at the action.
Legacy: Nobody has more fun out there than the slick-fielding center fielder. Given an opportunity and call-up as Cain hit the disabled list, Broxton had the game of his life in his first appearance last week, clubbing two home runs and running wild on the bases. That was only the beginning, as he’s stolen two home runs since Monday, in spectacular fashion. We’ll live with the Ks.
Proposed pose: Levitating, but secured to a wall as he reaches over to bring back a certain run.
Legacy: Through managerial changes, steady Eddie has been a fixture in the third base coach’s box for eight seasons. Always smiling, giving up his uniform number 6 to Cain this season and predictably settling for a 0 (he said in spring training that makes it easy for any kid with a Sedar jersey to alter the number), Sedar typically makes game-changing decisions to send or hold runners. We expect him to join the broadcast booth when he decides to hang up his cleats, which he sported for the White Sox through the 1980s.
Proposed pose: A Pete Townshend-style windmill sending a determined generic base runner home.
Legacy: Thames has chiseled his physique in the likeness of the pro wrestlers he’s known to love. Now beardless, his grin off the field gives way to a determined intensity at home plate. After becoming an icon in Korea when things didn’t pan out in the Show last decade, general manager David Stearns took a flyer on Thames in 2017, at which point he came in like a wrecking ball through April before regressing back to the mean. Injuries aside, he’s having a nice 2018, and is known to frequent local eateries like—naturally—Bay View’s Vanguard.
Proposed pose: Either getting his jersey torn off after a walk-off last season, or admiring a long-ball he just launched at a perfect angle, elbow padded and tattooed in a follow-through befitting a statue.