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Brewers look to emulate 1982 AL champions

Pennant-clinching thriller occurred 36 years ago
MLB.com @AdamMcCalvy

MILWAUKEE -- Cecil Cooper willed the baseball to earth and Charlie Moore greeted Jim Gantner at home plate with a hug. Marshall Edwards made a catch. Robin Yount fielded Rod Carew's grounder and threw him out at first base.

And Dwayne Mosely, who had the radio call while Bob Uecker was poised to interview players in the wake of the Brewers' pennant-clinching win in Game 5 of the American League Championship Series, bellowed, "Milwaukee, you have a World Series!"

MILWAUKEE -- Cecil Cooper willed the baseball to earth and Charlie Moore greeted Jim Gantner at home plate with a hug. Marshall Edwards made a catch. Robin Yount fielded Rod Carew's grounder and threw him out at first base.

And Dwayne Mosely, who had the radio call while Bob Uecker was poised to interview players in the wake of the Brewers' pennant-clinching win in Game 5 of the American League Championship Series, bellowed, "Milwaukee, you have a World Series!"

It all happened 36 years ago today.

"Every kid dreams of playing in the World Series," Yount said at the time, according to the book "Down In the Valley," which chronicled the history of County Stadium. "This is better than I dreamed."

:: NLCS schedule and results ::

If the 2018 Brewers are to get where the 1982 Brewers got before them, they will have to make similar moments of their own in a National League Championship Series against the Dodgers that begins Friday night at Miller Park.

They'll try to avoid falling into a similar 0-2 series deficit, which the 1982 Brewers did against Carew's Angels, forcing Milwaukee to become the first team ever to come back to win a best-of-five postseason series after losing the first two games.

In those days, the LCS followed a 2-3 format, so the Brewers had the benefit of playing the final three games at home. Don Sutton pitched the Brewers to a victory in Game 3, and backup outfielder Mark Brouhard's three RBIs in place of an injured Ben Oglivie helped even the series in Game 4.

That set up a decisive Game 5 for the AL pennant. The Brewers trailed, 3-2, in the seventh inning, but Moore (who'd made one the first of the Brewers' defensive gems in the fifth when the threw out Reggie Jackson at third base) hit a one-out single off Angels reliever Luis Sanchez, and Gantner followed with another. Yount walked with two outs to load the bases for Cooper, who delivered the biggest hit in Brewers history.

Video: 1982 ALCS Gm5: Moore throws out Jackson

For Brewers fans of a certain age, the image is seared in their baseball memories. Cooper waved his arms, willing the baseball to the grass in front of left fielder Brown Downing. Gantner scored behind Moore, who embraced him at the plate while County Stadium celebrated.

"For a minute I thought it would be caught, because when you hit line drives they have a tendency to hang, especially with the wind blowing in like it was," Cooper said, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. "I was motioning for it to go down. It got down."

Said Gantner: "Charlie grabbed me. He was excited. I was excited. But when we went back to the dugout, I said "We've got six more outs to go. We haven't won this until we get six more outs. Let's get them, then go crazy."

Video: 1982 ALCS Gm5: Cecil Cooper raps clutch two-out hit

They got them. The final three outs belonged to Pete Ladd, filling in for injured closer Rollie Fingers. The final out was Carew's bouncer to Yount, who threw across to Cooper, who threw his arms in the air.

"You could usually hear the bat hit the ball. You can hear things during the game, but not this time," said Yount in "Down in the Valley."

"All you did was react to the sights. I remember catching it, and when I threw it, it seemed like it took five minutes to for the ball to get over there."

The Brewers were headed to the World Series.

Adam McCalvy has covered the Brewers for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @AdamMcCalvy and like him on Facebook.

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