Brewers’ longtime employee passes away

MILWAUKEE — In his 33 years of service to the

Milwaukee Brewers organization, Jeff Adcock was “a fixture” in the

Brewers bullpen.

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

about.”

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

peace.”