It’s a new fall and a new opportunity for the Milwaukee Brewers to finally break through and make a World Series run.
Despite having superstars like Christian Yelich, Prince Fielder, and Ryan Braun around and mashing home runs throughout the 21st century, the Brew Crew still hasn’t broken through and captured a National League pennant. Now is the perfect time for the team to follow in Giannis Antetokounmpo’s footsteps and bring a championship to Milwaukee.
The Milwaukee Brewers are trying to reach the World Series for the first time since 1982
Younger baseball fans might be surprised to know that despite having appeared in the 1982 World Series, the Milwaukee Brewers haven’t represented the National League in the Fall Classic.
How is that possible? Well, the Brewers moved to the NL in 1998, ensuring that each league had 15 teams. The Arizona Diamondbacks (NL) and Tampa Bay Devil Rays (AL) joined the majors as expansion franchises that season. Those 1982 Brewers represented the American League and faced the St. Louis Cardinals in that October’s World Series.
After a challenging first decade in the Senior Circuit, Milwaukee finally reached the playoffs as an NL team in 2008. However, Manny Ramirez and the Los Angeles Dodgers defeated CC Sabathia and the NL Central champions in the Division Series.
The Brewers established themselves as a perennial playoff team beginning in 2018 and reached the postseason in each of the next three years. However, none of those teams, not even the 2020 team, which went 29-31 in the pandemic-shortened season and snuck in through an expanded playoff system, reached the World Series.
The 1982 World Series featured some of the greatest players in modern league history
For nearly 25 years, the Brewers and St. Louis Cardinals have squared off as NL Central division rivals. That wasn’t the case in October 1982 when the two franchises met in the World Series.
A 95-win Brewers team had four players who later became National Baseball Hall of Famers, including third baseman Paul Molitor and shortstop Robin Yount. That year, the latter won AL MVP honors by hitting .331 with 29 home runs, 114 RBIs, and 46 doubles in 156 games.
The veteran shortstop hit .414 with a home run, six RBIs, and three doubles in the World Series. Molitor contributed a .355 average and three RBIs in seven games. The Brewers also had veteran catcher Ted Simmons (.174 and two RBIs) and veteran starting pitcher Don Sutton (0-1 with a 7.84 ERA) playing in the Fall Classic.
Rollie Fingers, the mustachioed closer who won three World Series titles with the Oakland Athletics in the 1970s, would have given the Brewers five active players who later received a bronze plaque. However, he missed the 1982 Fall Classic with a muscle tear in his arm.
Cardinals shortstop Ozzie Smith, a defensive wizard who entered the Hall of Fame in 2002, hit .208 in the series. Veteran reliever Bruce Sutter, himself a future Hall of Famer, saved two of the Cardinals’ four victories.
Cardinals catcher Darrell Porter earned World Series MVP honors after hitting .286 with a home run and five RBIs.
The city of Milwaukee experienced a World Series title long before the Brewers arrived
If or when the Brewers eventually win a World Series title, they’ll become the second Milwaukee-based Major League Baseball team to win the Fall Classic.
Although the Braves play in Atlanta now, they only moved to Georgia in 1966. When Hank Aaron and teammates defeated Mickey Mantle and the New York Yankees in the 1957 World Series, they did so as the Milwaukee Braves.
Mantle and the Bronx Bombers got their revenge a year later. The Braves didn’t return to the World Series until 1991, long after they’d left Milwaukee behind.