Milwaukee Brewers


Milwaukee Brewers
Milwaukee Brewers
2012 Milwaukee Brewers season
Established 1969
Based in Milwaukee since 1970
Milwaukee Brewers Logo.svg
Team logo
MilwaukeeBrewers caplogo.svg
Cap Insignia
Major league affiliations
Current uniform
NLC-Uniform-MIL.PNG
Retired numbers 4, 19, 34, 42, 44
Colors
  • Navy blue, metallic gold, white

              

Name
  • Milwaukee Brewers (1970–present)
  • Seattle Pilots (1969)
Other nicknames
  • True Blue Brew Crew, The Brew Crew, The Crew, Beermakers, Beersmen, Cerveceros
Ballpark
Major league titles
World Series titles (0) None
NL Pennants (0) None
AL Pennants (1) 1982
NL Central Division titles (1) 2011
AL East Division titles (1) [1] 1982
Wild card berths (1) 2008
Front office
Owner(s) Mark Attanasio
Manager Ron Roenicke
General Manager Doug Melvin

The Milwaukee Brewers are a professional baseball team based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, currently playing in the Central Division of Major League Baseball's National League. The team is named for the city's association with the brewing industry and plays its home games at Miller Park.

Originating in Seattle, Washington, as the Seattle Pilots, the club played for one season in 1969 before being acquired in bankruptcy court by current MLB Commissioner Bud Selig and then moved to Milwaukee. The Brewers were part of the American League from their creation as an expansion club in 1969 through the 1997 season, after which they moved to the National League Central Division. Milwaukee had previously been a National League city when its team was the Milwaukee Braves (1953–1965).

In 1982, Milwaukee won the American League East Division and the American League Pennant, earning their only World Series appearance to date. In the Series, they lost to the St. Louis Cardinals, four games to three.

In 2008, the Brewers achieved their first postseason berth in the 26 years since their World Series appearance as the wildcard team in the National League. They were eliminated in the NLDS by the eventual World Series champion Philadelphia Phillies.

On September 23, 2011, the Milwaukee Brewers clinched their first division title in 29 years. They won the National League Division Series in five games over the Arizona Diamondbacks, but lost to the St. Louis Cardinals in six games during the NLCS.

Contents

Franchise history

Seattle (1969)

The Brewers were born at the 1967 Major League Baseball winter meetings as the Seattle Pilots, owned by former Cleveland Indians owner William R. Daley and former Pacific Coast League president Dewey Soriano. They entered the American League along with the Kansas City Royals as part of a hasty round of expansion triggered by the Kansas City Athletics' move to Oakland. Senator Stuart Symington of Missouri had threatened to have baseball's antitrust exemption revoked unless Kansas City was promptly granted another team.[2] They were originally slated to begin play in 1971, but Symington would not accept the prospect of having Kansas City wait three years for another team and pressured MLB to have the Royals and their expansion brethren (the Pilots and the National League's San Diego Padres and Montreal Expos) ready for play in 1969. Until a new stadium (what would become the Kingdome) was ready, the Pilots would play at Sick's Stadium, the home of the city's longtime PCL franchise, the Seattle Rainiers.

Pilots' logo.

Manager Joe Schultz actually thought they could finish third in the newly formed, six-team American League West even though they had been badly outdrafted by the Royals. However, to the surprise of almost no one outside Seattle, the Pilots were terrible. They won their very first game, and then their home opener three days later, but only won five more times in the first month. They rebounded from that slow start, and managed to stay within a few games of .500 for most of the spring. However, a July 9–20 ended all hope of respectability. They finished last in the West with a record of 64–98, 33 games out of first. Much of the story of that season is told in pitcher Jim Bouton's classic baseball book, Ball Four.

However, the team's poor play was the least of the Pilots' problems. The team's ownership was badly undercapitalized; Soriano had not been able to afford the franchise fee and had to ask Daley to help pay it. In return, Daley got 47 percent of the team's stock—the biggest single share—and became chairman of the board. Also, Sick's Stadium was completely inadequate even as a temporary facility. While a condition of MLB awarding the Pilots to Seattle was that Sick's had to be expanded to 30,000 seats by the start of the 1969 season, only 17,000 seats were ready because of numerous delays. The scoreboard was not even ready until the night before Opening Day. While it was expanded to 25,000 by June, the added seats had obstructed views. Water pressure was almost nonexistent after the seventh inning, especially with crowds above 10,000. Only 677,000 fans came to see the Pilots that year; they never attracted a crowd even near capacity. By the end of the 1969 season, the Pilots were almost out of money, and it was obvious they would not survive long enough to move into their new stadium without new ownership. No credible offers surfaced from Seattle interests at first, however. Under these circumstances, Soriano was initially very receptive to an offer from a Milwaukee-based group headed by car salesman Bud Selig. Selig had been a minority owner of the Milwaukee Braves and had led unsuccessful efforts to keep them from moving to Atlanta, and had been working ever since then to bring the majors back to Milwaukee. During Game 1 of the World Series, Soriano agreed to sell the Pilots to Selig for $10 million to $13 million (depending on the source). Selig would then move the team to Milwaukee. However, under strong pressure from Washington state officials, MLB asked Soriano to try to find a local buyer first. Unfortunately, one local deal collapsed when the Bank of California called a loan for startup costs, and another bid was turned down out of concern it would devalue the other teams. With no other credible offers on the table, the owners approved the sale to Selig's group. Selig had already announced plans to rename the team the Brewers, a name that had been used by past Milwaukee baseball teams dating to the 19th century (most notably by a very successful minor league team that played there from 1902 to 1952). However, legal action kept Selig from formally taking control, and dragged out through the winter.

The matter still had not been resolved by the end of spring training, leaving new manager Dave Bristol and the players unsure of where they would play. The team's equipment sat in Provo, Utah while the drivers awaited word to drive to Seattle or Milwaukee. After the state filed an injunction to stop the sale on March 17, Soriano and the Pilots filed for bankruptcy to forestall any more legal action. After general manager Marvin Milkes testified that the Pilots did not have enough money to pay the players, the bankruptcy judge granted the Pilots' filing on April 1 and ruled the move to Milwaukee in order. MLB would not return to Seattle until 1977 when the Mariners entered the AL, along with the Toronto Blue Jays.

1970–77: Early years in Milwaukee

With less than a week to go before the start of the season, there wasn't nearly enough time to order new uniforms. As a result, the Brewers were forced to replace the Pilots logos with Brewers logos. In fact, the outline of the old Pilots logo was clearly visible on the Brewers' uniforms. They were also forced to assume the Pilots' place in the AL West (where, due to their geographical location, they would stay until 1972, when they moved to the AL East).

Under the circumstances, the Brewers' 1970 season was over before it started, and they finished 65–97 (a one-game improvement over 1969). They would not have a winning season until 1978. Those years, however, were not without their highlights. For instance, in 1973 the team introduced its popular mascot, Bernie Brewer. A year later, the Brewers engineered a trade that brought Hank Aaron back to Milwaukee, a move which gave the team instant credibility. Selig also began acquiring many players that would become long-standing fan favorites, including Robin Yount, Paul Molitor, Jim Gantner, Stormin' Gorman Thomas, Don Money, and Cecil Cooper.

1978–83: The Glory Years of Bambi's Bombers and Harvey's Wallbangers

Following the 1977 season, the Brewers made two big hires that turned the previously underachieving Brewers into perennial contenders. Harry Dalton was hired as the club's General Manager and he, in turn, hired Baltimore Orioles pitching coach George Bamberger as the Brewers' third manager in their brief history. Bamberger immediately turned the Brewers into pennant contenders in 1978. The team won 93 games, an astonishing 26 game improvement from the previous season. The Brewers finished in 3rd place in the AL East, 6.5 games behind the first place New York Yankees. GM Harry Dalton was able to build a winning club with a combination of home-grown players like Robin Yount, Paul Molitor, and Gorman Thomas, as well as getting players that were cast-offs from other teams that became major contributors like Cecil Cooper, Ben Oglivie, and Mike Caldwell.

The next season, Milwaukee won 95 games and finished second in the East behind the Baltimore Orioles on the strength of their home run power, led by Oglivie (who led the league in homers in 1980 along with Reggie Jackson), Cooper, and Thomas (who hit a then club-record 45 home runs in 1979, since broken by Prince Fielder, who hit 50 homers in 2007). Because of the team's slugging ability and the nickname of their manager Bamberger, the Brewers were nicknamed "Bambi's Bombers."

As 1980 began, the Brewers and their fans were optimistic about becoming pennant winners, but the team scuffled during the season, partially due to manager George Bamberger suffering a heart attack and having to be replaced by Buck Rodgers. The Brewers fell back to 3rd place in 1980, largely due to a lack of a bullpen. Determined to get a proven relief pitcher, general manager Harry Dalton made a huge offseason trade with the St. Louis Cardinals, trading outfielder Sixto Lescano and 3 minor league pitchers to the Cardinals in exchange for Rollie Fingers, Pete Vuckovich, and Ted Simmons, all of whom became key parts of the Brewers future success.

The Brewers won the second half of the 1981 season (divided because of a players' strike) and played the Yankees in a playoff mini-series they ultimately lost. It was the first playoff appearance for the franchise. Rollie Fingers had one of the greatest seasons for a relief pitcher that season, saving 28 games in the shortened season and sporting an astonishing 1.04 ERA, earning him both the MVP and Cy Young awards in the American League.

In 1982, the Brewers were considered heavy favorites to win the AL East, but by June, the team had fallen to 23–24 and signs had shown that the players were having problems playing under manager Buck Rodgers. Taking a gamble, the Brewers fired Rodgers and replaced him with hitting coach Harvey Kuenn. The team immediately excelled under Kuenn's low-key managerial style and gained a new nickname as Harvey's Wallbangers, a play on the drink Harvey Wallbanger and the team's manager's name. The Brewers went 72–43 under Kuenn for the rest of the season and went wild offensively, clubbing a then club-record 216 home runs during the season. The Brewers alone had three players finish in the top five in the league in home runs with Gorman Thomas, who led the league with 39, Ben Oglivie, who hit 34, and Cecil Cooper, who hit 32. Late in the season, to try to ensure the Brewers' pennant chase, the team made one last trade on August 30 for Don Sutton. That trade would become even more important on the final game of the regular season between the Brewers and the Baltimore Orioles, with both teams tied for first place in the AL East. Don Sutton started against Jim Palmer and the Brewers won 10–2, thanks to Robin Yount hitting two clutch home runs, clinching the AL East Division. The Brewers finished the season 95–67, the best record in baseball that year.

The Brewers faced the California Angels in the 1982 American League Championship Series and lost the first two games in California, but then rallied to win the next two games back in Milwaukee, setting up the pivotal Game 5, with the winner being the American League Champions. Down 3–2 in the 7th, Cecil Cooper hit a clutch 2-run single to put the Brewers on top and proved to be a game winner. The Brewers became the first team to win the American League Championship Series when down two games to none.

The Brewers then played the St. Louis Cardinals in the World Series, which was seen as a match-up of contrasting playing styles, as the Cardinals' offensive style was speed and defense, whereas the Brewers' offense was power hitting. The Brewers won Game One 10–0, thanks to Paul Molitor's World Series record 5 hits and a complete game shutout by Mike Caldwell. The Cardinals won the next two games and seemed to have Game 4 in complete control until the Brewers rallied for six runs in the 7th to win the game 7–5. The Brewers then won Game Five 6–4, giving them a 3–2 series lead, but the Cardinals trounced Don Sutton winning Game 6 13–1, and rallied for three runs late in Game 7 to win the Series, 4 games to 3. Many point to the lack of a bullpen for their downfall, as the Brewers had the lead in five of the seven games. Ace closer Rollie Fingers missed the playoffs due to a torn muscle in his throwing arm that not only kept him out for the entire playoffs but also would have him miss the entire 1983 season.

The Brewers had many individual accomplishments during their two playoff years, as both in 1981 and 1982, Brewer players won both the AL MVP and Cy Young awards, with Rollie Fingers winning both awards in 1981, and Robin Yount winning the MVP and Pete Vuckovich winning the Cy Young in 1982.

The Brewers were in contention to repeat in 1983, but the team fell on a rough September to finish in 4th place with an 87–75 record, their last winning season until 1987.

1984–93: Rollercoaster, riding the highs and lows

Following their two playoff years, the club quickly retreated to the bottom of the standings, never finishing higher than fifth (out of seven) in their division from 1983 to 1986. Hope was restored in 1987 when, guided by rookie manager Tom Trebelhorn, the team began the year with a 13-game winning streak. Unfortunately, they followed that hot start with a 12-game skid in May. But "Team Streak" eventually posted a strong third-place finish. Highlights of the year included Paul Molitor's 39-game hitting streak and what is still the only no-hitter in team history, pitched by Juan Nieves on April 15.

On that day, Nieves became the first (and so far, only) Brewer and first Puerto Rican-born Major Leaguer to pitch a no-hitter, defeating the Baltimore Orioles 7–0 at Memorial Stadium. The final out came on a climactic diving catch in right-center field by Robin Yount of a line drive hit by Eddie Murray. The game also was the first time the Orioles were no-hit at Memorial Stadium. Yount later recalled at a Brewers banquet that he did not have to dive to catch the line drive hit by Murray but figured ending the game with a diving catch would be the icing on the cake for Nieves' no-hitter.

In 1988 the team had another strong season, finishing only two games out of first (albeit with a lesser record than the previous year) in a close playoff race with four other clubs. Following this year, the team slipped, posting mediocre records from 1989 through 1991, after which Trebelhorn was fired. In 1992, reminiscent of the resurgence which greeted Trebelhorn's arrival in 1987, the Brewers rallied behind the leadership of rookie manager Phil Garner and posted their best record since their World Series year in 1982, finishing the season 92–70 and in second place, four games behind that year's eventual World Champion Toronto Blue Jays. 1992 proved to be the end of an era for the Brewers, as teammates Robin Yount, Paul Molitor, and Jim Gantner, who had been together since 1978 would go their separate ways, as Molitor left the Brewers for the Toronto Blue Jays, Gantner retired, and Yount would only last one more season before retiring in 1993.

Hope of additional pennant races was quickly dashed, as the club plummeted to the bottom of the standings in 1993, finishing an abysmal 26 games out of first. Since 1992, highlights were few and far between as the franchise failed to produce a winning season, having not fielded a competitive team because of a combination of bad management and financial constraints that limit the team relative to the resources available to other, larger-market clubs.

As 1990s came to a close, the Brewers were on their way to becoming a perennial doormat. A lack of good management and an aging ballpark in old County Stadium, were both becoming stark problems for the Brewers and many fans began to wonder if the Brewers would ever become contenders again.

1994–98: Realignment / "We're taking this thing National"

In 1994, Major League Baseball adopted a new, expanded playoff system. This change would necessitate a restructuring of each league from two divisions into three. The Brewers were transferred from the old AL East division to the newly created AL Central. (Due to the baseball strike, however, the new-look playoffs and World Series did not materialize that year.)

In March 1995, two new franchises—the Arizona Diamondbacks and Tampa Bay Devil Rays—were awarded by Major League Baseball, to begin play in 1998. It was decided to add one new team to each league. However, it soon became clear that it would be impractical to have an odd number of teams per league: baseball would either have to give teams many more off-days than in the past, or interleague play would have to be extended year-round, or both. In order for MLB officials to continue the existing schedule, where teams play almost every day and where interleague play is limited to a few days per year, both leagues would need to carry an even number of teams. The decision was made to have one existing club switch leagues.[3]

This realignment was widely considered to have great financial benefit to the club moving.  However, to avoid the appearance of a conflict of interest, Commissioner (then club owner) Bud Selig decided another team should have the first chance to switch leagues. The Kansas City Royals of the American League's Central Division were asked first, but they decided not to move over to the National League's Central Division.[4] The choice then fell to the Brewers, who, on November 6, 1997, elected to move to the National League's Central Division. At the same time, the Detroit Tigers agreed to move from the AL East to the AL Central (to replace Milwaukee).[4] The Tampa Bay Devil Rays joined the AL East and the Arizona Diamondbacks joined the NL West. Had the Brewers elected not to move to the National League, the Minnesota Twins would have been offered the opportunity next.[5]

Milwaukee had formerly been a National League town, having been the home of the Braves for 13 seasons (1953–65). With the Brewers having joined the National League, it was now necessary for their pitchers to take batting practice, because the NL has a no DH rule.

1999–2003: Building Miller Park

Miller Park, the current home of the Milwaukee Brewers.

As early as 1993, Brewers owner Bud Selig had talked of a new ballpark for the Brewers to replace Milwaukee County Stadium, which had become heavily outdated and antiquated and didn't even have luxury suites.

By 1996, the club was set to build a new ballpark near the site of County Stadium, which would have a retractable roof to counter the unpredictable Wisconsin weather in the spring and autumn. It also helped to bring more fans and their families from all around Wisconsin to come to games with a practical guarantee of no rain-outs, bring in more potential revenue for the club.

Miller Park was opened in 2001, built to replace Milwaukee County Stadium. The stadium was built with $310 million of public funds, drawing some controversy, and is the only sporting facility to have a fan-shaped retractable roof. Miller Park has a seating capacity of seating 41,900 and with standing room 43,000, which is 10,000 fewer seats than County Stadium.

The park was to have opened a year earlier, but an accident during its construction, which resulted in the deaths of three workers, forced a year's delay and $50 million to $75 million in damage. On July 14, 1999, the three men lost their lives when the Lampson "Big Blue" crane, one of the largest in the world, collapsed while trying to lift a 400 ton right field roof panel. A statue commemorating the men now stands between the home plate entrance to Miller Park and Helfaer Field.

The Brewers made renovations to Miller Park before the 2006 campaign, adding both LED scoreboards from Daktronics, a company in Brookings, South Dakota, in left field and on the second-tier of the stadium, as well as a picnic area in right field, shortening the distance of the right-field fence.[6] The picnic area was an immediate hit and sold out for the season before the year began.

Miller Park also features another fan favorite, Klement’s Racing Sausages, in a race of five costumed mascots, held before the bottom of the sixth inning.

While the Brewers' new park was a hit, the club itself was not successful playing in it, as the Brewers finished the season even worse than their previous seasons, going 68–94 in their first season at Miller Park. The Brewers finished 2002 even worse, finishing with a dismal 56–106 record, 41 games out of first place, the worst record in franchise history.

In 2003, the Brewers hired Doug Melvin as General Manager, who in turn brought in Ned Yost, coach with the Atlanta Braves and a former member of the 1982 American League Champion Brewers, as manager. Though the Brewers only went 68–94 in 2003, the Brewers did raise hopes with a winning record in August during the season.

2004–present: Attanasio era

2004-2006: Building a winner

On January 16, 2004, Selig announced that his ownership group was putting the team up for sale, to the great relief of many fans who were unhappy with the team's lackluster performance and poor management by his daughter, Wendy Selig-Prieb, over the previous decade. In September 2004, the Brewers announced they had reached a verbal agreement with Los Angeles investment banker Mark Attanasio to purchase the team for a reported US$223 million. The sale to Attanasio was completed on January 13, 2005, at Major League Baseball's quarterly owners meeting. Other members of Attanasio's ownership group include private equity investor John Canning Jr., David Uihlein, Harris Turer and Stephen Marcus, all of whom were involved with the previous ownership group led by Major League Baseball commissioner Bud Selig.[7] Since taking over the franchise, Attanasio has worked hard to build bridges with Milwaukee baseball fans, including giving away every seat to the final home game of 2005 free of charge and bringing back the classic "ball and glove" logo of the club's glory days on "Retro Friday" home games, during which they also wear versions of the team's old pinstriped uniforms.

2004

The Brewers caused a stir in the first half of the 2004 season, when the team had a winning record in the first half of the season, even briefly being in 1st place in the NL Central. However, lack of a productive offense doomed the Brewers and the club sunk back to last place, finishing the season 67–94. The Brewers did have some bright moments during the season with pitcher Ben Sheets striking out 18 Atlanta Braves in one game and the Brewers coming back from a 9-run deficit to beat the Cincinnati Reds.

After the 2004 season, with Mark Attanasio now in control of the franchise, the Brewers were finally able to spend some money on free agents. The Brewers first significant free-agent signing in many years was veteran catcher Damian Miller, a Wisconsin native, and to address a need for better run production, the Brewers traded speedy outfielder Scott Posednick and relief pitcher Luis Viscaino to the Chicago White Sox in exchange for slugging outfielder Carlos Lee. The arrival of Lee gave Brewer fans even higher hopes that better seasons were on the way for the Brewers.

Prince Fielder and Rickie Weeks at Spring Training, 2005.
2005

In 2005, under Attanasio's ownership, the team finished 81–81 to secure its first non-losing record since 1992. True to form, Carlos Lee provided the Brewers with much needed run support, hitting 32 home runs and driving in 112. Starting pitcher Chris Capuano also had a stellar season, going 18–12 with a 3.99 ERA, the most wins by a Brewer pitcher since Pete Vuckovich won 18 games in 1982.

With a solid base of young talent assembled over the past five years, including Prince Fielder, Rickie Weeks, J. J. Hardy and Corey Hart, the Brewers showed renewed competitiveness. Further encouraging this sentiment, the Brewers had hired former stars Yount (bench coach; resigned in November 2006) and Dale Sveum (third base coach), both very popular players for the Brewers in the '80s.

2006

In 2006, the Brewers' play disappointed fans, players, and management. They began the season 5–1 and had a 14–11 record at the end of April. On Mother's Day Bill Hall hit a walk off home run with his mother in the stands, a play that was shown on ESPN throughout the summer. However, soon starters JJ Hardy, Rickie Weeks, and Corey Koskie were lost to injuries, and the Brewers were forced to trade for veteran infielders David Bell and Tony Graffanino. They also suffered setbacks when losing starting pitchers Ben Sheets and Tomo Ohka for a substantial amount of time, forcing Triple A starters Ben Hendrickson, Dana Eveland, Carlos Villanueva, and Zach Jackson into starting roles at different points in the year. Shortly before the All Star break the Brewers climbed to one game above .500, but then lost their next three to the Chicago Cubs and would never return to .500. After the All Star break closer Derrick Turnbow blew four straight save opportunities. This led to the Brewers being far enough down in the standings that management decided to trade free agent-to-be Carlos Lee to the Texas Rangers for closer Francisco Cordero, outfielder Kevin Mench, and two minor league prospects. Cordero replaced Turnbow as the Brewers closer and had immediate success, successfully converting his first 13 save opportunities. On August 24 the Brewers completed a sweep of the Colorado Rockies to climb to less than five games out in both the NL Central Division and NL Wild Card races, but then Milwaukee went on a 10-game losing streak that ended any postseason hope. The Brewers did rebound and play well in September including a four-game sweep of San Francisco, but it was too little too late. The Brewers ended the season with a 75–87 record.

At the end of the season, Attanasio stated that he and General Manager Doug Melvin would have to make some decisions about returning players for the 2007 season. With young players waiting in the minor leagues, during the off-season the key additions were starting pitcher and 2006 NLCS MVP Jeff Suppan, starter Claudio Vargas, reliever Greg Aquino, catcher Johnny Estrada, and returning Brewer Craig Counsell. The Brewers parted ways with 2006 starters Doug Davis and Tomo Ohka, as well as fan favorite Jeff Cirillo, who wanted more playing time with another team.

2007: The return to respectability

Prince Fielder
Ben Sheets

Before the 2007 season, the buzz surrounding the Brewers greatly increased. They were dubbed a "sleeper team" and "contenders in the NL" by numerous sports analysts and magazines. ESPN's Peter Gammons and Dan Patrick both picked The Brewers to beat out the defending champion Cardinals and re-vamped Chicago Cubs to win the NL Central. To celebrate the successful 1982 Milwaukee Brewers team, the franchise decided to have the 2007 season be named as the "25th Anniversary of '82", with more fan giveaways than any other Major League Baseball team except the Pittsburgh Pirates, and more discounts and deals than any other time in Brewers' history.

ESPN.com's lead story on August 29 stated: ".... Then there are the Brewers. The strange, impossible-to-figure-out Brewers. They once had the best record in the majors, were 14 games over .500 twice, and led the division by as many as 8½ games on June 23. Since then, and there's no nice way of saying it; they've reeked.".[8] The Brewers cast this negativity to the side, and rebounded in September. Despite poor performances from the usually steady Chris Capuano and more nagging injuries to Ben Sheets, the Brewers found themselves in a heated pennant race with Chicago's North Siders. The team's playoff drive took a hit late in the year, however, losing three of four games in a crucial series in Atlanta, dropping the Brewers to a season-high 3.5 games out of first. The Brewers won the first two games of their final homestand of the season to pull within two games of the Cubs, but faced a near impossible task with the club's elimination number down to only three and the wild card leading Padres coming to town. The club played well, but the Cubs clinched on the final Friday of the season. On September 29 the Brewers beat Padres 4–3 in extra innings to secure a winning season. The game was tied in the ninth inning by a triple by Tony Gwynn, Jr. in a highlight reel play that was repeated often during the 2007 post season. That win, and the win the next day, by the Brewers kept the Padres from advancing to the playoffs. The irony, of course, being that Gwynn's father was arguably the most popular Padre of all-time, and Tony Gwynn Jr. would later be traded to the Padres in 2009. Milwaukee finished at a respectable 83–79, only two games behind Chicago, the club's best finish since 1992. First baseman Prince Fielder made history in 2007, becoming the first Brewer and the youngest player ever to reach the 50 home run mark in a single season. For his effort, he finished third in the 2007 National League Most Valuable Player voting, garnering 284 total points including 5 first place votes. Fielder was also awarded the Hank Aaron Award for reaching the amazing single year record. Third baseman Ryan Braun was also rewarded for his historic season by being named 2007 NL Rookie of the Year.

2008: The return to the postseason

Ryan Braun, 2008

The Brewers came into 2008 with hopes of ending the team's 26 year playoff drought, adding several veterans to the team in outfielder Mike Cameron and catcher Jason Kendall, as well as relief pitchers Eric Gagne and Salomon Torres. The Brewers started April on a solid winning note, but suffered two big blows in their pitching rotation when Dave Bush was demoted to AAA Nashville, and Yovani Gallardo suffered a potential season ending knee injury. The team dropped below .500 by the middle of May, capped off by a sweep from the Boston Red Sox.

The Brewers rebounded in June as Salomon Torres took over as closer, becoming a big success, and soon climbed back into contention. As June came to a close, the Brewers made their biggest move for playoff contention as they traded 4 prospects, most notably Matt LaPorta, to the Cleveland Indians for CC Sabathia. General Manager Doug Melvin summed up the trade by saying, "We are going for it." The Brewers came into the All-Star break with a 52–43 record, still third behind the Cubs and Cardinals. Ben Sheets was named starting pitcher for the National League in the All-Star game, and Ryan Braun also started at left field. Corey Hart was named to the team in the Final Vote.

The Brewers came out of the All-Star break with a bang as they won their first seven games back, all of them on the road, sweeping first the Giants and then the Cardinals, taking over first place in the Wild Card standings. The Brewers came into the end of July still in the hunt for the division, but the front running Cubs swept the Brewers in a four-game set at Miller Park. While the Brewers were still holding on to the Wild Card lead, the division was never seriously challenged for the remainder of the year.

The Brewers came off the sweep from the Cubs with an amazing August, winning 20 of 28 games in the month. Sabathia made history by becoming the first pitcher in over 90 years to win his first 9 games after being traded mid-season. With a steady five game lead for the Wild Card, the hope of a playoff spot seemed secured, but the Brewers struggled in September, first getting swept by the New York Mets, and then just over a week later, getting swept in four games by the Philadelphia Phillies, losing their lead in the Wild Casid. Feeling a change was needed, the Brewers fired manager Ned Yost with just 12 games left in the season, replacing him with Brewers third base coach Dale Sveum. Sveum named Garth Iorg as his replacement as third base coach, and made Robin Yount the new bench coach, replacing Ted Simmons. With the final 6x games at home, the Brewers were still in the hunt for the Wild Card behind the New York Mets. They first swept the Pittsburgh Pirates, thanks to walk-off home runs by Prince Fielder and Ryan Braun, tying the New York Mets for the Wild Card lead with 3 games to go against the NL Central division champion Chicago Cubs.

The Brewers took the first game thanks to a pinch-hit home run by Rickie Weeks and stellar relief pitching by Seth McClung. The Cubs took the second game, with the Wild Card race still in a dead tie. CC Sabathia was called to pitch his third game in a week, and was stellar, pitching a complete game, while Ryan Braun hit possibly the biggest home run in club history with a 2-run shot in the 8th inning to break a 1–1 tie. The Brewers won 3–1 while the New York Mets lost to the Florida Marlins 4–2, sealing the Brewers the Wild Card spot.

2008 NLDS

The Brewers finished the 2008 season one game ahead of the New York Mets with a final record of 90–72, and faced the Philadelphia Phillies in the NLDS. This was the first time the Brewers reached the playoffs since 1982.

The Brewers played their first postseason game in 26 years on October 1. Pitcher Yovani Gallardo made his first postseason start and only his second start since coming off the disabled list in late September. The Brewers lost the first game of the NLDS 3–1 on a dominant performance by Phillies pitcher Cole Hamels. Hamels allowed only two hits and struck out nine Brewers batters in eight shutout innings. The Brewers mounted a comeback in the 9th inning as closer Brad Lidge allowed two hits, a walk, and a run to score. However, Brewers right fielder Corey Hart struck out with runners on second and third to end the game.

The Brewers lost game 2 of the NLDS due to ace CC Sabathia giving up a grand slam early in the game, leaving after 3 and 2/3 innings (his shortest and last outing as a Brewer). The Brewers hosted their first playoff game in 26 years on Saturday, October 4, and won 4–1. However, the Brewers season would come to an end on Sunday as Jeff Suppan allowed three home runs to lose 6–2, eliminating them from the postseason in four games.

The Brewers lost several key players from the 2008 playoff campaign following the season. The 2009 Brewers were without CC Sabathia, Ben Sheets, Guillermo Mota, Gabe Kapler, Ray Durham, Russell Branyan, Salomon Torres, and Brian Shouse.

2009: Missing playoffs

During the off-season, the Brewers lost C.C. Sabathia when he filed for free agency and signed a lucrative deal with the New York Yankees. Despite the loss of a starting pitcher in Sabathia, the Brewers were able to sign all-time save leader Trevor Hoffman. The Brewers were not able to build on their success from the year prior falling below .500 but were witness to Prince Fielder setting the all-time franchise record for RBI.

2010

The Brewers attempted to shore up their starting pitching with the signings of free agents Randy Wolf and Doug Davis, but the Brewers still struggled. After just one month, the Brewers released Jeff Suppan, Doug Davis got injured, and Trevor Hoffman struggled to get saves. The only bright spots of the season was the Brewers' hitting. The Brewers were the only team in baseball to have three players with 100+ RBIs in Ryan Braun, Casey McGehee, and Corey Hart. The Brewers lost 9 games in a row in May and never fully recovered, finishing the season 77–85, which was good for 3rd place in the National League Central division, behind the Cincinnati Reds and the St. Louis Cardinals. The only other bright spots of the season was Trevor Hoffman getting his 600th career save and the emergence of new closer John Axford. After the season, the Brewers chose not to renew the contract of manager Ken Macha. In October, just days after the World Series, the Brewers hired Ron Roenicke, bench coach of the Los Angeles Angels, to be the Brewers' new manager.

2011 season: NL Central champs

With the trades for Shaun Marcum and Zack Greinke, the Brewers were tabbed by many experts as favorites to not only win the NL Central Division, but also contenders for the National League pennant. The Brewers did suffer some early losses in spring training, as Zack Greinke was lost to a rib injury that would keep him out for a month, and Corey Hart was out for the first half of April with a hamstring injury, which caused the Brewers to make a last-minute trade at the end of spring training for Washington Nationals outfielder Nyjer Morgan.

The Brewers struggled during the first month of the season, losing their first 4 games of the season and fell as far down as to 5th place in the NL Central Division, but the Brewers rebounded starting at the end of May and throughout June and early July. By the All-Star Break, the Brewers were in 2nd place in the divsion, behind Pittsburgh and St. Louis. To address some needed bullpen depth, the Brewers made a shocking trade just hours after the All-Star Game, trading two Class-A prospects to the New York Mets for ace reliever Fransisco Rodrieguez, who immediately became the Brewers set-up reliever for closer John Axford.

The Brewers went on a hot winning stretch through the month of August and by the beginning of September were 10 1/2 games ahead of St. Louis for the NL Central lead. Though the Brewers scuffled some in September, the Brewers clinched the division on September 26, beating the Florida Marlins 4-1. The Brewers finished the season with a 96-66 record, the best record in franchise history.

Along with their team accomplishments, the Brewers had many individual achievements from their players. Ryan Braun finished the season with 33 homers and 33 steals while finishing second in the National League in batting average, hitting .332 while Prince Fielder finished second in the league in both home runs and RBIs, hitting 38 home runs while driving in 120.

The Brewers starting pitching was also drastically better than 2010. Each of the Brewers 5 regular starters had 10-plus wins during the regular season. Yovani Gallardo won 17 games, the most by a Brewer since 2005, Zack Greinke won 16 games despite missing one month, both Shawn Marcum and Randy Wolf won 13 games, and number five starter Chris Narveson won 11 games. It was the first time since 1982 that the Brewers had five pitchers with 10 or more wins in a season. The Brewers also used fewer starting pitchers than any team in baseball, using only six starting pitchers, with Marco Estrada filling in for 7 games when Greinke and later Narveson were out with injuries.

Logos and uniforms

Logos

Brewers1970logo.png Milwaukee Brewers Alternate Logo.svg Milwaukeebrewerslogo1994-99.jpg Milwaukee Brewers Logo.svg
1970–77 1978–93 1994–99 2000–present

Uniforms

1970–1977

The original Brewers uniforms were "hand-me-downs" from the Seattle Pilots. There was no time before the 1970 season to order new uniforms, so the team simply removed the Seattle markings and sewed "BREWERS" on the front. The uniforms had unique striping on the sleeves left over from the Pilots days. The cap was an updated version of the Milwaukee Braves cap in blue and yellow.

The Brewers finally got their own flannel design in 1971. These were essentially the same as the 1970 uniforms but with blue and yellow piping on the sleeves and collar.

In 1972, the Brewers entered the doubleknit era with uniforms based upon their flannels—all white with "BREWERS" on the front, blue and yellow trim on the sleeves, neck, waistband and down the side of the pants. This is the uniform that Hank Aaron would wear with the club in his final seasons, and that Robin Yount would wear in his first.

During this period, the logo of the club was the Beer Barrel Man, which had been used by the American Association Milwaukee Brewers since at least the 1940s.

1978–1993

The Brewers unveiled new uniforms for the 1978 season—pinstripes with solid blue collar and waistband. The road uniforms continued to be powder blue, but for the first time the city name "MILWAUKEE" graced the chest in an upward slant. In addition, this season saw the introduction of the logo that was to define the club—"M" and "B" in the shape of a baseball glove. The logo was designed by Tom Meindel, an art history student at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. The home cap was solid blue, and the road cap was blue with a yellow front panel. The club would wear these uniforms in their pennant-winning season of 1982. Only minor changes were made until 1990; the color of the road uniforms changed to grey in 1985, while the blue-yellow-blue road cap was abandoned the following year.

In 1990, the Brewers made significant modifications to their uniforms, switching from pullover to button-down jerseys (the last American League team to do so). Their individual uniforms showed other changes as well; at home, the blue piping was removed and the block lettered "BREWERS" was changed to a script version similar to the script that spelled their road uniforms, while those outfits had their piping changed from blue-yellow-blue to blue-white yellow.

1994–1999

In 1994, in collaboration with the Brewers celebrating their 25th year in baseball, the team did a radical makeover of their uniforms. The creative but outdated ball-in-glove logo was removed and replaced with a stylized interlocking "M" and "B" set on a pair of crossed bats and a diamond background. The royal blue changed to navy blue, while the yellow changed to a metallic gold. Forest green was added as a third color. The jerseys swapped pinstripes for retro-themed piping around the color, buttons, and sleeves, following a trend that was very popular in the 90's. The uniforms' lettering had the same style of letters as the new cap logo with heavily stylized "BREWERS" lettering on the home jerseys and "MILWAUKEE" on the road grays. For the first time, an alternative jersey was introduced. It was navy blue with the home "BREWERS" lettering on the front and featured the Brewers' logo on the lower left side. These uniforms were also the first in franchise history to have the players' last names on the back. The home cap was completely navy blue, while the away cap featured a navy blue upper and a forest green bill.

In 1997, the uniforms were slightly modified, with the main logo removed from the caps and replaced with an "M" and the alternative jersey was removed. All navy caps were worn with both the home and away uniforms, while the away green socks were changed to navy blue.

2000 – present

Before the 2000 season, to coincide with the anticipated opening of new Miller Park, the Brewers changed their uniforms again. The block letters were removed and replaced with a flowing script "Brewers" on the front and green was removed as the third color. The cap logo was a script "M", similar in style to the Miller logo, with a head of barley underlining it, symbolizing Milwaukee's beer-making industry. The home uniforms also featured a patch on the left sleeve consisting of the cap logo with a gold outline of the state of Wisconsin behind it, showing the Brewers statewide appeal. The road uniforms would be grey and would feature the same script "Brewers" on the front, with a simple patch on the left sleeve with a script "Milwaukee" on it.

Although the uniforms were supposed to debut with the opening of Miller Park, an accident involving one of the cranes damaging the new ballpark, which cost the lives of three workers, delayed the opening of Miller Park one year, so the uniforms spent one year at County Stadium, the old ballpark's last year.

The uniforms also featured an alternative navy-blue jersey that had the same features as the home jersey and were many times favored by the players as the jersey is made with a lighter, more breathable fabric.

In 2010, the Brewers debuted a new alternative road jersey which, like the other alternative jersey, is navy-blue, but instead with a script "Milwaukee" in the front.

In 2005, new Brewers owner, Mark Attanasio, introduced Retro Sundays, where the Brewers would wear uniforms featuring the beloved "ball-in-glove" logo. The uniforms are similar to the uniforms worn from 1978–1989, but with some modern modifications, such as the uniforms being button-up instead of pullover, players last names on the backs of the jerseys, and a "ball-in-glove" logo patch on the left sleeve. In 2007, the Retro day was changed from Sunday to Friday, which continues to this day.

The retro uniforms have since been heavily favored by many Brewers fans and many continue to campaign to have them be once again the regular Brewers uniforms.

In addition, the Brewers have also worn special uniforms. The Latin Nights uniform is gold (originally blue) with a script "Cerveceros" in front, most recently worn on June 11 against the St. Louis Cardinals. On August 13, 2011, in a game against the Pittsburgh Pirates, the Brewers also wore a special uniform to commemorate German Heritage Day. This jersey, which pitcher Zach Greinke accidentally wore during the previous night's game as well,[9] is similar to the home blue alternates, but with the German "Bierbrauer" script lettering in front. The gold jersey was also worn on September 10 against the Philadelphia Phillies, except that the script features "Brewers" in front. This time they were worn for 'Gold-out Night'.

Season-by-season record

Milwaukee Brewers 10-Year History
Year Regular Season Post-season
Record Win % Home Record Away Record Finish GB Record Win % Result
2002 56–106 .346 31-50 25-56 6th 41
2003 68–94 .412 31-50 37-44 6th 20
2004 67–94 .411 36-45 31-49 6th 37.5
2005 81–81 .500 46-35 35-46 3rd 19
2006 75–87 .463 48-33 27-54 4th
2007 83–79 .525 51-30 32-49 2nd 2
2008 90–72 .556 49-32 41-40 2nd 1–3 .250 Clinched National League Wild Card
Lost NLDS vs Philadelphia Phillies, 3–1
2009 80–82 .494 40-41 40-41 3rd 11
2010 77–85 .475 40-41 37-44 3rd 14
2011 96–66 .593 57-24 39-42 1st 5–6 .455 Clinched National League Central
Won NLDS vs Arizona Diamondbacks, 3–2
Lost NLCS vs St Louis Cardinals, 4–2
10-Year Totals 773–846 .477 429-381 344-465 6–9 .400

[10]

Franchise individual records

Franchise leaders

Note: Pos = Position; GP = Games Played; R = Runs; H = Hits; RBI = Runs Batted In; HR = Home Runs; * = current Brewers player

Home Runs RBI Hits Runs Stolen Bases
Player Pos AB HR GP
Robin Yount SS/OF 11008 251 2856
Prince Fielder* 1B 3527 230 998
Geoff Jenkins OF 4407 212 1234
Gorman Thomas OF 3644 208 1102
Cecil Cooper 1B 6019 201 1490
Ben Oglivie OF 4136 176 1149
Greg Vaughn OF 3244 169 903
Jeromy Burnitz OF 2768 165 782
Ryan Braun* OF 2879 161 729
Paul Molitor 3B 7520 160 1856
Player Pos RBI
Robin Yount SS/OF 1406
Cecil Cooper 1B 944
Paul Molitor 3B 790
Geoff Jenkins OF 704
Ben Oglivie OF 685
Prince Fielder* 1B 656
Gorman Thomas OF 605
Jim Gantner 2B 568
Greg Vaughn OF 566
Ryan Braun* OF 531
Player Pos Hit
Robin Yount SS/OF 3142
Paul Molitor 3B 2281
Cecil Cooper OF 1815
Jim Gantner 2B 1696
Geoff Jenkins OF 1221
Don Money 3B 1168
Ben Oglivie OF 1144
BJ Surhoff Util 1064
Charlie Moore C 1029
Jeff Cirillo 3B 1000
Player Pos R
Robin Yount SS/OF 1632
Paul Molitor 3B 1275
Cecil Cooper OF 821
Jim Gantner 2B 726
Geoff Jenkins OF 661
Don Money 3B 596
Ben Oglivie OF 567
Greg Vaughn OF 528
Gorman Thomas OF 524
Ryan Braun* OF 506
Player Pos SB
Paul Molitor 3B 412
Robin Yount SS/OF 271
Jim Gantner 2B 137
Tommy Harper OF/3B 136
Scott Podsednik OF 113
Pat Listach SS 112
Darryl Hamilton OF 109
Mike Felder OF 108
BJ Surhoff Util 102
Rickie Weeks* 2B 100

Awards and honors

Baseball Hall of Famers

The following inducted members of the Baseball Hall of Fame spent part of their careers with the Brewers.

Milwaukee Brewers Hall of Famers
Affiliation according to the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum
Milwaukee Brewers

Hank Aaron

Rollie Fingers

Paul Molitor

Don Sutton

Robin Yount

Players listed in bold are depicted on their Hall of Fame plaques wearing a Brewers cap insignia.
No major league player, manager, or executive affiliated with the team when it was known as the Seattle Pilots has been inducted into the Hall of Fame.

Retired numbers

Milret4.PNG
Paul Molitor
3B-DH: 1978–1992

(1999)
Milret19.PNG
Robin Yount
SS-OF: 1973–1993
Coach: 2006, 2008
(1999)
Milret34.PNG
Rollie Fingers
P: 1981–1985

(1992)
Milret42.PNG
Jackie Robinson
Retired by
Major League Baseball
(1997)
Milret44.PNG
Hank Aaron
DH: 1975–1976

(1976)

The number No. 50, although it has not been retired, has been placed in the Brewers' Ring of Honor for Bob Uecker and his half-century in baseball.

Although Hank Aaron played only two seasons for the Brewers in the twilight of his career, he played in Milwaukee from 1954 to 1966 with the Braves, until their move to Atlanta, and won his only World Series in Milwaukee (1957).

Championships

American League Champions
Preceded by:
New York Yankees (1981)
1982 Succeeded by :
Baltimore Orioles (1983)
American League Eastern Division Champions
Preceded by:
New York Yankees (1981)
1982 Succeeded by :
Baltimore Orioles (1983)
National League Wild Card Winners
Preceded by:
Colorado Rockies (2007)
2008 Succeeded by:
Colorado Rockies (2009)
National League Central Division Champions
Preceded by:
Cincinnati Reds (2010)
2011 Succeeded by :
TBD (2012)

Current roster

Milwaukee Brewers rosterview · talk · edit
Active roster Inactive roster Coaches/Other

Pitchers

Catchers

Infielders

Outfielders






Manager

Coaches


Restricted list

35 Active, 0 Inactive

Injury icon 2.svg 7- or 15-day disabled list
Suspended list
# Personal leave
Roster updated November 17, 2011
TransactionsDepth chart
All MLB rosters


Minor league affiliations

For a complete list of all-time affiliates, see List of Milwaukee Brewers minor league affiliates.

As of the 2011 season, the Brewers have the following minor league affiliates:

Level Team League Location
AAA Nashville Sounds Pacific Coast League Nashville, TN
AA Huntsville Stars Southern League Hunstville, AL
Advanced A Brevard County Manatees Florida State League Viera, FL
A Wisconsin Timber Rattlers Midwest League Grand Chute, WI
Rookie Helena Brewers Pioneer League Helena, MT
AZL Brewers Arizona League Phoenix, AZ
DSL Brewers Dominican Summer League Santo Domingo, Distrito Nacional, Dominican Republic

Radio and television

The Brewers' flagship radio station is WTMJ (620 AM). Bob Uecker, a winner of the Ford C. Frick Award from the Baseball Hall of Fame, joined the Brewers in 1970, when the team moved from Seattle, and has been there ever since. Alongside Uecker was Cory Provus, who joined the team's radio broadcast in 2009 and left to become the Minnesota Twins lead broadcaster on radio after the 2011 season. Provus, formerly of WGN radio in Chicago, replaced Jim Powell, who left Milwaukee for the Atlanta Braves radio network. Powell in turn replaced Pat Hughes, who departed to do play-by-play for the Cubs on WGN in 1996.

Most of the team's television broadcasts are aired on Fox Sports Wisconsin (FSWISCONSIN). Brian Anderson, who has worked on The Golf Channel, took over as the Brewers' play-by-play announcer for the 2007 season. He replaced Daron Sutton, who joined the Arizona Diamondbacks. The color commentator is Bill Schroeder, a former major league catcher who played six of his eight seasons for the Brewers. As of 2011 Schroeder is in his 17th season as the Brewers' color commentator. The 2010 season was the first year where all of FSN Wisconsin's games are broadcast in high definition. Anderson (who also is a part of TBS's playoff coverage) also provided play-by-play for the 2011 NLCS due to Ernie Johnson stepping aside for the year due to a medical situation with his son.[11]

Since February 2007, the Brewers, FSN Wisconsin, and Weigel Broadcasting came to an agreement to air 15 games and one spring training game over-the-air on WMLW (Channel 41/digital 13/58.2) in Milwaukee each season with FSN Wisconsin producing the telecasts and Weigel selling air time for each of those games;[12] games are added to the schedule depending on weather postponements and pennant race standings. WMLW games are not aired in high definition, owing to that station's low power television status where the station airs all programming in standard definition. In the Madison market, WMLW Brewers games are carried on Charter Communications's "Charter Xtra" channel 87, which is used to carry some high school sporting events. Weigel also airs a few Sunday home broadcasts per year with Spanish language play-by-play on its Telemundo affiliate, WYTU-LD (Digital Channel 63/49.4). Before this, the last over-the-air non-Fox broadcast of a Brewers game was on WCGV in the 2004 season. Games also aired on WVTV, WISN and WTMJ in past years; WTMJ was the original TV broadcaster in 1970.

References

  1. ^ In 1981, a players' strike in the middle of the season forced the season to be split into two halves. The Brewers won the division in the second half, but lost the division playoffs to the New York Yankees.
  2. ^ The Seattle Pilots—Major League Baseball's First Venture in the Pacific Northwest[dead link]
  3. ^ See also Major League Baseball#League organization.
  4. ^ a b "Brewers switch leagues, join Reds in NL Central". The Kentucky Post (Associated Press) (E. W. Scripps Company). November 6, 1997. Archived from the original on May 5, 2005. http://web.archive.org/web/20050505095313/http://www.cincypost.com/sports/1997/brew110697.html. 
  5. ^ Pappas, Doug, "News Briefs: Fall 1997", Outside the Lines, Fall 1997.
  6. ^ "Daktronics Photo Gallery: Milwaukee Brewers". http://www.daktronics.com/ProductsServices/PhotoGallery/Pages/default.aspx. 
  7. ^ Attanasio seeks more local owners. The Business Journal of Milwaukee, March 18, 2005
  8. ^ "Cubs sitting in the driver's seat
  9. ^ "Brewers' Zack Greinke hits with wrong jersey". Content.usatoday.com. 2011-08-15. http://content.usatoday.com/communities/dailypitch/post/2011/08/zack-greinke-milwaukee-brewers-wrong-jersey/1. Retrieved 2011-11-01. 
  10. ^ "Milwaukee Brewers Team History & Encyclopedia". Baseball-Reference.com. http://www.baseball-reference.com/teams/MIL/. Retrieved 2011-11-01. 
  11. ^ Heistand, Michael (September 27, 2011). "Family situation keeps TBS' Ernie Johnson from MLB playoffs". USA Today (Gannett Company): pp. p. C3. http://www.usatoday.com/sports/columnist/hiestand-tv/story/2011-09-27/tbs-baseball-playoffs/50573922/1. Retrieved October 8, 2011. 
  12. ^ [1][dead link]

External links


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