I can't tell you how much I'm enjoying this baseball season.
For the first time in 25 years, the Milwaukee Brewers are looking like a playoff team. They've got the best record in the NL, and also have the largest divisional lead in the league.
The last time they were this good, they were known as Harvey's Wallbangers, chock full of talent and sluggers. Hall of Famers Robin Yount, Paul Molitor and Rollie Fingers were the stars. They even added another Hall of Famer, Don Sutton, near the trading deadline.
This time around, the team is very young, but very talented. Prince Fielder has overtaken Albert Pujols and Ryan Howard in the All Star voting at first base. JJ Hardy has been hitting better than anyone ever imagined. And Ben Sheets is anchoring a rock solid pitching rotation. Let's knock on wood and hope he stays healthy all year long.
As a youngster growing up in Madison, Wisconsin, I first learned to love the Brewers. My best friend's mom was a huge Brewer fan. She always had games on the radio, and her son and I would play imaginary games on a wonderful little contraption called a Pitch-Back all day, every day.
Sadly, I moved away during the summer of that glorious '82 season, all the way to Oklahoma, where everyone was a St. Louis Cardinal fan. And when the World Series rolled around, I was a stranger in a strange land, rooting for the team everyone else was rooting against. And then the Cards beat the Brewers in 7 games. I've never been more crushed.
But now, a quarter century later, hope returns again. And if Milwaukee can't win it all this year, that young nucleus should get more than one chance to win it all.