Jim Gantner with author Brian Carriveau
Former Milwaukee Brewers second baseman Jim Gantner, a veteran of 17 years in Major League Baseball, will be contributing the Foreword for It’s Just a Game.
Gantner is a native of Eden, Wisconsin and played adult amateur baseball for Long Lake of the Rock River League and Oakfield of the Tri-County League before ever logging an inning in professional baseball.
It’s experiences such as these that makes Gantner’s insight invaluable to a book examining the world of town-team baseball through the lens of Southern Wisconsin’s Home Talent League.
I recently had the opportunity to speak to Gantner at the tavern he owns in Eden, Scud’s Buds, where he talked about the declining interest in adult amateur baseball due in part to the popularity in the faster and easier game of slow-pitch softball.
The former Brewers infielder encouraged baseball players, especially those in high school and college who are still developing their talent, to play as much baseball as possible including the local town team.
“Play all you can,” said Gantner. “The more you can play, the better you’re going to get. You’ve got a disadvantage around here because of the weather. Playing down South or out West, they’re playing pretty much year round. Guys around here should play on every hard ball team they can play for. Get on a team and play, just play.”