PHOENIX -- If it seemed that Trevor Hoffman doled out a hug on Tuesday for every one of his 601 career saves, it's because he is one of the most popular teammates in Brewers history. Never mind he only spent two seasons wearing the uniform.
"I love them back," Hoffman said on the field -- between hugs -- before Game 3 of the National League Division Series.
Hoffman was among a group of former Brewers on hand at Chase Field as the series shifted to Arizona, along with Hall of Famer Robin Yount, former All-Star outfielder Geoff Jenkins and at least one member of the Brewers' current disabled list -- reliever Mitch Stetter.
In Hoffman's case, he could watch with particular pride because he played a small but significant role in general manager Doug Melvin's assembling of the team. Free agents Randy Wolf and Mark Kotsay signed with Milwaukee only after consulting with former Padres teammate Hoffman. Wolf has been a fixture of the pitching rotation for the past two seasons and would start a Game 4 on Wednesday night, if necessary. Kotsay has filled a role off the Brewers' bench.
"We discussed what it would be like," Hoffman said. "I don't think it hurt to have those discussions."
Hoffman retired after the 2010 season and took a front-office job with the Padres. When that team retired his number in August, Brewers principal owner Mark Attanasio, general manager Doug Melvin and COO Rick Schlesinger traveled to San Diego for the ceremony.
On Tuesday, Hoffman returned the favor.
"I'm a big fan, and after the great year they've had, it's pretty nice to be able to be here today to see them in person," Hoffman said. "I definitely think they're built to win this whole thing."