Here are some of those memories from the men who watched them happen.
Highlight plays and playing hurt
“I was actually thinking about that this morning, and there are a couple of plays that jump out,” Brewers president of baseball operations David Stearns said. “The hit off [Cubs reliever Steve] Cishek in an incredible at-bat in Game 163 is the top one. I think about the home opener the following year with the game-saving catch robbing the home run.
“Then I think about Game 4 [of the NLDS] in Atlanta when he Scotch taped himself together and played a game he had no business playing in -- and performed. I think that’s the type of game that exemplifies who this player is. There are very few players I’ve ever been around who would have the ability to get on the field that day. Those are the three that jump up right away.”
“He was one of the most entertaining baseball players of his generation, in my opinion,” said Brewers manager Craig Counsell, who knew Cain both as a teammate in 2010 and manager when Cain returned in 2018. “He did things on the field that made you go 'Wow,' that made you smile and left your jaw wide open. He was a teammate, you know? I watched his career and it’s been pretty special. I don’t know if this is the end of him, but he’s definitely had an impact on all of us. …
“There is a play I will always take from Lorenzo that I will remember. I think most people remember him for his glove and the great plays that he made. I will remember a baserunning play against the Cubs as like ‘his play’ that will always be imprinted in my head. It was the play where he was directing traffic. It was symbolic a little bit. We were trying to take over, beat the Cubs, and we beat them with a brilliant baserunning play, which is always the best way to beat somebody. It’s a cool way to win. A special way to win, I always think. That’s the play in a Brewer uniform that I will always remember him for.”
Famously bad batting practice
“He always used to say, ‘I’m going to get released if they watch that BP,’” cracked Christian Yelich, who joined the Brewers on the same January 2018 day as Cain. “He always said he had the worst BP in The Show, which is hilarious and also goes to show that BP means absolutely nothing and it’s all about what you do when the lights come on and the game starts.”
Cain always saved his energy for when the game starts. In the clubhouse, he was more likely seen ambling in, always wearing sunglasses and looking as if he could barely walk.
“There’s a lot of Lo stories that you’ll probably miss. That’s one of them,” Yelich said. “Him taking 45 seconds to get to and from center field and then making a sprinting catch at the wall. ‘Walk slow, run fast’ was kind of his motto. Tossing the rosin bag behind him as he goes to the plate -- which he’s smoked me with a ton of times because I forget that he does it.
“What else? He’s just funny in the clubhouse. He’s a good guy, a good teammate. We’ll definitely miss him. We’ll always have those stories to remember. Hopefully he comes around. He’ll probably go off and do his thing and go back home and hide out for a little while, but hopefully he still pops in now and then.”
The sense of humor was one thing, but make no mistake, Yelich said: Cain earned all of his Major League service time.
“You don’t make it 10 years because you’re a really good guy or a good teammate, you make it because you’re a really good player, a winning player,” Yelich said. “Those guys stick around for a while. They’re really valuable. It’s no accident. When you say someone has 10 years in the big leagues, that’s what comes next: This guy is a damn good player.”