24 June 2013

the brew crew and the ironworkers local 8 patch

in july of 1999, during the construction of miller park (the brewers' new stadium), there was an accident involving a crane.  while lifting a piece of the stadium's retractable roof, the crane collapsed, hitting another crane where three workers were in an aerial basket.  those workers, william degrave, jerome starr, and jeffrey wischer, were killed, and a few others were injured.

to recognize the fallen workers, the brewers wore patches with the ironworkers union local 8 logo on their jerseys for the remainder of the 1999 season.  you can kind of see it on kevin barker's 2000 upper deck mvp card.  it's there on the left chest.

here's a better look at the patch, courtesy of a game used jersey from the 1999 season
the card that i will officially use for this particular memorial is the 2000 pacific brewers diamond leaders card, with both jeff cirillo and jeromy burnitz wearing the patch
it was determined at trial that the contractor, mitsubishi, along with their co-defendant lampson international, were responsible for the accident due to their putting schedule ahead of worker safety.  there was pressure to finish the stadium on time, and the contractor chose to proceed with the work that day despite strong winds that would normally dictate that this sort of crane operation would not be performed.  apparently a number of workers objected to the conditions, but the work was not stopped.

the brewers also wore patches during the 1999 season commemorating what was to be the final season of county stadium (those are the patches on their right sleeves).  however, due to the accident, miller park was not able to be completed in time for the 2000 season, and the brew crew spent one more year at their old park.

this and the columbine high school patch that the rockies wore during the same season were the first memorial patches that i can recall worn for a non-baseball person or entity.

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