"[We talked about] the people that rallied, and how you handle it and how you feel," Hoffman said. "It was a neat moment to share with him. He understood that I was bombarded with a lot of texts, a lot of voicemails. It's kind of daunting to think about the time it's going to take to get back to people, but we'll accomplish that."
Hoffman also heard from two former managers, Bud Black of the Padres and Bruce Bochy of the Giants. Padres president Tom Garfinkel left a message, as did Red Sox right-hander John Lackey and other players.
A message from Brewers legend Robin Yount was particularly touching.
"He took time away from his 'redneck tailgate,' as he called it, with him and his dogs in the back of his pickup, listening to the game," Hoffman said. "To hear from a guy of his stature in this organization and this community, that's so humbling. I appreciated that one."
He was equally appreciative of the show of support from fans in San Diego, who gave Hoffman a long-distance standing ovation when save No. 600 was shown on the PETCO Park video board. He heard about it first-hand from his older brother, Glenn, the Padres' third-base coach.
"They're in the middle of a pennant race. Their focus is: stay ahead of the Giants," Trevor Hoffman said. "For them to take the time, it was a class move by their organization."
The Brewers acknowledged Hoffman's accomplishment with a postgame ceremony at Miller Park. General manager Doug Melvin presented a specially-commissioned oil painting of Hoffman with "600" across the top. Copies were available in the team store at Miller Park beginning on Wednesday. An initial supply of 1,000 commemorative T-shirts sold out in less than 20 minutes, but the team was offering vouchers to fans for the next shipment.
Hoffman lingered late at Miller Park on Tuesday, enjoying cigars in the dugout with his bullpen mates and members of the team's athletic training and clubhouse staff. The group borrowed a member of the stadium cleaning crew and posed for pictures on the mound, a flurry of activity in an otherwise empty stadium. He finally got to bed about 3:30 a.m. CT, and was stirred at 10 a.m. by middle son Quinn, anxious to celebrate his 13th birthday.
That was the first sign of a return to normality. More came when Hoffman arrived at the ballpark.
"It reaffirms that this machine will continue to go," Hoffman said. "Yesterday was as great as it was, but here we are, hearing the same music we've heard the last 160 days, and it's the same feel at the ballpark. It was unbelievable for the moment, but it moves on."
Brewers manager Ken Macha said he would continue using Hoffman and closer John Axford in the same way, with Axford serving as the primary closer.