As a Brewer fan, I don't need to tell you that the list of the brightest postseason moments in Milwaukee baseball history is pretty short. And as a Brewer fan born in 1983, I didn't have the opportunity to experience many of them first-hand.
That's part of the reason I was pretty excited about the possibility when A&E Networks Home Entertainment/MLB Productions asked me to review The Essential Games Of The Milwaukee Brewers DVD Set. The collection features DVDs with the original game broadcast of four of the biggest games in Brewer History:
- Game 5 of the 1982 ALCS against the Angels.
- Game 4 of the 1982 World Series against the Cardinals.
- The final game of the 2008 regular season against the Cubs.
- Game 5 of the 2011 NLDS against the Diamondbacks.
I've seen the highlights, of course, but this was the first chance I'd ever had to watch literally every pitch of those 1982 games, complete with the original commentary and graphics. Even in the games I've seen before, though, it was great to relive fond memories and notice things I'd forgotten from 2008 and 2011.
The original broadcasts are great for nostalgia purposes, but at times these DVDs are also a reminder of how far video production has come in the last few decades. The 1982 ALCS Game 5 DVD opens with a warning noting that there are some imperfections in both the video and audio that also exist on the master tape, and actually includes the "technical difficulties" message that aired when the sound dropped out at one point. Some of the editing is a little awkward, but when the ball is in play the only major difference between the archived footage and a broadcast you might see today is the graphics.
And the more things change, the more things stay the same: The ALCS broadcast also features a debate between Jim Palmer and Earl Weaver about the merits of bunting a runner over from second to third with none out in the top of the first inning.
Obviously not having seen some of the games before heightened my enjoyment of these broadcasts a bit, but even if that wasn't the case I think I'd enjoy having this set prominently displayed on my DVD rack to watch occasionally for nostalgia purposes. Even if you don't have time to watch the whole games, the DVDs are divided up by innings so you can jump ahead to Cecil Cooper's ALCS-winning hit, the Brewers' six-run seventh inning in Game 4 of the 1982 World Series, Ryan Braun's home run in 2008 or Nyjer Morgan's walkoff single in the 2011 NLDS.
The set is priced at $34.99 on MLB.com, and would make a great gift for Brewer fans both young and old. I've also got three copies of the set to give away, and I've added them to the Brew Crew Ball Sweepstakes Prize Pool.
A&E Networks Home Entertainment/MLB Productions supplied a review copy of this DVD set to the author.