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  1. If you look at the career pitching leaders in Milwaukee Brewer history, there are only two players that fall in the top 10 in each of the following categories: wins, strikeouts, winning percentage, ERA, bWAR, FIP and innings pitched. One is Teddy Higuera - arguably the finest pitcher ever to wear a Brewer’s uniform. And the other guy? Sheets? Caldwell? Slaton? Bosio? Nope. The answer is Yovani Gallardo. Image courtesy of Brewer Fanatic Yovani Gallardo was born in Penjamillo, Michoacán, Mexico, in 1986. His family moved to Fort Worth, Texas, when Gallardo was four years old. In 2004, the Brewers selected Gallardo out of high school in the second round of the MLB draft. It didn’t take long for Gallardo, a righty, to become one of the organization's top starting pitchers. Gallardo struck out many batters with his five-pitch arsenal - particularly his fastball/slider/curve mix. Scouts liked his poise, athleticism, and ability to go deep in games (he led the minors in innings pitched in 2006). If you wanted to nitpick anything, it might be that he walked too many batters, and there were some questions about how high of a ceiling he had. Gallardo quickly worked his way up the minor league ladder and made his Brewer debut in 2007. Gallardo was impressive - starting 17 games while going 9-5 with a 3.67 ERA. Not bad for a 21-year-old. The Brewers went into 2008 with hopes to reach the playoffs for the first time in more than a quarter century - and the young Gallardo was a huge part of that hype. However, Gallardo tore the lateral meniscus in his left knee in spring training - missing the start of the season. And then, on his return, he tore his ACL in his right knee while covering first base. He was on the DL the rest of the year until he was activated at the season's end. He started Game 1 of the NLDS but took the loss. What followed next was six of the most consistent years of starting pitching in Brewer history. Gallardo - nicknamed Yo - started between 30-33 games each year, threw between 180-207 innings, and had an ERA between 3.51 and 4.14. He won 17 games in 2011, struck out 200 or more batters three straight years, and was named to the 2010 All-Star game (his only appearance). He also proved to be a quality hitter - winning a Silver Slugger award in 2010 - batting .254 with four home runs, 10 RBIs, and a .504 SLG%. And then, before the 2015 season, with Gallardo just a year away from free agency, the Brewers made a dramatic move - dealing the reliable Gallardo to the Texas Rangers for Marcos Diplan, Corey Knebel, and Luis Sardinas. The move frustrated many fans, who had grown accustomed to the steady work of Gallardo. However, there were signs that he was declining - despite being only 28 years old. The truth is Gallardo was one of the most worked pitchers in the league. He not only threw a lot of innings and faced many batters, but he also threw a ton of pitches. Gallardo had an excellent 2015 season with Texas, which allowed him to ink a 2-year $22M deal with Baltimore. But the magic was gone. He bounced around for the next four years - playing for five different teams. His numbers went from solid to bad to awful (his combined bWAR in the last three years was a grisly -3.8). The 32-year-old Gallardo signed with the Brewers before the 2018 season, but he did not make the club and was released during spring training. It marked the end of Gallardo’s playing career. For his Brewer career, Gallardo played 214 games (211 starts) and logged almost 1,300 innings pitched. He had a solid 3.69 ERA, and the one category he holds the team record for is for strikeouts - his 1,226 punch-outs edging out Ben Sheets by 20. As a hitter, Yo hit a respectable .201 with a dozen HRs in his career. Some highlights of Gallardo’s time in Milwaukee include a 14-strikeout game against Pittsburgh, a walk-off pinch-hit double in the 10th inning against Baltimore, plus a game where he tossed eight shutout innings and hit a home run - the only scoring of the 1-0 game. All and all, Gallardo had a very solid career - but it was disappointing in a couple of ways. First, Gallardo never developed into a top-of-the-rotation ace as many had hoped for. He had a lot of good tools and skills - but nothing exceptional that put him over the top as a pitcher. He was reliable, durable, and a great asset to the team - but he never rose to the level of an elite hurler. The second disappointing aspect of Gallardo’s career was his rapid decline. For seven years, he was a model of consistency and durability. Yet by age 30, he was done as a quality pitcher. Despite those shortcomings, Brewers fans embraced Gallardo during his time with the organization. They loved his hardworking, stoic demeanor. And they loved his dependability - taking the ball every fifth day, year after year. Today, Gallardo and his family, including his wife, son, and two daughters, live in Fort Worth, Texas. He was inducted into the Brewers Wall of Honor in 2021. Please share your memories of former Brewers pitcher Yovani Gallardo. View full article
  2. Yovani Gallardo was born in Penjamillo, Michoacán, Mexico, in 1986. His family moved to Fort Worth, Texas, when Gallardo was four years old. In 2004, the Brewers selected Gallardo out of high school in the second round of the MLB draft. It didn’t take long for Gallardo, a righty, to become one of the organization's top starting pitchers. Gallardo struck out many batters with his five-pitch arsenal - particularly his fastball/slider/curve mix. Scouts liked his poise, athleticism, and ability to go deep in games (he led the minors in innings pitched in 2006). If you wanted to nitpick anything, it might be that he walked too many batters, and there were some questions about how high of a ceiling he had. Gallardo quickly worked his way up the minor league ladder and made his Brewer debut in 2007. Gallardo was impressive - starting 17 games while going 9-5 with a 3.67 ERA. Not bad for a 21-year-old. The Brewers went into 2008 with hopes to reach the playoffs for the first time in more than a quarter century - and the young Gallardo was a huge part of that hype. However, Gallardo tore the lateral meniscus in his left knee in spring training - missing the start of the season. And then, on his return, he tore his ACL in his right knee while covering first base. He was on the DL the rest of the year until he was activated at the season's end. He started Game 1 of the NLDS but took the loss. What followed next was six of the most consistent years of starting pitching in Brewer history. Gallardo - nicknamed Yo - started between 30-33 games each year, threw between 180-207 innings, and had an ERA between 3.51 and 4.14. He won 17 games in 2011, struck out 200 or more batters three straight years, and was named to the 2010 All-Star game (his only appearance). He also proved to be a quality hitter - winning a Silver Slugger award in 2010 - batting .254 with four home runs, 10 RBIs, and a .504 SLG%. And then, before the 2015 season, with Gallardo just a year away from free agency, the Brewers made a dramatic move - dealing the reliable Gallardo to the Texas Rangers for Marcos Diplan, Corey Knebel, and Luis Sardinas. The move frustrated many fans, who had grown accustomed to the steady work of Gallardo. However, there were signs that he was declining - despite being only 28 years old. The truth is Gallardo was one of the most worked pitchers in the league. He not only threw a lot of innings and faced many batters, but he also threw a ton of pitches. Gallardo had an excellent 2015 season with Texas, which allowed him to ink a 2-year $22M deal with Baltimore. But the magic was gone. He bounced around for the next four years - playing for five different teams. His numbers went from solid to bad to awful (his combined bWAR in the last three years was a grisly -3.8). The 32-year-old Gallardo signed with the Brewers before the 2018 season, but he did not make the club and was released during spring training. It marked the end of Gallardo’s playing career. For his Brewer career, Gallardo played 214 games (211 starts) and logged almost 1,300 innings pitched. He had a solid 3.69 ERA, and the one category he holds the team record for is for strikeouts - his 1,226 punch-outs edging out Ben Sheets by 20. As a hitter, Yo hit a respectable .201 with a dozen HRs in his career. Some highlights of Gallardo’s time in Milwaukee include a 14-strikeout game against Pittsburgh, a walk-off pinch-hit double in the 10th inning against Baltimore, plus a game where he tossed eight shutout innings and hit a home run - the only scoring of the 1-0 game. All and all, Gallardo had a very solid career - but it was disappointing in a couple of ways. First, Gallardo never developed into a top-of-the-rotation ace as many had hoped for. He had a lot of good tools and skills - but nothing exceptional that put him over the top as a pitcher. He was reliable, durable, and a great asset to the team - but he never rose to the level of an elite hurler. The second disappointing aspect of Gallardo’s career was his rapid decline. For seven years, he was a model of consistency and durability. Yet by age 30, he was done as a quality pitcher. Despite those shortcomings, Brewers fans embraced Gallardo during his time with the organization. They loved his hardworking, stoic demeanor. And they loved his dependability - taking the ball every fifth day, year after year. Today, Gallardo and his family, including his wife, son, and two daughters, live in Fort Worth, Texas. He was inducted into the Brewers Wall of Honor in 2021. Please share your memories of former Brewers pitcher Yovani Gallardo.
  3. When CC Sabathia arrived in Milwaukee in early July of 2008, he didn’t say, “Get on my back. I’m carrying this club.” But he may as well have done so. Sabathia had one of the greatest half-seasons of baseball in club history. Over 17 starts, he was an absolute workhorse - carrying the Brewers into the playoffs for the first time in 26 years. It was a magical - if short-lived - time for Brewer fans. Image courtesy of Brewer Fanatic Carsten Charles Sabathia - aka CC - was born in Vallejo, California, in 1980. He was an outstanding high school athlete, receiving scholarship offers to play football and baseball. But professional baseball was Sabathia’s path after being selected in the 1st round (20th overall) by the Cleveland Guardians in the 1998 draft. CC Sabathia moved quickly through Cleveland's minor league system - skipping AAA ball - and heading to the majors after only three seasons. He won 17 games as a 20-year-old rookie - and went on to anchor Cleveland’s rotation for the next seven and a half years. He was named to three All-Star teams and won the 2007 AL Cy Young award. However, the 2008 Guardians struggled to a 37-46 record through June of that season, causing speculation that Sabathia - who was scheduled to be a free agent at the end of the season - would be dealt. Cleveland was, after all, a small market team and didn’t want to lose Sabathia for simple draft compensation. And thus, on July 8, Cleveland shocked the baseball world by dealing the big lefthander. Many had expected the Guardians to trade Sabathia at the deadline - and to a big market club. But the Brewers stepped up to the plate - offering a package of Matt LaPorta, Michael Brantley, Zach Jackson, and Rob Bryson. LaPorta - a power-hitting first baseman - was considered the big prize for Cleveland. The Brewers were 50-40 at the time of the trade, and General Manager Doug Melvin saw Sabathia as the missing ingredient to getting Milwaukee back into the playoffs. The result was a glorious three months for the Brewers and their success-starved fans and Sabathia was at the center of it all. In that time, he started 17 games, won 11 of them, tossed 130.2 innings, seven complete games, three shutouts, and even hit a solid .229 with a home run. The apex of Sabathia’s season was on September 28, 2008. It was the year's final game, and Sabathia took the ball on four days' rest with the Brewers' season on the line. The result was a 3-1 Brewer victory over the Cubs, with Sabathia going all nine innings while surrendering only four hits. The Brewers clinched the wild card spot about an hour later when the Mets lost - sending the blue and gold confetti down from Miller Park’s rafters to the cheers of tens of thousands of fans who had stayed to watch the Mets-Marlins game on the stadium Jumbotron. The author of this article was at that magical game - and can attest that it was one of the most exhilarating moments in Brewer history. CC Sabathia had come to Milwaukee and carried the club into the playoffs for the first time since 1982. Sadly, that was the end of the Brewers' run that season. The Crew lost to Philadelphia in the playoffs, Sabathia losing his only start. And that ended CC Sabathia’s short but memorable, run in Milwaukee. While fans hoped Sabathia would return to the club, most everyone knew the man was set on free agency. The result was a big deal with the New York Yankees. Sabathia spent 11 seasons in the Bronx - maintaining his dominating ways for the first four years with the club. He was named to three more All-Star teams and MVP of the 2009 ALCS. That same year, Sabathia won a World Series. Unfortunately, injuries, wear and tear, and other health issues - including a battle with drinking - eroded Sabathia’s skills, and he went from a dominant pitcher to a solid one for the rest of his career. He retired after the 2019 season, finishing with 251 wins and 61.8 bWAR - which may get him in the Hall of Fame someday. Since retiring from baseball, Sabathia has been heavily involved in charity work and has a podcast with sportscaster Ryan Ruocco. It is hard to imagine how critical CC Sabathia was to the Brewers in 2008. The club had missed out on the playoffs for more than a quarter of a century - and the fans were desperate to get back into postseason play. That would not have been possible without Sabathia’s monumental achievements of that summer. And while Sabathia did leave after the season, hardly anyone begrudged the man the opportunity. He had given his heart, soul, and body to the team - and to this day, fans are grateful for that impressive run. In the end, some argue the deal for Sabathia was for naught. We didn’t even win a playoff series - much less a World Series. And the cost was high - and not because we gave up one of the game’s top prospects - Matt LaPorta - who turned out to be a bust. No, one of the extra guys in the deal - Michael Brantley - turned out to be an All-Star. Brantley has gone on to be a five-time All-Star - and a career .298 hitter. No matter, CC Sabathia’s brief run in Milwaukee was a fantastic time in Brewer history. And it may have been Sabathia’s greatest stint in his remarkable career - which is saying a lot. Please share your memories of former Brewer pitcher CC Sabathia. View full article
  4. Carsten Charles Sabathia - aka CC - was born in Vallejo, California, in 1980. He was an outstanding high school athlete, receiving scholarship offers to play football and baseball. But professional baseball was Sabathia’s path after being selected in the 1st round (20th overall) by the Cleveland Guardians in the 1998 draft. CC Sabathia moved quickly through Cleveland's minor league system - skipping AAA ball - and heading to the majors after only three seasons. He won 17 games as a 20-year-old rookie - and went on to anchor Cleveland’s rotation for the next seven and a half years. He was named to three All-Star teams and won the 2007 AL Cy Young award. However, the 2008 Guardians struggled to a 37-46 record through June of that season, causing speculation that Sabathia - who was scheduled to be a free agent at the end of the season - would be dealt. Cleveland was, after all, a small market team and didn’t want to lose Sabathia for simple draft compensation. And thus, on July 8, Cleveland shocked the baseball world by dealing the big lefthander. Many had expected the Guardians to trade Sabathia at the deadline - and to a big market club. But the Brewers stepped up to the plate - offering a package of Matt LaPorta, Michael Brantley, Zach Jackson, and Rob Bryson. LaPorta - a power-hitting first baseman - was considered the big prize for Cleveland. The Brewers were 50-40 at the time of the trade, and General Manager Doug Melvin saw Sabathia as the missing ingredient to getting Milwaukee back into the playoffs. The result was a glorious three months for the Brewers and their success-starved fans and Sabathia was at the center of it all. In that time, he started 17 games, won 11 of them, tossed 130.2 innings, seven complete games, three shutouts, and even hit a solid .229 with a home run. The apex of Sabathia’s season was on September 28, 2008. It was the year's final game, and Sabathia took the ball on four days' rest with the Brewers' season on the line. The result was a 3-1 Brewer victory over the Cubs, with Sabathia going all nine innings while surrendering only four hits. The Brewers clinched the wild card spot about an hour later when the Mets lost - sending the blue and gold confetti down from Miller Park’s rafters to the cheers of tens of thousands of fans who had stayed to watch the Mets-Marlins game on the stadium Jumbotron. The author of this article was at that magical game - and can attest that it was one of the most exhilarating moments in Brewer history. CC Sabathia had come to Milwaukee and carried the club into the playoffs for the first time since 1982. Sadly, that was the end of the Brewers' run that season. The Crew lost to Philadelphia in the playoffs, Sabathia losing his only start. And that ended CC Sabathia’s short but memorable, run in Milwaukee. While fans hoped Sabathia would return to the club, most everyone knew the man was set on free agency. The result was a big deal with the New York Yankees. Sabathia spent 11 seasons in the Bronx - maintaining his dominating ways for the first four years with the club. He was named to three more All-Star teams and MVP of the 2009 ALCS. That same year, Sabathia won a World Series. Unfortunately, injuries, wear and tear, and other health issues - including a battle with drinking - eroded Sabathia’s skills, and he went from a dominant pitcher to a solid one for the rest of his career. He retired after the 2019 season, finishing with 251 wins and 61.8 bWAR - which may get him in the Hall of Fame someday. Since retiring from baseball, Sabathia has been heavily involved in charity work and has a podcast with sportscaster Ryan Ruocco. It is hard to imagine how critical CC Sabathia was to the Brewers in 2008. The club had missed out on the playoffs for more than a quarter of a century - and the fans were desperate to get back into postseason play. That would not have been possible without Sabathia’s monumental achievements of that summer. And while Sabathia did leave after the season, hardly anyone begrudged the man the opportunity. He had given his heart, soul, and body to the team - and to this day, fans are grateful for that impressive run. In the end, some argue the deal for Sabathia was for naught. We didn’t even win a playoff series - much less a World Series. And the cost was high - and not because we gave up one of the game’s top prospects - Matt LaPorta - who turned out to be a bust. No, one of the extra guys in the deal - Michael Brantley - turned out to be an All-Star. Brantley has gone on to be a five-time All-Star - and a career .298 hitter. No matter, CC Sabathia’s brief run in Milwaukee was a fantastic time in Brewer history. And it may have been Sabathia’s greatest stint in his remarkable career - which is saying a lot. Please share your memories of former Brewer pitcher CC Sabathia.
  5. What might have been? In July of 1992, Cal Eldred arrived in Milwaukee and proceeded to put up numbers that Cy Young would have admired. The Brewers and their fans thought they had the makings of an ace. But it was not to be. Image courtesy of Brewer Fanatic Cal John Eldred was born in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, in 1967. He attended the University of Iowa and was drafted by the Brewers in the 1st round (17th overall) in 1989. Eldred was a big right-hander with everything you'd want in a pitcher - size, athleticism, and a plus fastball and curve. As an advanced college arm, he moved quickly through the Brewer system, enjoying a cup of coffee in 1991. But it was Cal Eldred's masterful 1992 debut that Brewer fans would forever remember. Eldred began the '92 season at AAA, logging 141 innings in 19 starts before being called up to the big leagues mid-July. Over the rest of the season, he threw 100 innings, produced an ERA of 1.88, and won 11 games in 14 starts. He finished 4th in the AL Rookie of the Year voting. The team won 92 games - good, but not enough to capture the division (stupid Wild Card game - where were you when we needed you). Few pitchers have begun a career on such a high note - and certainly not one for the Brewers. Big things were expected from the young Midwesterner. With expectations high, Eldred came down to earth in his second year. He won 16 games plus led the league in innings pitched, but his ERA rose to 4.01. In 1994, his numbers continued to falter as his strikeout rates dropped and his walk rates increased. Then, in 1995, after only four starts, Eldred was placed on the Disabled List with a sore elbow. Tommy John surgery was next, and he missed the rest of the season, plus parts of the 1996 campaign. Eldred threw 202 innings in 1997, but he was not the same pitcher - as his 4.99 ERA would attest. He fought injuries and ineffectiveness for two seasons, including an ugly 7.79 ERA in 82 IP in 1999, before being dealt with Jose Valentin to the White Sox in return for Jaime Navarro and John Snyder. Eldred’s first season in Chicago wasn’t bad - until elbow problems flared up, and he was forced to shut down his season in July. But it was worse in 2001. Another elbow injury limited him to just two games. He spent the rest of 2001 and all of 2002 rehabilitating his arm, and in 2003, at the age of 35, he returned to the majors with the St. Louis Cardinals as a reliever. He pitched three more years, retiring after the 2005 season. He was 37. After retiring, Eldred moved into the broadcast booth, serving as an analyst for the Big Ten Network and the Cardinals. He also served as a Special Assistant to Cardinals General Manager John Mozeliak. In 2017, he became the pitching coach for the Kansas City Royals. He was fired from that position after the 2022 season. Two of Eldred’s sons played collegiate baseball, including C.J. Eldred - who pitched for Iowa - just like his father. Looking back, Eldred's rookie season was electric. The team was competitive, and Eldred was a large part of that, as he produced a 4.2 bWAR in only 100 innings. He was a Midwest kid with a strong work ethic - an All-Star in the making. But it was not to be as injuries ultimately undid a promising career. Many points to the hefty workload imposed upon him in 1993 as the source of Eldred's woes. He was only 25 years old, and Manager Phil Garner had him work a league-leading 258 innings (after he had thrown 241 the previous year). A sore arm and TJ surgery were almost inevitable, and the rest of his career was marred by various arm injuries. During his time in Milwaukee (parts of nine seasons), Eldred threw 1,078 innings, struck out 686 batters, won 64 games, and produced 13.1 bWAR - all of which slot him in the top 10 in club history for each of those categories. Please share your memories of former Milwaukee Brewer pitcher Cal Eldred. View full article
  6. 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. Image courtesy of Brewer Fanatic 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. Glenn Braggs' bat breaks on back"> Please share your memories of former Milwaukee Brewer outfielder Glenn Braggs. View full article
  7. Relief pitching is often volatile by nature. They can have fleeting moments (or seasons) of brilliance, followed by implosions that can send them into retirement. One of the most extreme examples of this is former Brewer relief pitcher Derrick Turnbow, who went from a waiver claim to an All-Star game to being done as a major league pitcher within four years. Image courtesy of Brewer Fanatic Thomas Derrick Turnbow was born in Tennessee in 1978 and was selected in the fifth round of the 1997 draft by the Philadelphia Phillies. Derrick Turnbow was developed as a starter in the minors, but in 2000 he was nabbed by the Angels in the Rule 5 draft, despite having no AA or AAA experience. The Angels moved Turnbow to the bullpen for the year - essentially stashing him on the major league roster so they wouldn't have to return him to the Phillies. He was sent back to the minors in 2001, and the shift to the bullpen was permanent. An arm injury cost Turnbow much of the next two years, and he struggled upon returning to the bullpen. He tantalized with his explosive fastball but frustrated with bouts of wildness, and after several seasons with the Angels organization, Turnbow was waived in October 2004. Milwaukee claimed the big right-hander. Turnbow surprised many by making the club in 2005, and after Mike Adams struggled in the closer role, manager Ned Yost gave the job to Turnbow. He would have a magnificent season, posting 39 saves and a 1.74 ERA. He was second in the Rolaids Relief Man of the Year Award. The Brewers rewarded Turnbow with a three-year contract worth $6.5M. The 2006 season began well enough for Turnbow as he registered eight saves in the first month. But then the old bugaboo - his control - would rear its ugly head. His play was uneven for the next couple of months, but he still managed to record 23 saves and an All-Star game nomination. But then the wheels came off - and would never be put back on. His post-All-Star numbers were an ugly 0-5 record and an ERA of 11.29 - causing him to lose the closer's job. Turnbow would rebound somewhat in 2007, managing a 4.63 ERA in 69 innings. But in 2008, things got ugly. He began the season walking 13 batters in six innings. The Brewers sent Turnbow to AAA, where things only got worse - 41 walks and ten wild pitches in 18 IP. The Brewers released him after the season. Turnbow unsuccessfully attempted comebacks in 2009 and 2010 with the Rangers and Marlins, respectively, but with no luck. After his release during 2010 spring training, he decided to call it quits. Turnbow was 32. After retiring, Turnbow stepped away from baseball, joining a financial planning firm where he now specializes in wealth management services. He lives in Seattle, Washington, with his family. Turnbow is the classic example of a pitcher with a ton of ability (98 mph fastball, outstanding for the mid-to-late-2000s) but one who struggled with control. Many attributed his brilliant 2005 season to the work Turnbow did with pitching coach Mike Maddux. Fans loved the big, shaggy-haired righty who could throw heat with the best of them, and for one season, he was as good as any relief pitcher in baseball. Unfortunately, Turnbow could not repeat his success, and he quickly faded from the baseball scene. Turnbow's 39 saves in 2005 rank 4th all-time, and his all-time save mark of 65 ranks 80th. Please share your memories of former Brewer Derrick Turnbow. View full article
  8. 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. Glenn Braggs' bat breaks on back"> Please share your memories of former Milwaukee Brewer outfielder Glenn Braggs.
  9. There are many "what might have been" moments in the history of any franchise. The Brewers reportedly wanted to draft Mike Trout in 2009, but the Angels took him one slot ahead of Milwaukee. Or how about if Nomar Garciaparra had signed with the Brewers after he was selected in 1991 instead of choosing college? Another great ‘what if’ surrounds Gary Sheffield, who came up with Milwaukee with great fanfare in 1988 at the age of 19 - only to be traded after showing promise - but also inconsistency and immaturity. He went on to have a long and stellar career. Image courtesy of Brewer Fanatic Gary Antonian Sheffield was born in Tampa Bay, Florida, in 1968. His uncle is Dwight Gooden - who was four years older. As a senior in high school, he was named the Gatorade National Player of the Year. The Brewers selected Sheffield in the 1st round of the 1986 draft - the sixth overall pick. It didn’t take long for Sheffield to become one of the top prospects in baseball. At Helena, Sheffield hit .365 and walloped 15 HR in just 57 games. He was only 17 years old. The abuse of minor league pitching continued as Sheffield showed an advanced hit tool, power, and a great eye at the plate. In 1988, at 19, Sheffield would debut in Milwaukee - playing 24 games. However, there were signs of trouble ahead for Sheffield when he was arrested in early 1987 - alongside Dwight Gooden - and charged with resisting arrest and battery of an officer. Later that year, he was arrested for a DUI. Besides a 7-game stint in the minors in 1989, Sheffield stayed in the big leagues. In his rookie campaign, Sheffield had mixed success as he battled several injuries - and a move to third base in favor of Bill Spiers. He hit only .247 in 94 games that year and said his move to third was race related. 1990 demonstrated the enormous potential that Sheffield possessed. Working with hitting coach Don Baylor, Sheffield hit .294, although his considerable power had yet to emerge. But the fans and the Brewers thought they saw a star in the making. But there were cracks in the relationship between Sheffield and the organization and the fans. His willingness to candidly discuss racial issues was not common at the time, making many fans, members of the organization, and some of his teammates uneasy. Sheffield complained about the team favoring white players and how the organization mistreated him. He was generally portrayed as a talented but disloyal and immature malcontent. Had Sheffield come into 1991 and hit well - all of these things would likely have been put aside - at least for a time. Instead, it would be a lost year. Various injuries would limit Sheffield to 50 games - and he hit a paltry .194. Fans booed Sheffield mercilessly, who later admitted he was miserable and requested a trade (something he had already done more than once). Organizations are often hesitant to trade talented players - even if they are struggling - for fear they will find themselves in a new city. But the Brewers had had enough of Sheffield. On March 26, 1992, they pulled the trigger on a trade sending the talented but troubled infielder to the San Diego Padres for pitcher Ricky Bones, SS José Valentin, and OF Matt Mieske. Much to the Brewers' chagrin, Sheffield turned into an all-star in San Diego, hitting .330 and 30 home runs and winning the NL batting title. The Brewers won 92 games that year - but missed the playoffs. Had Sheffield been in the lineup, things may have turned out differently. We don’t need to go on about Sheffield’s career, but the numbers are quite astonishing. 509 HR. Almost 2700 hits. 9 All-Star teams. More walks than strikeouts. Sheffield was not without his warts. He was never a good fielder. After leaving Milwaukee, he stayed at third base for a time before being moved to corner outfielder and finishing his career as a designated hitter. He never went back to shortstop, save for a few games here and there. He was also a baseball nomad - playing for eight teams in 22 years - often wearing out his welcome due to his quick temper, outspoken opinions, and a seemingly never-ending desire for a better contract. Sheffield’s supporters say he was simply an honest man - willing to talk about uncomfortable topics that many felt were too often swept under the rug. Sheffield also had other issues - including multiple arrests for DUI, speeding, and altercations with fans. But the issue that - to this day - looms over Sheffield is regarding performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs). Sheffield was mentioned in the Mitchell Report and implicated in the 2004 BALCO scandal concerning using PEDs. And he was named in the book Game of Shadows as having received testosterone and human growth hormone from Greg Anderson, the personal trainer he shared with Barry Bonds. Without those accusations, Sheffield may have reached the Hall of Fame. He received 40% of the vote in 2022 - but with only two more years of eligibility left in his candidacy - he’s unlikely to receive the 75% needed for induction. After baseball, Sheffield formed the Sheffield Management Group and became a sports agent. As we think about the ‘what ifs’ of baseball - it’s easy to look at 1992 and wonder if having Sheffield in the lineup would have helped the Brewers capture the NL East crown (the Brewers were four games behind Toronto). Kevin Seitzer had a solid season at 3B for the Crew that year, but it was nothing like Sheffield’s monster numbers. Yet even if Milwaukee had kept Sheffield, you have to wonder if he would have realized his full potential, especially considering the animosity between him and the organization. Even if Sheffield had stayed in Milwaukee and played well, it’s unlikely he would have lasted with the Brewers. The team went into a long string of losing seasons starting in 1993, and Sheffield would have likely been traded at some point. His bat would not have elevated the team to playoff contenders during that time, making him more alluring as a trade candidate than a long-term fixture. The only good thing would have been the team could have netted a more substantial return than what they received from San Diego. Regarding the players brought in from San Diego, the results were uninspiring. Mieske was average in many ways. Ricky Bones wavered between ‘not bad,’ ‘bad,’ and ‘really bad'. Only SS José Valentin emerged as a solid, everyday player and would later be flipped for pitcher Jaime Navarro. The Brewer career of infielder Gary Sheffield was tumultuous. He was a talented young man, but the Brewers and Milwaukee were the wrong place for him to start his career. He was immature in many ways, and in an era of staying quiet and letting your bat do the talking, Sheffield was not embraced by the blue-collar - and mostly white - Brewer fan base. Please share your memories about his short - but controversial time - in Milwaukee. View full article
  10. Thomas Derrick Turnbow was born in Tennessee in 1978 and was selected in the fifth round of the 1997 draft by the Philadelphia Phillies. Derrick Turnbow was developed as a starter in the minors, but in 2000 he was nabbed by the Angels in the Rule 5 draft, despite having no AA or AAA experience. The Angels moved Turnbow to the bullpen for the year - essentially stashing him on the major league roster so they wouldn't have to return him to the Phillies. He was sent back to the minors in 2001, and the shift to the bullpen was permanent. An arm injury cost Turnbow much of the next two years, and he struggled upon returning to the bullpen. He tantalized with his explosive fastball but frustrated with bouts of wildness, and after several seasons with the Angels organization, Turnbow was waived in October 2004. Milwaukee claimed the big right-hander. Turnbow surprised many by making the club in 2005, and after Mike Adams struggled in the closer role, manager Ned Yost gave the job to Turnbow. He would have a magnificent season, posting 39 saves and a 1.74 ERA. He was second in the Rolaids Relief Man of the Year Award. The Brewers rewarded Turnbow with a three-year contract worth $6.5M. The 2006 season began well enough for Turnbow as he registered eight saves in the first month. But then the old bugaboo - his control - would rear its ugly head. His play was uneven for the next couple of months, but he still managed to record 23 saves and an All-Star game nomination. But then the wheels came off - and would never be put back on. His post-All-Star numbers were an ugly 0-5 record and an ERA of 11.29 - causing him to lose the closer's job. Turnbow would rebound somewhat in 2007, managing a 4.63 ERA in 69 innings. But in 2008, things got ugly. He began the season walking 13 batters in six innings. The Brewers sent Turnbow to AAA, where things only got worse - 41 walks and ten wild pitches in 18 IP. The Brewers released him after the season. Turnbow unsuccessfully attempted comebacks in 2009 and 2010 with the Rangers and Marlins, respectively, but with no luck. After his release during 2010 spring training, he decided to call it quits. Turnbow was 32. After retiring, Turnbow stepped away from baseball, joining a financial planning firm where he now specializes in wealth management services. He lives in Seattle, Washington, with his family. Turnbow is the classic example of a pitcher with a ton of ability (98 mph fastball, outstanding for the mid-to-late-2000s) but one who struggled with control. Many attributed his brilliant 2005 season to the work Turnbow did with pitching coach Mike Maddux. Fans loved the big, shaggy-haired righty who could throw heat with the best of them, and for one season, he was as good as any relief pitcher in baseball. Unfortunately, Turnbow could not repeat his success, and he quickly faded from the baseball scene. Turnbow's 39 saves in 2005 rank 4th all-time, and his all-time save mark of 65 ranks 80th. Please share your memories of former Brewer Derrick Turnbow.
  11. Cal John Eldred was born in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, in 1967. He attended the University of Iowa and was drafted by the Brewers in the 1st round (17th overall) in 1989. Eldred was a big right-hander with everything you'd want in a pitcher - size, athleticism, and a plus fastball and curve. As an advanced college arm, he moved quickly through the Brewer system, enjoying a cup of coffee in 1991. But it was Cal Eldred's masterful 1992 debut that Brewer fans would forever remember. Eldred began the '92 season at AAA, logging 141 innings in 19 starts before being called up to the big leagues mid-July. Over the rest of the season, he threw 100 innings, produced an ERA of 1.88, and won 11 games in 14 starts. He finished 4th in the AL Rookie of the Year voting. The team won 92 games - good, but not enough to capture the division (stupid Wild Card game - where were you when we needed you). Few pitchers have begun a career on such a high note - and certainly not one for the Brewers. Big things were expected from the young Midwesterner. With expectations high, Eldred came down to earth in his second year. He won 16 games plus led the league in innings pitched, but his ERA rose to 4.01. In 1994, his numbers continued to falter as his strikeout rates dropped and his walk rates increased. Then, in 1995, after only four starts, Eldred was placed on the Disabled List with a sore elbow. Tommy John surgery was next, and he missed the rest of the season, plus parts of the 1996 campaign. Eldred threw 202 innings in 1997, but he was not the same pitcher - as his 4.99 ERA would attest. He fought injuries and ineffectiveness for two seasons, including an ugly 7.79 ERA in 82 IP in 1999, before being dealt with Jose Valentin to the White Sox in return for Jaime Navarro and John Snyder. Eldred’s first season in Chicago wasn’t bad - until elbow problems flared up, and he was forced to shut down his season in July. But it was worse in 2001. Another elbow injury limited him to just two games. He spent the rest of 2001 and all of 2002 rehabilitating his arm, and in 2003, at the age of 35, he returned to the majors with the St. Louis Cardinals as a reliever. He pitched three more years, retiring after the 2005 season. He was 37. After retiring, Eldred moved into the broadcast booth, serving as an analyst for the Big Ten Network and the Cardinals. He also served as a Special Assistant to Cardinals General Manager John Mozeliak. In 2017, he became the pitching coach for the Kansas City Royals. He was fired from that position after the 2022 season. Two of Eldred’s sons played collegiate baseball, including C.J. Eldred - who pitched for Iowa - just like his father. Looking back, Eldred's rookie season was electric. The team was competitive, and Eldred was a large part of that, as he produced a 4.2 bWAR in only 100 innings. He was a Midwest kid with a strong work ethic - an All-Star in the making. But it was not to be as injuries ultimately undid a promising career. Many points to the hefty workload imposed upon him in 1993 as the source of Eldred's woes. He was only 25 years old, and Manager Phil Garner had him work a league-leading 258 innings (after he had thrown 241 the previous year). A sore arm and TJ surgery were almost inevitable, and the rest of his career was marred by various arm injuries. During his time in Milwaukee (parts of nine seasons), Eldred threw 1,078 innings, struck out 686 batters, won 64 games, and produced 13.1 bWAR - all of which slot him in the top 10 in club history for each of those categories. Please share your memories of former Milwaukee Brewer pitcher Cal Eldred.
  12. Gary Antonian Sheffield was born in Tampa Bay, Florida, in 1968. His uncle is Dwight Gooden - who was four years older. As a senior in high school, he was named the Gatorade National Player of the Year. The Brewers selected Sheffield in the 1st round of the 1986 draft - the sixth overall pick. It didn’t take long for Sheffield to become one of the top prospects in baseball. At Helena, Sheffield hit .365 and walloped 15 HR in just 57 games. He was only 17 years old. The abuse of minor league pitching continued as Sheffield showed an advanced hit tool, power, and a great eye at the plate. In 1988, at 19, Sheffield would debut in Milwaukee - playing 24 games. However, there were signs of trouble ahead for Sheffield when he was arrested in early 1987 - alongside Dwight Gooden - and charged with resisting arrest and battery of an officer. Later that year, he was arrested for a DUI. Besides a 7-game stint in the minors in 1989, Sheffield stayed in the big leagues. In his rookie campaign, Sheffield had mixed success as he battled several injuries - and a move to third base in favor of Bill Spiers. He hit only .247 in 94 games that year and said his move to third was race related. 1990 demonstrated the enormous potential that Sheffield possessed. Working with hitting coach Don Baylor, Sheffield hit .294, although his considerable power had yet to emerge. But the fans and the Brewers thought they saw a star in the making. But there were cracks in the relationship between Sheffield and the organization and the fans. His willingness to candidly discuss racial issues was not common at the time, making many fans, members of the organization, and some of his teammates uneasy. Sheffield complained about the team favoring white players and how the organization mistreated him. He was generally portrayed as a talented but disloyal and immature malcontent. Had Sheffield come into 1991 and hit well - all of these things would likely have been put aside - at least for a time. Instead, it would be a lost year. Various injuries would limit Sheffield to 50 games - and he hit a paltry .194. Fans booed Sheffield mercilessly, who later admitted he was miserable and requested a trade (something he had already done more than once). Organizations are often hesitant to trade talented players - even if they are struggling - for fear they will find themselves in a new city. But the Brewers had had enough of Sheffield. On March 26, 1992, they pulled the trigger on a trade sending the talented but troubled infielder to the San Diego Padres for pitcher Ricky Bones, SS José Valentin, and OF Matt Mieske. Much to the Brewers' chagrin, Sheffield turned into an all-star in San Diego, hitting .330 and 30 home runs and winning the NL batting title. The Brewers won 92 games that year - but missed the playoffs. Had Sheffield been in the lineup, things may have turned out differently. We don’t need to go on about Sheffield’s career, but the numbers are quite astonishing. 509 HR. Almost 2700 hits. 9 All-Star teams. More walks than strikeouts. Sheffield was not without his warts. He was never a good fielder. After leaving Milwaukee, he stayed at third base for a time before being moved to corner outfielder and finishing his career as a designated hitter. He never went back to shortstop, save for a few games here and there. He was also a baseball nomad - playing for eight teams in 22 years - often wearing out his welcome due to his quick temper, outspoken opinions, and a seemingly never-ending desire for a better contract. Sheffield’s supporters say he was simply an honest man - willing to talk about uncomfortable topics that many felt were too often swept under the rug. Sheffield also had other issues - including multiple arrests for DUI, speeding, and altercations with fans. But the issue that - to this day - looms over Sheffield is regarding performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs). Sheffield was mentioned in the Mitchell Report and implicated in the 2004 BALCO scandal concerning using PEDs. And he was named in the book Game of Shadows as having received testosterone and human growth hormone from Greg Anderson, the personal trainer he shared with Barry Bonds. Without those accusations, Sheffield may have reached the Hall of Fame. He received 40% of the vote in 2022 - but with only two more years of eligibility left in his candidacy - he’s unlikely to receive the 75% needed for induction. After baseball, Sheffield formed the Sheffield Management Group and became a sports agent. As we think about the ‘what ifs’ of baseball - it’s easy to look at 1992 and wonder if having Sheffield in the lineup would have helped the Brewers capture the NL East crown (the Brewers were four games behind Toronto). Kevin Seitzer had a solid season at 3B for the Crew that year, but it was nothing like Sheffield’s monster numbers. Yet even if Milwaukee had kept Sheffield, you have to wonder if he would have realized his full potential, especially considering the animosity between him and the organization. Even if Sheffield had stayed in Milwaukee and played well, it’s unlikely he would have lasted with the Brewers. The team went into a long string of losing seasons starting in 1993, and Sheffield would have likely been traded at some point. His bat would not have elevated the team to playoff contenders during that time, making him more alluring as a trade candidate than a long-term fixture. The only good thing would have been the team could have netted a more substantial return than what they received from San Diego. Regarding the players brought in from San Diego, the results were uninspiring. Mieske was average in many ways. Ricky Bones wavered between ‘not bad,’ ‘bad,’ and ‘really bad'. Only SS José Valentin emerged as a solid, everyday player and would later be flipped for pitcher Jaime Navarro. The Brewer career of infielder Gary Sheffield was tumultuous. He was a talented young man, but the Brewers and Milwaukee were the wrong place for him to start his career. He was immature in many ways, and in an era of staying quiet and letting your bat do the talking, Sheffield was not embraced by the blue-collar - and mostly white - Brewer fan base. Please share your memories about his short - but controversial time - in Milwaukee.
  13. George Scott Jr. was born in Mississippi in 1944. His father died when he was only two years old, and George Jr. picked cotton to help the family at age nine. Scott excelled at athletics as a teen and signed with the Boston Red Sox out of high school in 1962. Initially, Scott worked all over the diamond but eventually settled at 3B as his primary position. Position aside, Scott quickly demonstrated the ability to hit - both for power and average. Scott reached the majors in 1966, shifting to 1B a week into the season. He made the all-star team and finished 3rd in the Rookie of the Year voting while hitting 27 HR. Scott's first stint (six years) in Boston was inconsistent. He won two Gold Gloves and hit .303 in his second season but also hit an abysmal .171 in his third year. After the 1971 season, the Red Sox decided to shake up their club, dealing Scott, Jim Lonborg, Joe Lahoud, Billy Conigliaro, Ken Brett, and Don Pavletich to the Brewers for Tommy Harper, Marty Pattin, Lew Krausse and a minor leaguer. The move was a boon for Scott. He spent the next five seasons in Milwaukee, winning a Gold Glove each year and making the all-star team in 1975 - a season where he led the majors with 36 HR and 109 RBI. During his time in Milwaukee, the big first baseman averaged 23 HR and 89 RBI a year to go with a .283 BA and a .798 OPS. With Milwaukee continuing to struggle in the standings, Scott asked to be traded after the 1976 season. The Brewers obliged, sending him back to Boston (along with Bernie Carbo) for Cecil Cooper. Scott had one more good season in 1977, slugging 33 HR. After that, he struggled through two more years, bouncing between three clubs. At age 36, he went to the Mexican League, where he played (as well as managed) for five more years. He stayed in baseball as a manager in independent and college ball, finishing up in 2002 in the Northern League. After retiring, Scott moved to Greenville, Mississippi. He died in July 2013 at the age of 69. While Scott is most associated with the Red Sox, he was a vital member of the early years of the Brewers, providing power and outstanding defense during his five years in Milwaukee. He hit 115 of his 271 HR while with the Brewers and won five of his eight Gold Gloves. For his career, he had 1,992 hits. His 22.4 bWAR ranks seventh amongst hitters in franchise history. While the trade back to Boston disappointed many, it brought back one of the franchise's best players - Cecil Cooper - a trade that helped establish Milwaukee as a powerhouse team in the late 1970s and 1980s. Scott, nicknamed 'Boomer' due to the massive home runs he hit, was an athletic man despite fighting weight problems much of his life. He was also known for his oversized personality and is often credited with popularizing the term 'taters' as another name for a home run. Please share your memories of the former Brewer slugger George 'Boomer' Scott.
  14. Five Gold Gloves. In a row. Let's add in 115 taters during that span. Plus we can tack on one of the best nicknames in team history. That can only mean this week’s throwback is about former Brewer slugger George 'Boomer' Scott. Image courtesy of Brewer Fanatic George Scott Jr. was born in Mississippi in 1944. His father died when he was only two years old, and George Jr. picked cotton to help the family at age nine. Scott excelled at athletics as a teen and signed with the Boston Red Sox out of high school in 1962. Initially, Scott worked all over the diamond but eventually settled at 3B as his primary position. Position aside, Scott quickly demonstrated the ability to hit - both for power and average. Scott reached the majors in 1966, shifting to 1B a week into the season. He made the all-star team and finished 3rd in the Rookie of the Year voting while hitting 27 HR. Scott's first stint (six years) in Boston was inconsistent. He won two Gold Gloves and hit .303 in his second season but also hit an abysmal .171 in his third year. After the 1971 season, the Red Sox decided to shake up their club, dealing Scott, Jim Lonborg, Joe Lahoud, Billy Conigliaro, Ken Brett, and Don Pavletich to the Brewers for Tommy Harper, Marty Pattin, Lew Krausse and a minor leaguer. The move was a boon for Scott. He spent the next five seasons in Milwaukee, winning a Gold Glove each year and making the all-star team in 1975 - a season where he led the majors with 36 HR and 109 RBI. During his time in Milwaukee, the big first baseman averaged 23 HR and 89 RBI a year to go with a .283 BA and a .798 OPS. With Milwaukee continuing to struggle in the standings, Scott asked to be traded after the 1976 season. The Brewers obliged, sending him back to Boston (along with Bernie Carbo) for Cecil Cooper. Scott had one more good season in 1977, slugging 33 HR. After that, he struggled through two more years, bouncing between three clubs. At age 36, he went to the Mexican League, where he played (as well as managed) for five more years. He stayed in baseball as a manager in independent and college ball, finishing up in 2002 in the Northern League. After retiring, Scott moved to Greenville, Mississippi. He died in July 2013 at the age of 69. While Scott is most associated with the Red Sox, he was a vital member of the early years of the Brewers, providing power and outstanding defense during his five years in Milwaukee. He hit 115 of his 271 HR while with the Brewers and won five of his eight Gold Gloves. For his career, he had 1,992 hits. His 22.4 bWAR ranks seventh amongst hitters in franchise history. While the trade back to Boston disappointed many, it brought back one of the franchise's best players - Cecil Cooper - a trade that helped establish Milwaukee as a powerhouse team in the late 1970s and 1980s. Scott, nicknamed 'Boomer' due to the massive home runs he hit, was an athletic man despite fighting weight problems much of his life. He was also known for his oversized personality and is often credited with popularizing the term 'taters' as another name for a home run. Please share your memories of the former Brewer slugger George 'Boomer' Scott. View full article
  15. Power. Everyone loves power. So when a player can average more than 32 HRs per season over a five year span - well, that's special. And that's precisely what Jeremy Burnitz did for the Brewers from 1997-2001. Jeromy Burnitz was born in 1969 in Westminster, California. He was a 1st round selection (17th overall) by the NY Mets in 1990 out of Oklahoma State University. He quickly displayed his calling card - power - hitting 31 HR (and drawing over 100 walks) the following season at AA. After bouncing back and forth between the minors and majors, the Mets - tired of his streaky play, plus his clashes with manager Dallas Green - dealt Burnitz to Cleveland in 1994. He spent some more time in the minors before finally staying put in the big leagues in 1996. Despite playing well for Cleveland, they dealt the then 27-year old to Milwaukee for veteran Kevin Seitzer. The trade would be a boon for Burnitz, who emerged as a legitimate slugger in 1997, crushing 27 home runs in his first full season in Milwaukee. He followed with home run totals of 38, 33, 31 and 34 - before being dealt back to the Mets after the 2001 season. (He hit 30+ HR for two more seasons - giving him an impressive run of 30+ HR for six years). The trade to New York cleared Burnitz's large salary, and brought in a young starting pitcher, Glendon Rusch (who floundered in his time in Milwaukee). While in Milwaukee, Burnitz averaged 32+ HR and 100+ RBI a season. He never had less than 70 walks, and he hit a respectable .258 - which led to a .362 OBP. His big power made him a fan favorite in Milwaukee. Sadly, the Brewers never had a winning team during Burnitz's time with the club. Jeromy bounced around the rest of his career, playing four more seasons for the Mets, Dodgers, Rockies, Cubs and Pirates. He retired after the 2006 season at age 37. All told, Burnitz hit a 315 HRs (totals made more impressive because he didn't became a regular until age 28) and had a SLG% of .481. For Milwaukee, he hit 165 HRs and had an .870 OPS during his 5+ seasons. He averaged 3.0+ bWAR a year during his Brewer tenure. Burnitz had the honor of starting the 1999 all-star - in place of an injured Tony Gwynn - the first Brewer to start an all-star game since Paul Molitor. Despite his reputation as a bit of a hot head, Burnitz was also known to be laid back and well-liked in the clubhouse. He loved to pull pranks, and Peter Abraham of the "Boston Globe" reported this: "Burnitz would have fit in with the cast of 'Jackass.' As a practical joke, he would empty out bottles of shampoo in the showers on road trips after the last game of the series and pee in them." After retiring, Burnitz settled down with his wife and three children in California. He has elected to remain out of the public eye ever since. Jeromy Burnitz will hold a special place in the hearts and minds of Brewer fans (like many other sluggers). A powerful looking man, Burnitz looked more like a linebacker than a baseball player. During the dark days of the franchise in the late 90s and early 2000s, he provided excitement and thrills when they were few and far between. He is a member of the Brewer Wall of Honor. Please share your memories of Jeromy Burnitz. View full article
  16. Jeromy Burnitz was born in 1969 in Westminster, California. He was a 1st round selection (17th overall) by the NY Mets in 1990 out of Oklahoma State University. He quickly displayed his calling card - power - hitting 31 HR (and drawing over 100 walks) the following season at AA. After bouncing back and forth between the minors and majors, the Mets - tired of his streaky play, plus his clashes with manager Dallas Green - dealt Burnitz to Cleveland in 1994. He spent some more time in the minors before finally staying put in the big leagues in 1996. Despite playing well for Cleveland, they dealt the then 27-year old to Milwaukee for veteran Kevin Seitzer. The trade would be a boon for Burnitz, who emerged as a legitimate slugger in 1997, crushing 27 home runs in his first full season in Milwaukee. He followed with home run totals of 38, 33, 31 and 34 - before being dealt back to the Mets after the 2001 season. (He hit 30+ HR for two more seasons - giving him an impressive run of 30+ HR for six years). The trade to New York cleared Burnitz's large salary, and brought in a young starting pitcher, Glendon Rusch (who floundered in his time in Milwaukee). While in Milwaukee, Burnitz averaged 32+ HR and 100+ RBI a season. He never had less than 70 walks, and he hit a respectable .258 - which led to a .362 OBP. His big power made him a fan favorite in Milwaukee. Sadly, the Brewers never had a winning team during Burnitz's time with the club. Jeromy bounced around the rest of his career, playing four more seasons for the Mets, Dodgers, Rockies, Cubs and Pirates. He retired after the 2006 season at age 37. All told, Burnitz hit a 315 HRs (totals made more impressive because he didn't became a regular until age 28) and had a SLG% of .481. For Milwaukee, he hit 165 HRs and had an .870 OPS during his 5+ seasons. He averaged 3.0+ bWAR a year during his Brewer tenure. Burnitz had the honor of starting the 1999 all-star - in place of an injured Tony Gwynn - the first Brewer to start an all-star game since Paul Molitor. Despite his reputation as a bit of a hot head, Burnitz was also known to be laid back and well-liked in the clubhouse. He loved to pull pranks, and Peter Abraham of the "Boston Globe" reported this: "Burnitz would have fit in with the cast of 'Jackass.' As a practical joke, he would empty out bottles of shampoo in the showers on road trips after the last game of the series and pee in them." After retiring, Burnitz settled down with his wife and three children in California. He has elected to remain out of the public eye ever since. Jeromy Burnitz will hold a special place in the hearts and minds of Brewer fans (like many other sluggers). A powerful looking man, Burnitz looked more like a linebacker than a baseball player. During the dark days of the franchise in the late 90s and early 2000s, he provided excitement and thrills when they were few and far between. He is a member of the Brewer Wall of Honor. Please share your memories of Jeromy Burnitz.
  17. William Radhames Castro Checo, born in 1952 in the Dominican Republic, was signed by the Brewers in as an amateur free agent in 1970. Castro was immediately moved into the bullpen, reaching the big leagues in 1974. Working almost exclusively out of the pen, Castro spent more than six years in Milwaukee, appearing in 253 games. Castro left Milwaukee after the 1980 season as a free agent, spending one year with the Yankees and two with the Royals, before retiring after the 1983 season. During his time in Milwaukee, he was an effective reliever. His best run came from 1978-80, when he produced ERAs of 1.81, 2.03 and 2.77, respectively. Not a strikeout pitcher, Castro succeeded by limiting home runs and walks. In addition to appearing in 253 games, Castro saved 44 games, and posted a 3.56 ERA. After retiring, Castro worked as a scout and minor league coach for the Brewers from 1985 through 1991, before becoming Milwaukee's bullpen coach in 1992. He served in that capacity until 2008, when he was promoted to pitching coach. The Brewers fired him in August 2009, but he returned to the organization in 2010 and 2011 as their Latin American pitching advisor. In 2012, Castro served as the Baltimore bullpen coach, and then as their pitching coach in 2013, before retiring from baseball. Bill Castro is a great example of an organizational role player providing solid, but unspectacular, results from the bullpen for seven seasons. He didn't do anything exceptionally well, but the team was able to count on him for solid production during his tenure. Share your memories of relief pitcher long time Brewer coach Bill Castro below.
  18. If you ask, who wore a Milwaukee Brewer uniform the longest? The answer is likely Bill Castro, who spent seven seasons with the club as a player, and 18 more as a coach. William Radhames Castro Checo, born in 1952 in the Dominican Republic, was signed by the Brewers as an amateur free agent in 1970. Castro was immediately moved into the bullpen, reaching the big leagues in 1974. Working almost exclusively out of the pen, Castro spent more than six years in Milwaukee, appearing in 253 games. Castro left Milwaukee after the 1980 season as a free agent, spending one year with the Yankees and two with the Royals, before retiring after the 1983 season. During his time in Milwaukee, he was an effective reliever. His best run came from 1978-80, when he produced ERAs of 1.81, 2.03 and 2.77, respectively. Not a strikeout pitcher, Castro succeeded by limiting home runs and walks. In addition to appearing in 253 games, Castro saved 44 games, and posted a 3.56 ERA. After retiring, Castro worked as a scout and minor league coach for the Brewers from 1985 through 1991, before becoming Milwaukee's bullpen coach in 1992. He served in that capacity until 2008, when he was promoted to pitching coach. The Brewers fired him in August 2009, but he returned to the organization in 2010 and 2011 as their Latin American pitching advisor. In 2012, Castro served as the Baltimore bullpen coach, and then as their pitching coach in 2013, before retiring from baseball. Bill Castro is a great example of an organizational role player providing solid, but unspectacular, results from the bullpen for seven seasons. He didn't do anything exceptionally well, but the team was able to count on him for solid production during his tenure. Share your memories of relief pitcher long time Brewer coach Bill Castro below. View full article
  19. Lary Sorensen was born in Michigan in 1955. He attended the University of Michigan for college and was drafted by the Brewers in the 8th round in the 1975 draft; He rocketed through the Brewers' minor league system, needing only 45 games to reach the majors. From there, he became a rotation mainstay for four seasons. Sorensen was a sinkerball pitcher who rarely walked batters (for his career, his walk rate is an impressive 2.1 walks per 9 innings). He hated walking batters, and he said that walking a batter sometimes made him more upset than giving up a home run. He never struck out many batters either, inducing countless grounders throughout his career. Sorensen's rookie season was promising, but it was his sophomore campaign in 1978 that made people take notice. Sorensen was a workhorse, averaging roughly eight innings per start. Surprisingly, his 17 complete games did not lead the team that year - Mike Caldwell had 23. Named to the all-star team (his only appearance in the mid-season classic), Sorensen worked three shutout innings in the Midsummer Classic. While Sorensen appeared to be a star in the making, the workload would take its toll on his arm. He had decent seasons in 1979 and 1980 but was far less dominant than his 1978 campaign. His innings and effectiveness waned with each season. Sorensen was dealt to the St. Louis Cardinals after the 1980 season in the famed deal that brought Pete Vukovich, Ted Simmons, and Rollie Fingers to Milwaukee. Sorensen would have a solid (but injury-limited) year in St. Louis before being traded to Cleveland. By 1984, his career as a starting pitcher was almost over. He would bounce around the majors and minors until 1988 with limited success. He was done as a player at age 32. During his four years in Milwaukee, Sorensen won 52 games, averaged 213 innings pitched a season, and had a 3.72 ERA. He produced a solid 12.2 bWAR / 11.6 fWAR. After baseball, Sorensen got into broadcasting, working for ESPN and then the Detroit Tigers. He was praised for his quick wit and friendly nature. However, Sorensen won't be best remembered for his time on the diamond or in the booth. Instead, his life has been littered with drug and alcohol-related problems. The first incident occurred while he was still a player when he was one of 11 players fined for admitting to cocaine use during a drug trial in Pittsburgh. In 1992, he received a DUI - the first of seven in his life. In 1998, Sorensen was let go as a Tigers announcer due to substance abuse problems. Things continued to spiral downhill for Sorensen. In the 2000s, he served two prison terms related to his alcohol-related arrests. In 2008, after crashing his auto, his blood-alcohol level was a staggering .480 - a level that would kill most adults. He lost his job, freedom, and marriage to alcohol. In 2014, Sorensen landed a broadcasting job for Wake Forest baseball and then added football in 2017, which he continues to do. But more importantly, he got - and stayed - sober. He credits much of his recovery to his now-wife, Elaine. Before becoming a lawyer, Sorensen's son, Mark, pitched for Michigan State before spending four seasons (2008-12) in the Detroit Tigers minor league system. Please share your memories of former Brewer pitcher Lary Sorensen.
  20. The numbers were phenomenal. 18-12 record. 280 innings pitched. 17 complete games. Only 14 home runs and 50 walks allowed. Three shutout innings in the All-Star game. It was 1978, and for 22-year-old Lary Sorensen, it was one of the finest years any Brewer pitcher ever put together. Sadly, he would never match his glorious 1978 campaign, and Sorensen's personal life would eventually overshadow his baseball achievements. Lary Sorensen was born in Michigan in 1955. He attended the University of Michigan for college and was drafted by the Brewers in the 8th round in the 1975 draft; He rocketed through the Brewers' minor league system, needing only 45 games to reach the majors. From there, he became a rotation mainstay for four seasons. Sorensen was a sinkerball pitcher who rarely walked batters (for his career, his walk rate is an impressive 2.1 walks per 9 innings). He hated walking batters, and he said that walking a batter sometimes made him more upset than giving up a home run. He never struck out many batters either, inducing countless grounders throughout his career. Sorensen's rookie season was promising, but it was his sophomore campaign in 1978 that made people take notice. Sorensen was a workhorse, averaging roughly eight innings per start. Surprisingly, his 17 complete games did not lead the team that year - Mike Caldwell had 23. Named to the all-star team (his only appearance in the mid-season classic), Sorensen worked three shutout innings in the Midsummer Classic. While Sorensen appeared to be a star in the making, the workload would take its toll on his arm. He had decent seasons in 1979 and 1980 but was far less dominant than his 1978 campaign. His innings and effectiveness waned with each season. Sorensen was dealt to the St. Louis Cardinals after the 1980 season in the famed deal that brought Pete Vukovich, Ted Simmons, and Rollie Fingers to Milwaukee. Sorensen would have a solid (but injury-limited) year in St. Louis before being traded to Cleveland. By 1984, his career as a starting pitcher was almost over. He would bounce around the majors and minors until 1988 with limited success. He was done as a player at age 32. During his four years in Milwaukee, Sorensen won 52 games, averaged 213 innings pitched a season, and had a 3.72 ERA. He produced a solid 12.2 bWAR / 11.6 fWAR. After baseball, Sorensen got into broadcasting, working for ESPN and then the Detroit Tigers. He was praised for his quick wit and friendly nature. However, Sorensen won't be best remembered for his time on the diamond or in the booth. Instead, his life has been littered with drug and alcohol-related problems. The first incident occurred while he was still a player when he was one of 11 players fined for admitting to cocaine use during a drug trial in Pittsburgh. In 1992, he received a DUI - the first of seven in his life. In 1998, Sorensen was let go as a Tigers announcer due to substance abuse problems. Things continued to spiral downhill for Sorensen. In the 2000s, he served two prison terms related to his alcohol-related arrests. In 2008, after crashing his auto, his blood-alcohol level was a staggering .480 - a level that would kill most adults. He lost his job, freedom, and marriage to alcohol. In 2014, Sorensen landed a broadcasting job for Wake Forest baseball and then added football in 2017, which he continues to do. But more importantly, he got - and stayed - sober. He credits much of his recovery to his now-wife, Elaine. Before becoming a lawyer, Sorensen's son, Mark, pitched for Michigan State before spending four seasons (2008-12) in the Detroit Tigers minor league system. Please share your memories of former Brewer pitcher Lary Sorensen. View full article
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