Open Letter to Corey “The Condor” Hart

Dear Condor-

This Friday will become a milestone in Superfan history.  It marks your return to Milwaukee to be immortalized on the Brewers Wall of Honor.  While not all of the Superfans can be there in person, you can be damn certain they all will hear about it and celebrate it accordingly.  Superfan Silvester has already seen your plaque.

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I, along with Superfan Handy Jay, will be in attendance Friday from the moment the park opens until the last pitch in the final inning.  We hope to at some point see you there, and watch history in the making.  We also will be going out after the game and as always, we would love it if you would join us.

I want to thank you for all the memories- the countless “How many outs” interactions, numerous practice balls tossed up to us (even in the club level) and the many pictures and autographs that adorn each of our Brewers rooms (yes, we each have a room dedicated to the Brewers).  From the 2008 game where we clinched the playoffs and you hopped on the dugout and we chugged some beers as the fans gave you high fives, to the sad day of when you left Milwaukee and gave us a call out in your farewell newspaper post, all the way to when we reconnected again in Cleveland when you were in town with the Mariners… these and all the memories in between we will cherish.  You were part of what defined us as “Superfans” and for me, you played a large part in why I love baseball as much as I do.

Where this may be the end of the Condor era of Brewers baseball, it warms my heart to see that you will retire as a Milwaukee Brewer.  That is a permanent bookmark in the saga of the Milwaukee Brewers Baseball Club.  I speak for all the Superfans when I tell you we could not be more proud that you chose to do it this way.

Thank you Corey “The Condor” Hart!

For Love of the Game-

2010

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Day 16 – The Generous Condor

On Day 16 I remember another roadtrip- Wrigley Field!   Wrigley was always great for autographs, especially from the visiting team.  Getting there early and posting up near the visiting team’s entrance always paid off.  For a few years, we would grab a table in the outdoor pavilion restaurant next to the entrance, get some good eats and drinks, and have our stuff laid out ready for any willing players to sign.  Every now and then a few pics come to light, but since I was the one taking the pics most of the time, it’s rare to see one of me getting an autograph.

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That jersey has every player signature on it from that year including Grienke, K-rod and of course- The Condor.  2 weeks until the Condor is back in Milwaukee!  Go Brewers!

Signature Series – Jonathan Lucroy

Some of the cooler Lucroy autographs I’ve procured over the years!

Some of you may be aware of one of the Superfans’ favorite hobbies- graphing.  This is the shortened term for “autographing”, or in other words, we collect autographs.  Over the past 10 years, I’ve amassed a fairly large collection (along with Superfan Handy Jay and Superfan Shaggy) of autographs of which I have a room dedicated to them.  Today’s Signature Series Featured Athlete- Jonathan Lucroy!IMG_8382

This first picture is a sign from 2010 that I created while working a short stint at OfficeMax in Grafton.  We used this as a “training tool” to show how to use the spool printer and the laminator.  Now, I’m not saying I came up with the whole Star Wars/Lucroy connection and started whole thing, but this sign, along with the next unique piece of autographed memorabilia surely were some of the first pieces.

IMG_8383We took the Lucroy sign to various games, and we told him if he signs it, we will retire it.  Well, he did… and I did.

This next piece came from working at Best Buy with Superfan Handy Jay- it was part of a promotional display.  Lucroy signed it, “To SuperfanPete- I am your father!”  It’s hanging on my wall in the autograph room as well.

I do have a couple of baseballs, and a big metal sign with Lucroy signatures too, but one that I’d love to get would be his first hit.  I was sitting behind the Twins dugout with my buddy Grant and Superfan Dynex Dan back in 2010- 2nd row!  Of course I had my camera along, and yes, I got a pic of Lucroy’s first ever major league hit.

One of these days, hopefully I will get to cross paths with Luc, and get him on a 2014 All-Star ball, take a pic with him and shake his hand.  He was always a Superfan favorite, always had time to say hello, and signed some stuff when he could.  This last photo I found in some of the archived galleries- Lucroy was playing 1st, and the girl got to go out and stand by him for the national anthem.  This photo here, this sums it all up.

SAMSUNG CSCI doubt you’ll see this article, but Luc, I wanted to say thank you for all the great years in a Brewers uniform, and we appreciate your hustle and hard work on and off the field.

May the force be with you!

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Two of my Favorite Brewers Memories

Hello readers!  This week I debated on what to talk about.  First and foremost, the Brewers are 5 and 7, and last in the division, but far from last in MLB.  Our young squad has made a few moves (Broxton down to AAA, Davies back up to the bigs) and we’ll see how that works out.  All in all, after playing 4 arguably play-off teams (Giants, Astros, Cards and Pirates), I think we came through pretty decent.  Next, we have the Twins (of which we have a better record) and the Phillies (who have one more win than the Crew).  I believe we’re in for some great baseball, and Wednesday I will be “live at the game” courtesy of Steinhafel’s season tickets with the big boss man Steve and Superfan Wild Bill.

Now with that being addressed, I wanted to share two of my favorite Brewers memories.  These two are immortalized on my wall in large frames.  IMG_5102The first:

May 5, 2013.  Thanks to the wonderful Caitlin Moyer, I was blessed with the opportunity to throw out the first pitch.  I did it with another MLB Fan Cave Top 52 finalist (Kevin Kimmes) and I believe Chris Schatz took this pic of our catchers, Johnny Axford and Brandon Kintzler.  I pulled a few strings and kind of asked BK to be my catcher without letting the powers that be know (since I was pretty sure they wouldn’t be able to ask him), and once Ax found out how big of a fan Kevin was of him, he obliged as well.  The pitch wasn’t all that great, but the moment I crossed that line I surely just felt the energy that Miller Park creates around the greatest game in the world- Baseball.  Both Ax and BK autographed this large photo: Ax: “Thanks for being Super… FAN!”  and BK: “Pete, Warm up next time!  BRUTAL!!!!”  I have it framed with a ticket from the game, and an old (canceled) credit card of a photo of BK and myself from that day.  I still have the photo on my new credit card that I use for all my baseball purchases because it is good luck!  Still, one of the many baseball milestones that I have been blessed with as a Superfan. IMG_5103

The second memory I have on my wall is a large photo of Corey Hart, Superfan Handy Jay and myself.  We took this photo I believe in 2011.  Corey signed it “To Pete, You’re a true fan”.  Ever since he came up with the Brewers many years ago, he was one of the guys we cheered for every time we were at the park.  He reciprocated by always taking time to say hi to us, toss us baseballs, and sign a ton of stuff for our growing collections.  It was a sad day when he went to play for Seattle, but in true Condor form, he gave us a shout-out in the Journal Sentinel.  We did get a chance to see him again on a road trip to Cleveland, when the Mariners played the Indians, and we cheered as hard as we ever did for him.  He treated us to a nice dinner that night after the game, and the rest is history.  The “business” of baseball means your friends that play most likely will have to go to another city, in another state, and for another team.  As we saw with a lot of our guys in the past- BK to Minnesota, Wooten to Atlanta, Axman to Oakland, and Hawkins all over the place until he retired.  I won’t even mention Manny Parra and the Cubs…. but yes, Manny’s still my guy.

UPDATE: Just found out that Manny Parra is recovering from Tommy John surgery- I believe it was 5 years ago he had bone spurs removed from his elbow, but with this, he should have a new arm ready to go for the second half of his career.  Come back strong my friend, I’ll be cheering for you (if it’s with the Cubs, I’m cheering on the inside!)

Finally in closing, I want to reiterate the need for Dan Plesac to get a bobblehead in 2017-

Show your support by tweeting the @Brewers with #PlesacBobble2017 to remind them of this great man’s accomplishments almost 30 years ago, which includes multiple records that still stand today in the organization!  We salute you, @Plesac19!