Barb Caffrey's Blog

Writing the Elfyverse . . . and beyond

Long-time Member of Brewers Grounds Crew Dies During Sunday’s Game

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Folks, this is a terribly sad story . . . one I wish I didn’t have to pass on.

During the start of yesterday’s game against the Arizona Diamondbacks, Miller Park’s grounds crew lead, Jeff Adcock, died in the Milwaukee Brewers’ bullpen of an apparent heart attack.  Attempts to resuscitate him were unsuccessful; he was transported to Froedtert Hospital in West Allis, where he was pronounced dead.  Adcock was only fifty-one years old, and had worked for the Milwaukee Brewers organization since the age of eighteen.

This link from the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel will give you more about this sad story, but here’s perhaps the most important quote:

“We are all saddened by the news of Jeff’s passing,” said Bob Quinn, Brewers executive vice president. “He was a part of our organization for many years, and was a fixture during games in our bullpen area. Jeff developed many friendships with our uniformed staff, and he will be missed by all of us. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family.”

Well said, Mr. Quinn.

As you might expect, the Brewers organization and the Brewers players (the bullpen personnel in particular) are taking the loss of Mr. Adcock particularly hard.  Here’s a link to that story, and a relevant quote from pitcher John Axford:

“He was in the bullpen all the time,” said closer John Axford. “Everyone had a good time down there with him. We had special handshakes with him. We liked to see his attempt at basketball moves. He was always there to open the door for you when you come in the game.

“He always wore these gigantic Chuck Taylors (basketball shoes). This year, he wasn’t wearing them, though. So Kam (Loe) bought him so new shoes and he wore them.”

Now, why did this happen?  Perhaps we’ll never know, but pitcher Tim Dillard has a good observation:

“None of us knew what really happened,” said Dillard. “The paramedics got there quick. We were just talking to him and he collapsed. You wonder if there was something you could have done but that’s just human nature. There was nothing we could do. It’s very sad.”

That it is, Mr. Dillard.  That it is.

Here’s a few more words from the second article (with one name inserted by me):

The grounds crew workers will wear a “JA” patch on their uniforms for the remainder of the season. The Brewers relievers also took a huge flower arrangement down to the bullpen before the game Monday night against Miami with a ribbon inscribed “In Memory of Jeff Adcock.

“He was an awesome guy to be around,” said (pitcher Kameron) Loe. “He did anything we needed him to do. He loved his job. He loved being down there. We’ll definitely miss him. When somebody passes away so suddenly like that, you can’t believe it.

“We all loved him down there. Our hearts and prayers definitely go out to their family. I’m sure they’re stunned. Nobody saw it coming. It’s an extremely hard thing to swallow.”

That it is, Mr. Loe.  And I wish I had some answers for you as to why these things happen, but I don’t.  The best I can do is give you the following advice, for whatever it’s worth: cherish the life of your fallen friend.  Honor his memory.  Remember the good times, and even remember the bad times (if he ever shared any), because that’s how you can best remember your friend as he was — as the good person he undoubtedly was, the one who shared so much with you, the one who knew you well and wanted to make you laugh.

Remember him as he was.  But do remember him, because the longer you can remember — and remember as accurately as possible — at least a part of your friend has lived on within you.

I have great sympathy for everyone who knew Jeff Adcock, including the Brewers players and coaches, the grounds crew staff, and every member of the Brewers organization who ever came into contact with him.  A loss that’s this sudden, for no apparent reason, is one that’s very tough to bear, and I hope that remembering your friend as he was — alive, happy, and glad to be doing a job he enjoyed — will help somehow to lighten your grief.

And finally — if there is a positive afterlife (which I strongly believe there is), I truly hope Mr. Adcock is there, is at peace, and is getting reacquainted with all of those friends and family members who may have passed on before him.  Because sooner or later, he will reunite with his friends again, in that place, and ’tis said that all the grief we feel now will be transmuted on that day to pure joy.  I know that doesn’t help anyone who mourns Mr. Adcock now — it doesn’t help me much, when it comes to mourning my friend Jeff or my wonderful husband Michael — but as it’s the only source of potential comfort in this situation, I can’t help but proffer it in the hopes that it may somehow help someone.

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Written by Barb Caffrey

July 2, 2012 at 7:55 pm

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