MILWAUKEE -- If you thought Brewers great Robin Yount would be disappointed to see his franchise home run record fall, think again. He was downright gleeful after learning Ryan Braun had set a new mark with home run No. 252 in Wednesday's 8-7 win over the Marlins at Miller Park.
"It's about time we got a guy with some real power on the top of that list," Yount said.
Braun connected in the sixth inning on Wednesday, surpassing the long-held club record amassed by Yount during a 20-year playing career that led him to the Hall of Fame. Braun's solo shot off Marlins left-hander and former teammate Chris Narveson gave Braun 22 home runs this season while providing the Brewers what proved to be a difference-making insurance run.
"Robin is the best player in franchise history," Braun said. "He played here for 20 years, he accomplished so many incredible things, so any time you're mentioned alongside his name, it's pretty special."
Yount chuckled. He never considered himself a home run hitter.
"That's pretty darn misleading, for me to lead anything in home runs," he said. "Everybody who knows anything about statistics knows that for me to be leading our organization in home runs is only a longevity thing. There's been far greater home run hitters in the Brewers organization than I. It was sort of humorous to me, to see my name on the top of that list.
"The reason I'm in the Hall of Fame is longevity. I still don't consider myself one of the great players in the game. I played it a long time and went to the plate enough times to accumulate these numbers. … I like that somebody is ahead of me on that list, because I certainly never felt worthy."
After circling the bases, Braun received a curtain call from 32,010 friendly fans. It was a similar scene on Sunday, when he hit a grand slam off Philadelphia's Aaron Harang to tie Yount's club record.
"It's something positive to focus on in what's been a challenging season for all of us," Braun said. "I'd rather have it happen here in front of the fans because I have such a special relationship with the fans and the city. It's nice to get some applause and an ovation instead of on the road, where it's like it doesn't happen at all. Definitely cool that it happened here. I was conscious of it while trying not to force the issue."
Braun turned 16 the year Yount was inducted into the Hall of Fame, and was potentially on a similar path through 2012, when he followed up his 2011 National League MVP season with a runner-up finish to the Giants' Buster Posey, but a hand injury and a suspension for violations of Major League Baseball's Drug Prevention and Treatment Program forced Braun off course in 2013 and '14.
After finding a treatment for the injury -- a nerve issue at the base of Braun's right thumb -- his power stroke has returned. Braun leads the Brewers in home runs and RBIs, and ranks third-in club history in the latter category with 834.
Yount holds the franchise mark with 1,406 RBIs and Cecil Cooper is second with 944.
Yount, who has always avoided commenting on Braun's suspension, said Wednesday that, "after testing, boy, you certainly were taking a chance, and obviously he took a chance and got caught. He had to suffer the consequences that go with that, and he has, and it seems like he's moved on. In all honesty, I've never spoken with him in any detail on the subject."
Manager Craig Counsell made the case that it's far too early to begin thinking about Braun's legacy, saying, "That story is still being written." Indeed, Braun won't until next year enter the five-year, $105 million extension he signed in April 2011.
"I don't think legacy until I'm done playing," Braun said. "Obviously, I'm going to play for at least another five years and then I'll see where I'm at, at that point. It doesn't really matter because baseball is so insignificant in the grand scheme of things. It's about the relationship I formed with the city, the impact I've had on people's lives, the charitable stuff ...
"As baseball players, we're put on a pedestal and we have an opportunity to have a positive impact on a lot of people's lives and I think that's what makes playing this game worthwhile."