MLB Memory Lane: August 22, 1999
I went to a lot of baseball games before I started working in baseball. MLB Memory Lane is a look back at some of those games.
This week, Barry Bonds, Jeff Kent, and Ellis Burks ruin my dad’s 60th birthday.
Date: August 22, 1999
Teams: San Francisco Giants and Milwaukee Brewers
Stadium: Milwaukee County Stadium
Seat Location: Lower Deck, Behind home plate
Sunday, August 22, 1999 was a special day. It was my Dad’s 60th birthday. We checked the Brewers schedule when it came out and saw that they were hosting the Giants. It was decided that we were going to go to this game. I had not yet started with the Timber Rattlers so it was easy to get away for this game.
It didn’t matter that the Brewers were 55-66, going nowhere in the National League Central, and had fired Phil Garner eleven days earlier. We were going as a family to enjoy a game and celebrate the day.
Cal Eldred was on the mound and despite his 1-6 record, I was hopeful that he would find some of his old form. He struck out Marvin Bernard to start the game!
Bill Mueller followed with a single.
Then, whether we liked it or not, we got to witness something rare.
Barry Bonds hit a home run.
Jeff Kent followed with a home run.
Ellis Burks followed with another home run.
Three swings. Three homers. Giants up 4-0.
I hate all three of those guys. It is completely justified.
Joe Nathan, a rookie in 1999, was the starting pitcher for the Giants that day. There was – as the saying goes – plenty of time to make the comeback. Plus, the Brewers still had Jeromy Burnitz and Geoff Jenkins in the lineup. Plenty of time.
But, Nathan allowed one run despite allowing seven hits and three walks in five innings (and facing three batters in the sixth). It was turning into a frustrating day at the ballpark.
Plus, starting catcher David Nilsson left the game after the bottom of the second inning due to an injury. Bobby Hughes took over for him. Bobby Hughes is most famous for being the only person in recorded history to fall for The Three-Man Lift twice.
Still the Brewers were in the game. They managed a run in the fourth inning when Kevin Barker singled with two outs to drive in Burnitz.
Next came a play that would have new school thinkers tearing out their hair. The Brewers were down 4-1 with runners at first and third with two outs. Jim Lefebvre, who took over for Garner as Milwaukee’s manager on August 13, did not send up a pinch hitter for Eldred. Cal Eldred was due to bat and – BY GOD! – Cal Eldred was going to bat!
He struck out.
Eldred would give up a two-out RBI single to JT Snow in the top of the fifth and the Giants were up 5-1.
We – me, my family, and the other 22,189 in attendance – did enjoy some gallows humor in the bottom of the sixth and the Brewers mounted a rally.
Geoff Jenkins singled. Marquis Grissom walked. Jeff Cirillo singled. The Brewers had the bases loaded with no outs and were down by four.
The Giants took Joe Nathan out and replaced him with Alan Embree.
Kevin Barker popped out. Alex Ochoa came in to pinch hit for Eldred. He grounded into an inning ending double play. I am a little foggy on the details, but I seem to remember that Ochoa swung at the first pitch of his at bat to ground into the 5-3 double play.
We laughed at the absurdity of it.
David Weathers took over in the seventh and gave up a single to Bonds, who stole second base – remember when he stole bases, and Kent drove him in with another single.
The Giants added another run in the eighth against Weathers on an RBI single by Bernard for a 7-1 lead. San Francisco had the bases loaded and no outs at the time, but Weathers, Mike Myers, and Rocky Coppinger managed to retire Mueller, Bonds, and Kent with no more runs scoring. The crowd actually got excited about that.
To conclude the afternoon’s entertainment, the Brewers staged another rally in the bottom of the ninth. Ronnie Belliard doubled with one out and scored on a single by Looooooooooou Collier against Felix Rodriguez. Burnitz walked with two outs. Jenkins singled in Collier to bring Grissom to the plate with two on and two out with the Brewers down 7-3.
Rodriguez struck out Grissom to end the game.
Happy Birthday, Dad.
August 22, 1999 Lineups:
San Francisco Giants
Marvin Benard, cf
Bill Mueller, 3b
Barry Bonds, lf
Jeff Kent, 2b
Ellis Burks, rf
JT Snow, 1b
Rich Aurilia, ss
Brent Mayne, c
Joe Nathan, p
Ronnie Belliard, 2b
Mark Loretta, ss
David Nilsson, c
Jeromy Burnitz, rf
Geoff Jenkins, lf
Marquis Grissom, cf
Jeff Cirillo, 3b
Kevin Barker, 1b
Cal Eldred, p
Jeromy Burnitz: 1-for-1, RUN
Geoff Jenkins: 3-for-5, RBI
Barry Bonds: 1-for-4, HR, 2RBI, stolen base
Past MLB Memory Lane entries:
Rally against The Eck & Walkoff the A’s (1989)