FanPost

Face of the Franchise:  1980

Each season from the early days of the relocated Seattle Pilots through to the modern Miller Park era, we apply McLeam's Formula to the roster and cook up the player who represents the Brewers as the Face of the Franchise that year.

1980 Milwaukee Brewers

Lary Sorensen

1980-sorenson_zpsb5c5a897_medium

The Brewers finished 9th in winning percentage again in 1980, and the 9th ranked player in WAR was pitcher Lary Sorensen.

Lary Sorenson was a promising young pitcher for the Brewers, who in 1980 were looking to take the league by storm. One can only guess how far he would have gone if his impoverished family were able to afford two R's for his name. Lary had won 18 games in his first full season two years earlier, and combined with their strong lineup, the rotation of Mike Caldwell, Sorensen, Jim Slaton, Moose Haas, and Jim Travers was extremely talented. The lineup had some big bats in it and played decent defense, but Brewer legend Jerry Augustine couldn't carry the bullpen load by himself.

The Brewers won 86 games that year. It was fun (perhaps for Lary a little too much fun) but not successful enough, so Harry Dalton stepped in and made Brewer Legendary Trade #2. Not satisfied with stealing the pants off the Tigers in the Ben Oglivie trade, the Dalton gang held up St. Louis at gunpoint and stole Ted Simmons, Rollie Fingers, and Pete Vuckovich, and left behind Sixto Lezcano, a couple of other guys, and Lary Sorensen with a sign around his neck that said "do not open until rehab."

The Brewers were headed to the top, and Lary was headed in the other direction. At first he played for the Cardinals, but they recognized his decline and traded him down to the Indians, who then dumped him on the Oakland A's, and then he tumbled down to the lowly Cubs, further down to the minors, was suspended for cocaine use, and then finally even further to the Montreal Expos. Even the cold Canadian air couldn't shock Lary's drug-and-alcohol-saturated system to life, and after 16 horrible innings with the Giants, he was done.

But since he was a former player and he spoke English, he was qualified to be a broadcaster, and the career suited him perfectly. He could chat for a while about having once played baseball and mercilessly abuse his liver between hangovers. So it seemed like he was headed for a happy ending before he was found nearly dead drunk in his car on the side of the road with a Hall-of-Fame caliber .48 BAL. It was six times the legal limit and his 7th offense, so he went to jail, but sadly at age 52 he was too old to pitch for the prison team. He was released in December of 2009 (something something 'leaving the yard' something).

1980 FotF: Lary Sorensen represents the series of changes that a good team needs to make to become great. He had a lot of talent, but winners don't let their partying affect their on-field performance. It's one thing to have a few brewskis with the fans at a tailgate party after the game, and quite another to destroy your mind and body with recklessly recreational drugs. Lary had to go, and his departure was good for Milwaukee. I don't know where Lary is now, but there's no record of an obituary, so there's probably a happy bartender somewhere buying his boat one shot at a time with Lary's pension.

1980-sorenson2_zps20b1f713_medium

You can read a much more uplifting story about 1979's Face of the Franchise Gorman Thomas here

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Brew Crew Ball

You must be a member of Brew Crew Ball to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Brew Crew Ball. You should read them.

Join Brew Crew Ball

You must be a member of Brew Crew Ball to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Brew Crew Ball. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9351_tracker