The year was 1987. Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol was the number one movie in the country, everyone was singing to the tune “Walk Like An Egyptian” by The Bangles and for the first time America saw a family of yellow cartoons appear on The Tracey Ullman Show, a short that would later become the TV series “The Simpsons.”
Also, the Milwaukee Brewers were the hottest team in the league.
On April 19th, 1987, 35 years ago Tuesday, Rob Deer and Dale Sveum combined for some Easter Sunday magic to keep a franchise-record win streak alive, and simultaneously etch their names in Brewers history forever.
The Brewers entered the day on an 11-game winning streak. Their 11-0 record tied the 1981 Oakland A’s for the best start to a season in American League history. First-year manager Tom Trebelhorn created a buzz in Milwaukee, with the likes of Paul Molitor, Robin Yount and Dale Sveum leading the charge.
On a gorgeous 75-degree day at County Stadium, the Brewers found themselves trailing 4-1 in the 9th. Closer Mitch Williams had just been pulled after allowing two men to get on when Rob Deer came to the plate. Deer, a career .180 hitter who was known for his power, cranked his second home run of the game and sent all 29,357 fans in attendance into a frenzy. The score was tied.
Following a B.J. Surhoff strikeout, Jim Ganter, who was rocking some sweet aviators, drew a walk.
That set the stage for Sveum. Of the 69 career home runs the Brewer shortstop would hit in his career, none would be more memorable than this one. The blast into the right-field bullpen would give the Brewers a 6-4 win, extending their historic win streak to 12 games. One day later in Chicago, a 5-4 win over the White Sox would bring them to a tie with the 1982 Atlanta Braves for the MLB record to open a season.
The now-famous call by Bob Uecker would echo in the minds of Brewers fans for years to come. For fans of a certain age, every Easter likely brings them back to where they were when their beloved Brewers got win number 12. They can likely tell you about the free George Webb burgers they got, or how crazy it was in the County Stadium bleachers that afternoon.
For fans not of a certain age, like myself, it’s great to look back in archives and see the excitement that team generated. I love watching the clips of Brewers fans losing their minds — and their shirts — when those home runs were hit. Thanks to outlets like MLB.com, a new age of fans can watch those moments. I can hear the stories about that day and learn more about all the players involved.
The famous streak would eventually end at 13 games, but the memories from that game would last a lifetime.
Which Brewers team was the best to not make the playoffs?
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