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Remembering May 3, 1997 (When the Brewers Won a Lopsided Game in Seattle)

(Image: The Trading Card Database)

When a road series against the Seattle Mariners turned up on the Brewers schedule this year, I had an idea it was a bit of a novelty.  It sure didn’t seem like the Brewers had played in Seattle in recent memory, but I had no idea how long it had been.

After doing a little research, I now have a pretty good idea – it turns out the Brewers have never played in Seattle as an NL team.  As far as I can tell, they have played a couple of interleague series against the Mariners in the last decade, but only in Milwaukee.  The last time the Brewers played in Seattle was in 1997, when they were still part of the AL Central.  The 1997 Brewers were 5-6 overall against the Mariners, including two victories at the Kingdome.

Of the two wins, the more recent was a 5-3 victory on August 12, 1997, but the seemingly more interesting one was on May 3.  On that Saturday, the Brewers put one on the Mariners, winning by a score of 17-4.  If you look at the box score, you can imagine some interesting storylines.  Seattle actually had a 2-0 lead after the first inning before the Brewers hung eight runs on them in the top of the second.  They then tacked on Badger Mutual insurance runs in the third, fourth, sixth, before finally putting up a five-spot in the ninth.

In a game with plenty of offense, leadoff hitter Mark Loretta went 0-for-5, the only Brewers starter not to get a hit.  Right fielder Matt Mieske had a three-hit day, raising his batting average to .340, with 2 RBI.  Future Cardinals manager Mike Matheny went 2-for-4 with 2 RBI.  Marc Newfield and John Jaha had 3 RBI apiece.

Based solely on the box score, the most interesting contributor was Tim Unroe, a 3B/1B/OF who appeared in 79 MLB games between 1995 and 2000.  Unroe apparently came in to give third baseman Jeff Cirillo some time off in a blowout.  His only at bat came with two outs in the top of the ninth…when he hit a grand goddamn slam.  For a player who had 11 career RBI in 108 plate appearances, it’s probably safe to say this was Unroe’s most memorable MLB moment.

Also on May 3, 1997: Garry Kasparov began chess match with IBM supercomputer Deep Blue, a rematch of a 1996 match that Kasparov won.  This time he lost.  Just throwing that out there.

The Brewers and Mariners will be playing in a very different Seattle then when they last met in the Emerald City.  I like to think that somewhere Tim Unroe will be watching with a profound sense of nostalgia.  (According to Wikipedia, that somewhere is Mesa, Arizona.)