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Published On: July 5th, 2024

Twenty-one year-old Seaver Sheets loves his Milwaukee baseball. This summer, he paid a tribute to his legendary last name by donning the white and sky blue with the Lakeshore Chinooks.


Seaver cherishes traveling to Milwaukee whenever possible, but playing in Wisconsin to continue his father Ben’s legacy wasn’t always his plan. The Louisiana-raised pitcher took a late offer to join the Chinooks, as he was offered the opportunity to start games for the first half of the season.


Before the Chinooks:

“[My dad] always wanted me to get into the Northwoods League, and it happened quickly,” Seaver said. “Not even a week before I showed up here, I got hooked up with Lakeshore and earned a spot.”


The Northwoods League, one of the great collegiate developmental baseball leagues in the United States, has sent more than 350 players to the major leagues in its quarter century-plus of existence, and Seaver jumped on the chance to join the fun. Good film propelled the team to take a flier on the young lancer.


“I just wanna get innings and get some experience on the mound, and hopefully help bring a title to this team at the end of the season,” the Chinooks pitcher said.


He spent the majority of his high school career as a hitter, and a massively productive one at that. Seaver hit .369 with 41 runs scored to earn all-state honors in just his sophomore year at Sterlington High School, winning two state championships with the team, but he recently converted to full-time pitching with the University of Louisiana at Monroe (ULM), where his father currently volunteers. 


A powerful connection to Milwaukee:

Ben Sheets is a beloved member of the Milwaukee baseball community and well-remembered for his contributions to the Brew Crew, including setting the Brewers’ single-game strikeout record with 18 Ks against Atlanta. That was roughly two years after the birth of his first son, Seaver, who Ben named after former MLB pitcher Tom Seaver. 

As Seaver, Chinooks teammate Brady Counsell and younger brother Miller – named after Miller Park – remember, growing up surrounded by Brew Crew culture provided them extraordinary baseball experience.


“When you watch guys every day you really just start to pick up on their routines,”  Counsell said of maturing with Seaver in the Brewers clubhouse.


From coming of age in the family room of Miller Park to pitching with ULM as a collegiate baseball player, Seaver has learned what it means to compete in the sport. Seaver said Ben taught them what it’s like to be a winner and specifically emphasized situational pitching, a skill the righty showed many times throughout his Chinooks tenure. 


A few highlights with the Chinooks:

On June 19th against the Northwoods League-leading Woodchucks, the 5’9” hurler contended with dynamic base runners Issac Webb and Jonah St. Antoine. Webb stole home in an incredible play, but Seaver bounced back to force a groundout, and two batters later he would strand St. Antoine, maintaining his composure after a rare play by the opponents. 


“There was a window where we were struggling offensively and he really didn’t get the wins deserved on the mound, but he was nails,” pitching coach Mitch Rogers said. “[With] his energy and the experience from his dad, it was really cool for a lot of these guys to play with him.”


While ‘Big Ben’ had a famous 12-6 curveball and would use the pitch at a famously high clip – in 2008, he paced the majors with a 33% usage rate, per FanGraphs – Seaver often relied on horizontal movement in clutch situations with Lakeshore. 


In his best start of the season, Seaver toyed with the Pit Spitters to the tune of 6.0 IP. He only allowed three hits, punching out four batters with the backwards ‘K’ and five more swinging.


Seaver totaled 28 IP and 24 Ks with the Chinooks, a steady and excitable presence in the Lakeshore pitching staff.


Heading home: 

As the former infielder heads back to Louisiana to continue tweaking his arsenal, the Sheets baseball legacy in the city of Milwaukee passes onto the next. 


“I’ve always wanted to follow in his footsteps,” Miller said.


“When our family comes back to Milwaukee, memories always seem to come rushing back to them,” Miller said. “They like to go eat at places they used to go, like Kopp’s.”

Perhaps the Sheets family will have to come back to enjoy some Milwaukee burgers and baseball again soon. 

Article written by David Jacobs.