MILWAUKEE — In his 33 years of service to the
Milwaukee Brewers organization, Jeff Adcock was “a fixture” in the
Remembered fondly for his kind demeanor to all Brewers players and staff who
happened to cross his path, Adcock, 51, collapsed Sunday while on the job, in
the early innings of Milwaukee’s matchup with the Diamondbacks.
The game was delayed as emergency medical workers attempted to perform CPR on
the Brewers’ long-time Grounds Crew Lead, before transporting him to nearby
Froedtert Hospital. But despite the efforts of the emergency medical team
tending to him, Adcock died.
“We are all saddened by the news of Jeff’s passing,” Brewers
executive vice president Bob Quinn said. “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.”
Many of those friendships were forged between Brewers relievers — a group that
was hit particularly hard by the emotional trauma of Adcock’s death.
Closer John Axford was in the Brewers’ clubhouse when he heard the news that
Adcock had collapsed. He said on Monday that making his way out to the bullpen
in the fourth inning was particularly hard, knowing Adcock wouldn’t be there.
“With something like that, when something that tragic and devastating
happens, it’s tough,” Axford said, “especially since you’re down
there and you always hear him or guys are always talking to him or he’s sitting
on the bench back there with us. To go down there knowing that he was there
earlier, and you know the reason why he’s not there on that particular time in
the fourth inning when I got there, it’s something completely different to think
Axford fondly shared one specific memory of Adcock, involving his near-iconic
set of worn out Chuck Taylor tennis shoes — sneakers that became a talking
point between Adcock and the rest of Milwaukee’s bullpen — due to the wear and
tear they took from his many years of hard work.
At one point, Axford recalled, fellow reliever Kameron Loe had surprised Adcock
with two new, clean pairs of Chuck Taylors to replace the conversation pieces.
Loe laughed at the memory on Monday, as it only took a few days for Adcock’s
shoes to again be dirty.
It was memories like that, along with others — his specific spot on the front
bench in the bullpen, his consistent reading of fantasy football magazines or a
newspaper before games, and his many secret handshakes with players — that the
Brewers will continue to remember fondly.
But the loss will continue to resonate with the team and the staff, as grounds
crew workers will wear “JA” memorial patches for the rest of the
season in memory of their fallen co-worker.
The loss was particularly hard on Brewers manager Ron Roenicke, who got choked
up talking about Adcock in front of the media Monday afternoon.
“It’s tough,” Roenicke said. “I’m still bothered about it. I
addressed the team yesterday after the game, and that wasn’t easy for me to do.
Things that happen in life, we’re so sheltered with what we do out there in the
field and it seems like we’re not even a part of the community and what goes on
in real life. And when it hits you like that, some of our players were pretty
bothered … A couple of them talked to me about it. It’s a hard thing. I
didn’t quite know what to say to guys after the game. … We lose a guy
that’s been out there with us for a long time.”
Added Loe: “He was an awesome guy. We all loved him down there. Our hearts
and prayers definitely go out to his family, and we hope they’re able to find