40 years later, 1982 World Series Brewers team celebrates again

Rollie Fingers and Robin Yount (back seat, foreground) acknowledge fans during a parade around American Family Field on Aug.  5, 2022, commemorating the 40th anniversary of the Milwaukee Brewers 1982 World Series runner-up.

It’s not the first time Cecil Cooper has been part of a 40th anniversary celebration for a team that fell short in the World Series. In 2015, Cooper was back with the Red Sox, commemorating a milestone for the 1975 World Series runner-up.

“That’s the only time I’ve been back to Boston since,” Cooper said Friday, surrounded by teammates from the 1982 Milwaukee Brewers, the only squad in franchise history to reach a World Series – and a squad that reconvenes regularly for anniversary celebrations at American Family Field.

The 1975 World Series is most remembered for Carlton Fisk’s dramatic Game 6 walk-off homer, gesturing wildly for the ball to stay fair and force Game 7 against the Cincinnati Reds. Seven years later, ‘Coop’ delivered the signature moment of the 1982 Brewers postseason with his go-ahead single against the California Angels in Game 5 of the ALCS, gesturing this time for the ball to “get down.”

“I think that’s what kind of made me do that,” Cooper said, referring to the legendary Fisk arm-waves. “Back of my head, probably.

Cecil Cooper serves drinks to patrons during a

“I’m just surprised and happy that I see so many guys,” Cooper added. “There’s still quite a few guys that are still around. A lot of these guys were still in baseball up until the last few years.”

Cooper is among them, most recently the Houston Astros manager until 2009. Prior to that, his coaching résumé included a stint as Brewers bench coach.

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