I don’t think I’ve ever mentioned the excellent Rogue’s Baseball Index here. For those who don’t know, RBI is a website that attempts to define the more, shall we say, unique terms in baseball. From their “About” page:
The Rogue’s Baseball Index is a growing dictionary of the baseball terms that they didn’t teach you in Little League, and that you won’t hear about in the director’s commentary to Angels in the Outfield. This is baseball as the fans know it, as we know it, from the bleachers to the couch, and from Single A to the Show. RBI is baseball like you’ve already thought it.
You might think you know what they’re talking about from that cute little description, but you don’t really know until you see their definitions of phrases like the Jesus Christ Superstar, the Shadow Legend, or Walking Hank Greenberg (don’t forget to click through to the wiki entries at the bottom of each post). You can spend worse time today reading through RBI’s (relatively new) archives.
RBI’s most recent entry is “Old Milwaukee“. The definition:
(Click “Read More” to continue reading.)
Old Milwaukee is the title bestowed upon the eldest active member of the Milwaukee Brewer roster. Used widely by area journalists, soccer moms, and even the more enthusiastic of the local deaf-mute population, the term owes its popularity not merely to its simplicity, but also to the fact that people — almost regardless of race, color, or creed — need little prompting to think about beer.
I love it. As RBI points out, the current holder of the title is Trevor Hoffman. But it got me thinking about the history of the Brewers. In their 40 years in Milwaukee, who has held the title? How has it been handed down? Did we ever have to worry about the “built right” stipulation RBI mentions? Listed below are the players who have held the title in each of the last 40 years. Is there anyone who should be booted for not quite living up to the “Old Milwaukee style”?
The Complete Brewers’ “Old Milwaukee” List
Year Player Seasonal Age 1970 Tito Francona 36 1971 Dick Schofield 36 1972 Joe Azcue 32 1973 Chris Short 35 1974 Felipe Alou 39 1975 Hank Aaron 41 1976 Hank Aaron 42 1977 Jimmy Wynn 35 1978 Larry Haney 35 1979 Sal Bando 35 1980 Sal Bando 36 1981 Sal Bando 37 1982 Don Sutton 37 1983 Don Sutton 38 1984 Don Sutton 39 1985 Rollie Fingers 38 1986 Ben Oglivie 37 1987 Cecil Cooper 37 1988 Jim Gantner 35 1989 Jerry Reuss 40 1990 Dave Parker 39 1991 Rick Dempsey 41 1992 Jim Gantner 39 1993 Robin Yount 37 1994 Jesse Orosco 37 1995 Kevin Seitzer 33 1996 Doug Jones 39 1997 Doug Jones 40 1998 Doug Jones 41 1999 Eric Plunk 35 2000 Jim Bruske 35 2001 Tony Fernandez 39 2002 Lenny Harris 37 2003 John Vander Wal 37 2004 Dave Burba 37 2005 Ricky Bottalico 35 2006 Brian Shouse 37 2007 Brian Shouse 38 2008 Brian Shouse 39 2009 Trevor Hoffman 41
The only name that jumps out at me as not exactly fitting the “Old Milwaukee” mold that we all love is 2005’s Ricky Bottalico, but I could be wrong about that. Most of them are just perfect: Yount, Orosco, Fingers, Hank… You could easily see yourself offering an Old Milwaukee to any of these guys, which, frankly, should be the true test.