MILWAUKEE -- Count Corey Hart among the best comeback stories of 2010. The Brewers outfielder was left out of the team's Opening Day lineup and off Milwaukee's All-Star ballot, only to end up starting the Midsummer Classic in mid-July and signing a three-year contract extension in early August.
That new deal covers 2011-13, which would have been Hart's final year of arbitration-eligibility and his first two years of free agency. It will take Hart, 28, through his age-31 season.
"In years past, I think I've pressed too much to worry about what would happen next year," he said the day the agreement was announced. "I told them all along I wanted to be here [in Milwaukee], because my family likes it there and it's a comfort level. Not having to worry about that now, I can take a deep breath and go out there and relax."
Hart chatted with MLB.com for our ongoing series of Brewers "Six-Packs."
After you signed the extension, did you splurge on anything special?
Yeah, I'm big into collecting memorabilia, so I bought a few jerseys online and I let (wife) Kristina go shopping a little bit. We didn't go overboard. I did get her a fun car -- I guess that counts as splurging. But most of our money goes toward the house or the kids' savings.
What's your favorite piece of memorabilia?
I have a couple of things I really like. One is an Indianapolis Colts helmet with a sticker commemorating Tony Dungy's son that was signed by Dungy and the whole team. And then I love Batman -- I have a couple of Joker tattoos -- so my wife picked up something signed by Heath Ledger before he died.
Your tattoo collection has grown over the years -- which ones are your favorites?
The ones I like the best are for the kids and my family. I have a dreamcatcher with the kids' initials, and they were each able to choose their own charm. I got the idea because my oldest was always having bad dreams, and we got her a dreamcatcher, and it helped.
What about the tattoo down the middle of your back?
"Why so serious?" That's from the Batman-Dark Knight movie, and it's just something I liked. It reminds me to not take everything so seriously when they're not going right. I'm going to try to sneak in a few more Batman tattoos when I have a chance.
What does that extension mean to you?
Security. That was the big reason behind it. It was really meaningful given where I started last season, but as long as I've been playing, it's been about trying to get security for my family and being able to do things my parents weren't able to do. Once it was signed, it was a huge load off my shoulders. You don't have to press so much.
But do you think that could hurt you next season, that you won't have that chip on your shoulder anymore?
I don't think so. I've always played hard -- I hope the fans see that -- and that's not going to change because of a contract. There are always things to prove in baseball, so I just have to keep doing my job and deal with whatever comes up.
Adam McCalvy is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Brew Beat, and follow him on Twitter at @AdamMcCalvy. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.