One of the reasons baseball has become a borderline obsession in my life is the staying power of individual moments. They leave a profound emotional impact, and as a fan, those individual moments somewhat define your fandom.
With that in mind, I thought it would be interesting to begin a series, in which some of the writers here at Disciples of Uecker post some of their most memorable Brewers moments.
The moment I chose occurred on June 14, 2008. It was a magical year for the Brewers as a whole, but it also marked the season that one of my favorite players, Russell Branyan, returned to the Brew Crew and went on a home run binge in the early summer.
On June 14, I was home from college, visiting my parents before heading back to campus for the remainder of break for my summer job. My father and I naturally had the baseball game on downstairs and had watched the Brewers surrender an early lead to the Minnesota Twins.
In the ninth inning, Twins closer Joe Nathan quickly disposed of the first two hitters, and Ned Yost opted for the thunder off the bench and pinch hit Branyan. The decision made perfect sense. One out. One run deficit. All the Brewers needed was one swing of the bat to tie the ballgame, and few batters have as much power as Branyan.
I remember my father turning to me and saying that he possessed a strange inclination that Branyan was going to hit a home run. And on a 1-1 fastball, Branyan absolutely launched one into deep right-center field to tie the ballgame. Miller Park erupted, and my father and I woke my mother from upstairs because we were jumping up and down in celebration.
It was pure, unadulterated joy, and I know the main reason the moment remains imprinted in my mind is the father-son component of the memory.
Here it is: