The Chicago Cubs “fly the W.” There's “New York, New York” after games. And now, there is St. Augie. Milwaukee Brewers fans have developed a new tradition after every one of the Crews’ victories, sharing a saintly picture of broadcaster Jerry Augustine.
The picture started after Nate Petrashek took a photo of the oddly lighted Augie during one of the broadcasts. Mike Bischoff borrowed the photo for a tweet, and it was soon tied to a victory celebration.
Eventually, a community of Brewers fans tied to Bischoff started using the photo after every tweet. More and more people started picking up the celebration. Heck, even Brew Crew Ball and the contributors have been a part of it.
While the movement was growing, it went relatively unnoticed by the man featured in the photo. Augustine will be the first to tell you he’s no a regular user of social media, and especially not Twitter. But he couldn’t stay in the dark for long. Eventually, Augie’s coworkers started asking him if he has heard about the photo. Finally, one of his partners on the broadcast had to show him.
“Dario Melendez came to me and said, ‘Augie did you see this?’” recalled the real Jerry Augustine. “I said, ‘No, I haven’t seen anything.’ When he first showed it to me, I just started smiling. I thought it was funny.”
Augie got his laugh out of the way, happy to be connected to the team’s victories. Dario Melendez came to him a few days later and told him that people actually wanted to know what Augie thought of the meme. So, the broadcaster took to Twitter to share his thoughts.
“I appreciate all the stuff that is going on,” Augie said to us. “If it helps the Brewers win, let’s have it!”
So, that was that, right? Actually, it got bigger. Shortly after responding on Twitter, a couple of big fans came up to Jerry at the Lakeshore Chinooks game when the team was handing out Augie bobbleheads. Each member of the group was wearing a t-shirt plastered with the St. Augie photo.
“I smiled and thought that was really cool,” said Augie, recalling seeing his fans coming up to him. “First, I wanted to find out where they got (the shirts). It’s just such a neat thing.”
Dario was with Augie and took a picture of Jerry with his fan club (One is my former colleague on View From Bernie Chalet, JD).
“There’s always different things that go on in sports when teams are playing well. I think this is just one of them. People are having fun with it. They’ll come up to me and say, “Hey, St. Auggie!” I get a big kick out of it. If we’re having fun, the Brewers are playing well, why not?”
It’s easy to hear that Augie is plenty happy being apart of the Brewers victories. After all, the team’s first-place performance is surprising even him.
“I don’t know if I was expecting them to be in first place. I thought they were going to do well. I thought they’d be right around that .500 level, and they’re exceeding that by far.”
Augie is thrilled with the team’s success. The Brewers are 46-32 as of Tuesday night, first place in the National League and three games up in the division. The former Milwaukee hurler gets to take it all in from his spot in the press box and enjoy what he believes is the Brewers strongest asset: the pitching.
“The pitching has been phenomenal for them. You look at the staff, and they’ve had their key injuries with a lot of guys, but they’ve battled through that. It’s a real testament to the job that David Stearns, Matt Arnold and Craig Counsell have done under Mark Attanasio. They’ve changed the culture in this organization, and that has a lot to do with the success that they’ve had and the way that some of these young players play ball.”
He may have had his doubts before the season started, but Augie thinks there’s still plenty of growth on the roster. In fact, he thinks this team isn’t even at its best.
“I believe this team can play better, I really do. When you look at the offensive side of the game, I think if there’s an area where I thought they’d really be a little bit more consistent. The schedule is tough, it gets hard, but I think this team is up for it.”
Right now, he’ll just enjoy each and every victory, or Augie, hoping that it will bring joy to the people sharing it on Twitter. But will it be the next great baseball tradition?
“I don’t know about that. I think we’re having fun with it. I don’t know where it’s going to go, but as long as people just have fun with it.