Which Brewers jerseys can you wear to games? An authoritative, unabridged guide
Anyone from the old Braves teams: Hank Aaron, Warren Spahn, Eddie Matthews, Red Schoendienst, Andy Pafko, even Del Crandell and Johnny Logan. MLB clubs didn't sell replica jerseys back then, but those are all historical baseball legends in this city and all of them deserve to be on your back. On a practical level, you really only ever see Aaron jerseys, but I'd shake the hand of anyone rocking a Pafko.
Most of the '80s greats: Robin Yount, Paul Molitor, Gorman Thomas, Cecil Cooper, Ben Oglivie, Ted Simmons, Jim Gantner, Pete Vukovich, Mike Caldwell, Rollie Fingers. The '82 Brewers for Milwaukee are like the '85 Bears for Chicago – we revere and romanticize them, possibly more than we should, because they're our pinnacle. A Bill Schroeder jersey would be amusing, especially since he's now a team broadcaster, but you don't need a Jerry Augustine. And I hope there are no Charlie Moore jerseys out there.
Bud Selig: I've never seen one, but I think it'd be a pretty solid jersey. Say what you want of his essentially open-steroid policy as commissioner, the man did save professional baseball in Milwaukee and still lives and works here. I'd also accept a t-shirt with Selig's bespectacled face on the front of it.
Lovable players from the '90s: Here, you've got your Jahas, your Greg Vaughns, Kevin Seitzers, B.J. Surhoffs, Jeff Cirillos, Ricky Boneses, Dave Nilssons, Jeromy Burnitzes, Mark Lorettas and Fernando Vinas. Oh man, Fernando Vina. I miss that guy so much. I used to pretend to be him on my Little League teams, even imitating his double-pump, smack-the-glove move when fielding grounders and throwing to first. Turns out, it's a lot more detrimental for the team to do that at third base when you have a weak little-kid arm than when you're a major-leaguer throwing from second. Those '90s Brewers teams were really crappy, but those guys at least made it more interesting for fans.
Ironically adored bad players: This is dudes like Jose Valentin, who I believe never played a defensive inning without committing at least one error (will check on that later); Cal Eldred, who was good for a couple years, then awful; Jose Hernandez, a single-season record-setter for strikeouts; Johnny Estrada, who was a fat non-athlete but could hit; Joe Winkelsas, the former garbage man who threw seven total innings in 2006 but endeared himself to some fans; and Wes Helms, who my friend saw at Dairy Queen once and said was really nice. They're OK in small doses.
@jimmycarlton88 I think I have a Johnny Estrada shirtseys at my Mom's house. Probably doesn't fit. Still a nice piece.— Daniel Cotter (@Cotterlips) August 9, 2016
Also Jody Gerut, I guess?
The, like, three good players from the early 2000s: We're basically talking Scott Podsednik, the female fan-favorite and 2004 league leader in stolen bases, Tyler Houston, because I was at the game in 2000 when he hit three home runs and the crowd gave him the bowing-in-worship cheer (Tyler Houston!) and Bill Hall, who spent eight mildly above-average seasons with the Brewers and left just before they got good.
@jimmycarlton88 My dad regularly rocks his Bill Hill jersey tee to games. And I give it a 👍 every single time.— Eric Nehm (@eric_nehm) August 9, 2016
A couple from the golden generation: As important as they all were to returning Milwaukee to relevance, of the vaunted core of Rickie Weeks, Corey Hart, J.J. Hardy, Prince Fielder and Ryan Braun, only the last two are really still acceptable at Miller Park. Weeks, Hart and Hardy were good enough, but they weren't stars and aren't among the organization's all-time greats. Fielder was an iconic superstar when he was here, and Braun is still playing for the Brewers.
Vinny Rottino: The scrappy Racine native and utility player was with the Brewers from 2006-2008. Wisconsinites are always acceptable, and who knows, if you see a Rottino, maybe it's actually him!
Relievers: These are hard to find, especially non-closers, but if you can get them, they're always wearable for the comedy. John Axford was funny, had a great mustache and is still closely involved with the Milwaukee Film Festival even after parting ways with the Brewers. Even the guys who imploded – Derrick Turnbow, Eric Gagne and Trevor Hoffman – are treasured by some people.
@jimmycarlton88 Molitor/Yount are cliché. I like to see Sexson, Jenkins & even Hardy. Past closers are my fav. Give me Turnbow, Hoff & Gagne— Kleven (@KievGuy) August 9, 2016
Others swear by former left-handed specialists.
CC Sabathia: The man single-handedly carried the Brewers to their first playoff appearance in a quarter-century. He only spent three months in Milwaukee, but his jersey is forever welcome at Miller Park.
Nyjer Morgan: Possibly the most entertaining Brewer ever, Morgan not only was memorable for his antics and hilarious alter ego, Tony Plush, but also for his series-clinching walk-off base hit in the 10th inning of Game 5 of the NLDS against the Diamondbacks. He spent less than eight months in Milwaukee, but they were unforgettable.
Carlos Gomez: Always acceptable. It's not up for discussion. And he just got released by the Astros, so maybe we'll see Go-Go back here again soon.
The current guys: Players from the current team are always allowed, even if they can be risky purchases (especially during a rebuild) and boring displays. Besides the ubiquitous Braun jerseys, similarly "meh, fine" options are Scooter Gennett, Jimmy Nelson and Chris Carter.
The potential future: If trotting out the old Braun shirsey doesn't get your blood flowing anymore, and it shouldn't, how about a new edition of Jonathan Villar? If you're a kid 14 or younger, what about getting a Zach Davies jersey and having all your friends at school confuse you for a major-league pitcher? Orlando Arcia should be around for a while and sure seems popular.
Milwaukee-connected fictional characters: Maybe customize a Harry Doyle blazer in honor of Bob Uecker in "Major League" or a Stan Ross No. 2 for Bernie Mac's Brewers player character in "Mr. 3000." Just don't put "Fonz" on it.
@jimmycarlton88 What about an homage to cinema classic Mr. 3000 with Bernie Mac's character's last name (Ross) and number (21) on the back?— Rachel Seis (@rachelbernhard) August 9, 2016
Marcus Hanel: I still have never seen someone wearing the Brewers bullpen catcher's jersey, but I really, really want to.
Craig Counsell: Player or manager, he is Milwaukee's best.
Gary Sheffield: Screw that guy. Wearing a Sheffield jersey is the ultimate fan sin and the only truly terrible choice.
Unlikeable guys on bad teams: Mike Matheny was a Brewers catcher, but now he's the loathsome Cardinals manager. Hard pass. Ronnie Belliard was Milwaukee's Minor League Player of the Year in 1998 and had a productive rookie season in 1999, but then he got fat; he let himself go and then was let go in 2003. Nope. Alex Sanchez was a high-upside centerfielder in 2001; by 2003, his erratic defense and poor attitude had gotten him traded away.
Jeffrey Hammonds: Signed in 2001 to the largest contract in Brewers history at the time, he was a total bust. I actually saw a guy wearing a Hammonds jersey a few years ago and it didn't seem like a joke.
Lyle Overbay: The Big O was a well-liked doubles machine during the Brewers' down years, so he should be acceptable. But alas he's not, because if you wear his jersey at Miller Park, everyone around you will make their arms into circles and yell, "OOHHHHHH." And we just can't have that.
Decent back then but who cares? In the mid-2000s, the Brewers knew they were improving, so they made moves to get closer to contention, trading for players like Carlos Lee, Dave Bush and Francisco Cordero. Those guys were all right in Milwaukee, but they're long gone and it's not worth flaunting their jerseys now.
Jeff Suppan: Good guy, but just a terrible pitcher when the Brewers signed him to be a strong front-line starter. "Soup pitched great." He did not. For that matter, don't wear a Ned Yost jersey, either. And let's include Randy Wolf here, too.
Past their expiration date: Hardy, Hart, Sheets and Weeks were important pieces of the Brewers' 2006-08 resurgence, but, like the players have, it's time for fans to move on. Hardy jerseys, especially, are still troublingly prevalent at Miller Park because all the teenage and early-20s girls who were obsessed with him eight years ago – and wore those awful "J.J. Hotty" shirts – have held onto them. Dudes, too, it seems.
@jimmycarlton88 the statute of limitations has expired on JJ Hardy shirseys. Spend $20 on someone new, cheapskate— Nicole Haase (@NicoleHaase) August 9, 2016
@jimmycarlton88 I see them on plenty of guys, as well, which always felt like a head scratcher— Nicole Haase (@NicoleHaase) August 9, 2016
Casey McGehee: Apparently people are confused about this. The guy hit .223 his final season here! He is, and probably always was, unacceptable.
Yovani Gallardo: The ace-by-default who was never quite as good as everyone always wanted him to be and he was traded two years ago. Also, it's hard to see a fan wearing a Gallardo jersey and drinking beers knowing the pitcher was arrested for DUI in Milwaukee with a .22 blood-alcohol content. Just not a good look. Same for Francisco Rodriguez: He was good while he was here, but he's gone (for now) and doesn't have the kind of wonderful off-field reputation you need to celebrate at Miller Park.
Yuni B: If you wear a Yunieski Betancourt jersey, just know that fans – Brewers fans, your peers, even friends and family – will heckle and jeer you. So if you're wearing it ironically, because Betancourt was one of the worst offensive players in baseball history while he was in Milwaukee, that's all well and good, but you should expect some very non-ironic abuse in the stands.
No more Nori: I still see a Norichika Aoki replica almost every game. I don't get it. Again, a perfectly fine player, but three years later, it's A-OK to throw his jersey away.
Hank: Hank is a dog, not a baseball player. That makes it a personalized jersey, which is bad enough for Hank to wear, but it means if you are wearing it you are a dog. Ipso facto.
@jimmycarlton88 anyone over the age of 12 wearing a Hank K9 shirsey deserves to be kicked in the shins repeatedly.— Willie Dynamite (@dtoates88) August 9, 2016
Recently departed: Listen, I understand the dilemma; I'm frugal, too. You bought a jersey – a Jean Segura or an Aramis Ramirez or a Will Smith or a Jeremy Jeffress – and now that player is no longer on the team. That sucks. But it doesn't excuse wearing that thing around the ballpark as though the ghost of Khris Davis' whiffs is coming back. People will notice. If you're into getting jerseys of journeyman or veteran players that are unlikely to be here for very long, you knew what you were doing. So grab a Chase Anderson or something to tide you over.
Matt Garza: Why did you buy a Matt Garza jersey in the first place?
Cubs jerseys: You'd think this was one was obvious, but after the Brewers invited former Bears player Charles Tillman to throw out the first pitch last month, we can't overestimate anyone or anything involved with Milwaukee baseball. Cubs fans are intolerable and innumerable enough at Miller Park; they don't need any loosely affiliated, "my brother-in-law lives in the northern Chicago suburbs" bandwagon-jumpers joining them from our ranks.
Jonathan Lucroy: This one's difficult. Easily the most popular Brewers player over the last few years, an All-Star on the field and very involved in the community, Lucroy's trade on Aug. 1 to the Rangers – even with a quality return of prospects – is still a fresh wound that hurts. Not much time has passed for you to replace that jersey. And maybe you still support him. If you do, buy a Rangers replica Lucroy; he doesn't play for Milwaukee anymore. Or save up for a new Lewis Brinson.
Whatever you want: ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
They are all acceptable wear what you want. What kinda stupid question is this https://t.co/oaqPavzBgp— Father Mike (@ShafftyBro) August 9, 2016
What do you think? Which jerseys are acceptable and which are not? What's your favorite to wear? How angry did this article make you? Let us know in the comments!
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At this point, who gives a flip what people are wearing to games? You're lucky anyone is actually going to games. Go drink a PBR and get over yourself.
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