It is the dream of a lifetime for any kid growing up in Southeastern Wisconsin to play for the Brewers, except few have done it.
Vinny Rottino is in that small, select group. Paul Wagner, briefly. Lance Painter, even more briefly. Perhaps the most obvious example is now-manager Craig Counsell.
Now you can add Mequon native and Ozaukee High School alumnus Owen Miller to the list. The Brewers traded a player to be named later to the Cleveland Guardians on Wednesday to bring the infielder home.
Miller, 26, was born less than a week after ground for then-Miller Park was broken. To say the newly-acquired-from-Cleveland utility player grew up around a golden age of Brewers baseball would be an understatement.
“I loved the Brewers for all those years (growing up),” Miller told reporers via Zoom on Thursday afternoon. “To be able to say that I’m part of that organization now is pretty special.”
Miller joins a cadre of young MLB players hailing from the Milwaukee area; he’s just the first to play for the hometown team. Players like Dalton Varsho, Gavin Lux, Jarred Kelenic, and Jonathan Steiver have all made their mark on the game.
“A lot of that is the facilities that have been opening in Wisconsin and the kids dedicating more time in the winter to getting better and working on their game. Playing against Varsho this year and against Kelenic and against Gavin, it’s definitely pretty special.”
While with Cleveland, Miller got a taste of postseason baseball, playing in five games for the Guardians during his rookie campaign. Having a taste of it only makes him want to bring a pennant race back to his hometown.
“The biggest thing I want to do is, seeing the Brewers the last couple of years and seeing the teams that they’ve had (is to) keep the success going and get back to playing postseason baseball,” Miller added. “I got to play against Tampa Bay and the Yankees in October and it was special.”