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Jerry Augustine: Feeling the buzz

Jerry Augustine's TOPPS rookie card
Jerry Augustine’s TOPPS rookie card. TOPPS image

By Kris Leonhardt


Continued from last week

Jerry Augustine debuted with the Milwaukee Brewers on Sept. 9, 1975, against Baltimore and went on to have a decade-long career with the team.

“I was very fortunate where I pitched several games where, when you look at the stats in the game, they’re pretty impressive. Not so far as strikeouts and walks, but the game — winning the game pitching extra innings,” recalled Augustine.

“I remember that I pitched a 1-0 extra-inning game against the Texas Rangers. And I pitched a couple of complete games that were shutouts. I did one game, a three-hit shutout against the Chicago White Sox and it was a three-hitter and Don Kessinger, a former Cub, got two or three hits. But the game was over an hour and 38 minutes or an hour, 40 minutes. I threw like only 88 pitches.

“There was a doubleheader game when I pitched behind (Mike) Caldwell.

“We had a doubleheader against the New York Yankees we had 54,000 people at County Stadium, and I was pitching the second game. Mike Caldwell — the Yankee Killer — was pitching the first game. And, I got there in the second inning, and as soon as I opened my door from our parking lot outside the stadium, I could feel the buzz. I mean, Brewers-Yankees, there was a four-game series. They drew over 160,000 people for a series.

“So, this was a Saturday evening and I go in there and I go sit in the stands because I’m feeling this buzz. So I sit in the stands, and Mike Caldwell comes in and he shuts them out 4-0.

“I’m pitching the second game. So the game goes on, it’s 4-0 and then I come out in about the fourth inning or fifth inning, and I’ve got them shutout 3-0.

“And all of a sudden, I hit the top step from the dugout to walk out on the field and 54,000 people started chanting ‘Augie, Augie.’

“When you’re a baseball player and you get on the mound, you don’t hear that stuff. You don’t feel it. You don’t hear it. You don’t look at it. You think about it. Your thoughts are in your job and what you have to do to go out and execute what you need to do.

“But I got out the mound, and I’ll never forget this. Charlie Moore was catching for me. I got up on the mound and was winding up and it was so loud. I mean, I couldn’t stand it. Well, I ended up walking the first two guys, and I’ll never forget this, it was ‘Augie, Augie.’”

Augustine said it was a lasting memory for him because he “learned how much the fans respected me because I was born and raised in Wisconsin.”

Next week: A team bond

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