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A short goodbye to Rickie Weeks

The one constant for the Milwaukee Brewers over the past 9 seasons is gone, but before we move on, let's talk a little bit about Rickie.

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Last week the news came that the Brewers had declined the 2015 contract option for Rickie Weeks and he won't be back. This was no surprise. But it feels significant.

I quote from Adam McCalvy on June 25th, 2005 on

Years from now, if things go as planned, a whole lot more than 44,685 people will say they were at Miller Park on Saturday night.

But that's how many made up the third-largest crowd in ballpark history and saw super-prospects Rickie Weeks and Prince Fielder hit their first Major League home runs in a 7-6 win over the Twins that gave the Brewers and their fans another indication that this is a franchise on the rise.

In my mind the night described above was the turning point for the Milwaukee Brewers as a franchise, the moment the pendulum began to swing back towards success. Weeks had been called up two weeks prior to this game and had started out hot, but hadn't connected on a home run yet. Prince Fielder joined him in the bigs to DH during an interleague stretch for a few weeks. At the time I was in middle school and on the way to a barbecue with my family while listening to Uke's call of Rickie's home run in the first inning. Later on that night I snuck away to the family truck with the keys to catch a score update on the radio and happened to tune in at the exact moment that Prince Fielder hit a 3-run homer to give the Brewers the lead.

The Brewers were still pretty bad then. And the past 8 and a half seasons haven't had all the glory that we all might have hoped for. But the club has played meaningful September baseball in 5 of the 8 seasons since then and played October baseball twice. Through that all the one constant has been Rickie Weeks, over 1142 games and 4700 plate appearances.

In a lot of ways Rickie Weeks was the Brewers, for as long as I can remember actually being a fan. He was the highest of the high draft picks. His emergence represented a turning point. He, like the Brewers, didn't give us everything we had hoped for over the past 9 years. But he gave us a hell of a lot of great moments.