Milwaukee Brave discusses baseball today

Port Washington’s John DeMerit, a member of the 1957 World Series champion Milwaukee Braves, said he likes many elements of today’s baseball but notes some differences, especially in the strike zone.

“What you see on TV is two-thirds of the zone in our days,” he said.

Most pitchers back then didn’t throw a slider, and sinkers didn’t have a name yet, he said.

Today’s athletes are in much better shape, have better techniques and access to medical assistance.

He is thrilled with the success of the Brewers.

“I think it’s great for Milwaukee. Milwaukee’s always been a good sports town. They took ballplayers to heart,” he said.

He remembers milkmen giving him free bottles of milk and people always loved to talk to him.

“It’s a different animal now,” he said.

While the Brewers rely heavily on their bullpen, DeMerit said that wasn’t so back in his day. Starters went five to seven innings every night. Each team only had a couple of relievers.

He remembers standing next to Chi-Chi Olivo, who was shaving after pitching six straight nights in relief. He had to use one arm to lift the other in order to pick up his comb. Someone told the manager and Olivo got a day of rest.

Just like in today’s game, Denver was known for hitting due to the thin air. He remembers one of his Louisville teammates gave up a grand slam and then three more consecutive home runs. He drilled the next batter, nearly starting a brawl, and the following hitter flew out to the wall.

Back then, the all-wooden park in Denver was being remodeled for the new American League Football team, the Broncos. DeMerit thinks that had something to do with how the ball carried.

“Guys hit 20, 30 home runs that shouldn’t have been hitting 10,” he said.

See more on DeMerit in this week’s Good Living section.



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Ozaukee Press

Wisconsin’s largest paid circulation community weekly newspaper. Serving Port Washington, Saukville, Grafton, Fredonia, Belgium, as well as Ozaukee County government. Locally owned and printed in Port Washington, Wisconsin.

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Port Washington, WI 53074
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