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  • Glenn Braggs Had All the Tools But Couldn't Put Them Together


    Reilly McShane

    Glenn Braggs was probably - pound-for-pound - the strongest man in Brewer history. He was a chiseled 6’3” and 210 pounds when he arrived in Milwaukee - looking every part of a superstar in the making. But looking like an All-Star and becoming one are two very different things.

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    Glenn Erick Braggs was born in 1962 in San Bernardino, California. A right-handed hitter, he attended the University of Hawaii and was drafted in the 2nd round of the 1983 amateur draft. Braggs quickly developed into one of Milwaukee's brightest young prospects, hitting .390 and producing an OPS of 1.189 in rookie ball. The powerful young outfielder quickly moved through the minors, hitting a robust .360 with 15 HR in only 90 games at AAA in 1986. It led to the Brewers calling up Braggs and installing him in left field that season (he bounced between left and right field during his career).

    Braggs struggled his first season, hitting .237 in 58 games. But in 1987, with some experience under his belt, he improved, hitting .269 with 13 HR and a .762 OPS. It was a solid full-season debut, and many saw stardom in Braggs' future. He had a sweet swing, and many said he was one of the most powerful men they had ever seen in the game. However, a shoulder injury the following season cost Braggs more than half the year, and his 1989 season saw him regress in many areas (although he hit a career-high 15 home runs). 

    Things soured for Braggs as he tried to fulfill lofty expectations, and he saw less and less playing time as he struggled, particularly against right-handed pitching. In June 1990, he was traded to Cincinnati for pitchers Ron Robinson and Bob Sebra - neither of whom had any meaningful impact in Milwaukee. 

    He settled in as a part-time player in Cincinnati for three seasons with modest success and was part of the Reds' 1990 World Series team, making a nice home run-saving catch to preserve his team's lead in game six. In 1993, he signed with Yokohama in the Japanese League, beginning a successful four-year run overseas. He hit .300 in Japan and, in 1994, smashed 35 home runs.

    Braggs retired from professional baseball after the 1996 season at age 33. 

    After retiring, Braggs became a real estate agent. He married Cindy Herron of the R&B group En Vogue in 1994, and the couple had four children - although Herron filed for divorce early in 2022 after 29 years of marriage.

    Braggs has focused on his real estate business and doesn't do much involving baseball, but he has participated in past Brewer Fantasy Camps. He is a vegan, and he has a lifelong interest in fitness. 

    Braggs hit .255 with 45 home runs for his career with Milwaukee, and produced a .726 OPS. His career was solid, if undistinguished. But in hindsight, the results were a disappointment to most. When he arrived in Milwaukee, he was a "can't miss" player - and one of the most hyped prospects in years. Scouts raved about his swing and physical tools. Everyone expected a star. Braggs later said that he felt that he tried too hard. Ultimately, his excellent physical tools weren't enough. He was stiff in the field and at the plate. Many great players have an effortlessness to their game - something Braggs never developed. 

    As noted, Braggs was considered one of the strongest players in the league, looking more like a football player than a baseball player. One of the things people remember him for was the time he shattered a bat on his own back after swinging and missing at a pitch. Take a look - it's pretty amazing.

    Please share your memories of former Milwaukee Brewer outfielder Glenn Braggs.

     

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    I remember dreaming on Braggs and chuckled while editing this, as I remember owning so many of the baseball cards I found in a google images search.

    But I had no idea that he married one of the En Vogue ladies. What a fun tidbit.

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    That 1990 Brewers team was miserable but Rob Robinson never pitched better than the time he was with the Brewers in 1990, gave some hope he would be a starter for years to come but that was not in the cards. Bob Sebra also provided some excitement that year when he started that brawl with the Mariners at the Kingdome. He didn't pitched an inning in the majors after that.

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    damuelle
  • Brewer Fanatic Contributor
  • Posted

    I’d say the man did pretty well: .797 career OPS vs. lefties. Overall numbers bogged down a bit by the Brewers giving him 410 PAs against righties in 1989. OPS+ of 123, 108 and 106 in Cincinnati from 1990-92, and then was easily the best hitter in Japan for two seasons.

    On the surface, the trade to the Reds made sense (Brewers were a top scoring team but last in run prevention) and worked out for both teams (Robinson 12-5, 2.91 ERA after trade), but that was a defensively-challenged team (led AL in errors in 1989 and 1990).

    Imagine having a top offense, slightly better than league-average FIP, but going 74-88 (e.g. see 4.08 team ERA vs. league-worst 4.69 runs allowed/game)

    As Sheffield (25 errors in 1990 at 3B) had not yet played outfield and would likely have sulked at such a switch anyway, I think the right move was to trade the then 21-year old in mid-1990 for a massive haul (pitching, prospects). 

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    Still my favorite Brewer, still absolutely jacked, and still married to a member of En Vogue. If I found out the guy is actually a jerk it would be pretty crushing.

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    1 hour ago, GAME05 said:

    Still my favorite Brewer, still absolutely jacked, and still married to a member of En Vogue. If I found out the guy is actually a jerk it would be pretty crushing.

    Glenn Braggs or Rickie Weeks? Weeks looked more like a RB, Braggs looked like an OLBer. 

    Of course, Vogelbach looked like a Tony Siragusa type DT!

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    CheezWizHed
  • Brewer Fanatic Contributor
  • Posted

    Glenn Bragg was my first and still is my only autograph.  I forget what year exactly, but it was my first game and I was 13 or 14 years old.  I was looking for autographs and asked a couple players (got rude rejections from them).  I saw Braggs in the dugout, sitting alone and asked him for an autograph. He said he needed to warm up first and ran out on the field.

    When he came back, a swarm of younger kids came flying in and mobbed the front row.  Glenn saw me (now pushed back behind 6-7 kids) and reached over them to take his rookie card from me and signed it.  

    So @GAME05, I don't think he is a jerk. 

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