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Blog Entry

Brewers add patch to honor former groundskeeper

Posted on: October 12, 2011 6:31 pm
Edited on: October 12, 2011 8:11 pm
 
By C. Trent Rosecrans

ST. LOUIS -- You'll notice a new addition to the Brewers uniforms for the rest of the playoffs starting Wednesday, a patch with the initials GV to recognize the passing of Gary VandenBerg, the team's longtime groundskeeper.

VandenBerg, 59, had a long-term battle with cancer and died on Monday. He started with the Brewers in 1981.

"I think it's great we're (adding patches), he's a part of the Brewer family and has been for a while, and it's very sad," Brewers pitcher Randy Wolf said. "I talked to him quite a bit -- I'm always one to talk to the grounds crew about things I like or don't like about the mound, and I want to be involved. The one thing you learn throughout the years is that the grounds crew wants to get things right. … He was always great and was always very receptive about things. It's really sad, be we saw what happened over the course of a year you can have your life squeezed out of you. It's really sad to watch his deterioration."

The Cardinals will also honor VandenBerg with a moment of silence before Game 3.

"Gary was one of the most loved individuals in this organization, and this is a tremendous loss for everyone connected to the Milwaukee Brewers," Brewers owner Mark Attanasio said in a statement. "Gary was one of the most dedicated and positive persons that we will ever know. We were fortunate to have Gary as a member of the Brewers family, and we all feel a tremendous sense of sadness today. Our prayers are with the VandenBerg family and all of those who loved him."

On Tuesday, Cardinals manager Tony La Russa offered his condolences at the news conference.

"I really would like to express my sympathies on the passing of Gary," La Russa said. "A lot of us have known him for a long time. That's a real blow to the Milwaukee Brewers. We wish [his] family the best. He was a really good guy." 

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