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Milwaukee baseball mainstay Logan passes away

SEATTLE -- Johnny Logan, a four-time National League All-Star, the scrappy shortstop for the 1957 World Series Champion Milwaukee Braves and one of the great characters in Milwaukee's history, baseball and otherwise, died Friday evening. He was 86.

Logan, who had battled kidney ailments for years, was surrounded by family when he passed away at the Clement J. Zablocki VA Medical Center in Milwaukee, which overlooks Miller Park and the former site of Milwaukee County Stadium, where Logan and future Hall of Famer Eddie Mathews were the enforcers for the great Braves teams of the 1950s.

More recently, Logan served as an area scout for the Brewers, and was a boisterous and beloved fixture at home games before his health failed.

"He's one of my best friends, and even though you know it's coming, it's still hard," Brewers broadcaster Bob Uecker said. "He's been such a fixture around Milwaukee and with the organization. No matter what he did, he was always a Brewer. He wasn't a Brave, he was a Brewer."

The Brewers honored Logan in June with a star on the team's Walk of Fame at Miller Park. Uecker served as emcee during a ceremony on the field before the Brewers played the Phillies.

"Believe me, this is the biggest honor that I received," Logan said that day. "Getting an honor here in Milwaukee at Miller [Park] is outstanding. To me, I'm proud of being a Milwaukeean."

Logan played in Milwaukee from 1953-61 and appeared in four All-Star Games as a member of the Braves. Logan hit .268 with 93 home runs and 547 RBIs in his 13-year career, leading the league in doubles in '55, winning the World Series in '57 and the NL pennant in '58. He finished his career with three seasons in Pittsburgh, then returned to Milwaukee and made a home there, twice running for Milwaukee County Sherriff in the 1970s.

"He was one of the toughest players I've ever been around," Uecker said. "And a really good shortstop, too. He had a guy alongside him in Eddie Mathews, who was another fireball, you know what I mean? A guy who wouldn't take anything from anybody, and Johnny was the same way. Some of those games with the Cincinnati Reds with Johnny and [Reds second baseman] Johnny Temple -- you knew something was going to happen every time. …

"Johnny has been such a great friend and I can think of hundreds of things that have happened with him."

None of which are printable in full. One of them involved a brand new car and a sausage in the tailpipe.

"Some of the things that we did over the winter months, when I would come home and get all of the guys together," Uecker said, laughing. "Dan [Larrea, the Brewers' traveling secretary] and Tony [Migliaccio, the clubhouse manager] and all the guys in the clubhouse, we'd go to lunch all the time. That was a regular event with Johnny, and I mean, some of the things that we did to enhance the lunches after were fantastic. To this day, until he really got sick there, Johnny would fight anybody in the world."

The Brewers issued a statement:

"Johnny Logan was a longtime friend to Milwaukee baseball. His connection to both the Brewers and the Braves and the Milwaukee community was very strong. Virtually every person associated with the Milwaukee Brewers has been touched by Johnny through his many visits to the ballpark and terrific stories about his time in the game. We will miss Johnny deeply and will never forget his colorful character and personality."

Funeral arrangements will be announced later, according to the club's statement.

"He was a character, but he also was a wonderful player," Major League Baseball Commissioner Allan H. "Bud" Selig told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel on Friday. "Of all the great hitters on those Braves teams -- Hank Aaron, Eddie Mathews, Red Schoendienst, Joe Adcock -- Johnny was one of the best clutch hitters they had. He was a critical part of those great teams.

"Give Johnny credit. After he retired, he stayed here and made his home in Milwaukee. He was a wonderful man, a lot of fun to be with. And he was very loyal to the Brewers. We will miss him badly. I feel really sad."

Adam McCalvy is a reporter for Read his blog, Brew Beat, and follow him on Twitter at @AdamMcCalvy.
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