The All-Time Milwaukee Brewers Team

Franchise History

Milwaukee Brewers (1970- )
Seattle Pilots (1969)

No franchise that started in Seattle has ever won a World Series. The Brewers were only the Seattle Pilots for one year, but their 44 years combined with the Mariners’ 36 adds up to almost as much futility as a certain drought that ended with a “curse” being broken.

Perhaps not surprisingly, there’s not a single member of the ’69 Pilots on this all-time team.

 

WAR Statistics referenced for each player are from Baseball-Reference.com. All other statistics used here are gathered from that site as well.

An asterisk (*) denotes a Hall of Famer.

Starters

C – Darrell Porter (1971-1976)

1B – Cecil Cooper (1977-1987)

2B – Jim Gantner (1976-1992)

SS – Robin Yount* (1974-1993)

3B – Paul Molitor* (1978-1992)

LF – Ryan Braun (2007- )

CF – Gorman Thomas (1973-1976, 1978-1983, 1986)

RF – Sixto Lezcano (1974-1980)

When I’m working on these teams, I scour the internet for other all-time teams for comparison purposes. While several of these positions were a consensus, catcher was not one of them. In fact, I saw B.J. Surhoff (no surprise), Ted Simmons (not surprising, but a little misguided) and Dave Nilsson (even though his best years were after he stopped donning the tools of ignorance regularly) as starters on other all-time Brewers teams. They all have it wrong. Porter is the greatest catcher in Milwaukee history.

Don Money was probably a better player than Gantner—for his overall career and his time in Milwaukee—but squeezing Money into the starting lineup would mean moving Molitor to second or playing Money there.* Molitor played almost twice as much at third as he did at second, and Money was only a regular second baseman for one year with the Brewers. Plus, Gantner’s in the franchise’s top five in defensive WAR, runs, hits, total bases and stolen bases, so he’s certainly worthy of being recognized here.

*Or, I suppose Molitor could be the DH, but since for just a little more than half of the team’s history (1973-1997) they were an American League DH-era team, and Molitor was only a regular DH for his final two years in Milwaukee, I chose not to go that route.

Both Ben Oglivie and Geoff Jenkins played primarily left field for the Brew Crew. They accumulated a little more value than Lezcano, so I considered moving one of them to right, but Sixto was a slightly better player (Lezcano: 125 OPS+, 4.1 WAR/162; Jenkins: 116 OPS+, 3.2 WAR/162; Oglivie: 124 OPS+, 3.2 WAR/162) during his shorter tenure and was a true right fielder, so he gets the nod. I promise this has nothing to do with the fact he has perhaps the greatest name in baseball history.

 

Rotation

Teddy Higuera (1985-1991, 1993-1994)

Ben Sheets (2001-2008)

Chris Bosio (1986-1992)

Mike Caldwell (1977-1984)

Bill Wegman (1985-1995)

 

Closer

Dan Plesac (1986-1992)

 

Reserves

C – B.J. Surhoff (1987-1995)

1B – George Scott (1972-1976)

IF – Don Money (1973-1983)

3B – Jeff Cirillo (1994-1999, 2005-2006)

OF – Ben Oglivie (1978-1986)

OF – Geoff Jenkins (1998-2007)

Typically, I insist on each team having a realistic bench. This includes carrying at least one player capable of backing up at each position, most importantly catcher, shortstop and center field. Neither Oglivie nor Jenkins is a legitimate option in center, but Yount is, so we’ve got that covered. However, Money’s days as a shortstop were mostly numbered by the time he arrived in Milwaukee. In fact, Molitor played more games there as a Brewer. So, this team is a little weak on the bench at that position. But, what was I supposed to do, take Jose Valentin?

 

Bullpen

Rollie Fingers* (1981-1982, 1984-1985)

Ken Sanders (1970-1972)

Mike Fetters (1992-1997)

Yovani Gallardo (2007- )

Jim Slaton (1971-1977, 1979-1983)

Fingers is a Hall of Famer, but his time in Milwaukee doesn’t compare to Plesac’s run as closer there, so he’ll have to share setup duties with Sanders and Fetters, while Gallardo and Slaton fill the long reliever/spot starter roles. Slaton is the franchise’s all-time wins leader, but his 97 ERA+ says he was basically an average pitcher. An average pitcher over 2000+ innings of work, that is, which still earns him a spot on this team.

 

Manager

Harvey Kuenn (1975, 1982-1983)

Kuenn is certainly the most famous manager in the Brewers’ short history, having led a team that was nicknamed Harvey’s Wallbangers to the franchise’s one and only World Series appearance in 1982. But, considering he only managed one full season, the 1983 campaign in which his team finished a respectable 87-75 and he was subsequently fired, his selection isn’t a no-brainer.

 

Greatest Eligible non-Hall of Famer

I’ve said this before, but this selection can be a little tricky. Here I’m looking for the best Hall-eligible player who would wear a Brewers cap on his plaque if he happened to be elected. There are three Hall of Famers on this team, and Braun and Gallardo are still active, so that leaves 20 remaining candidates.

Among those 20, only Cecil Cooper, Don Money, Jeff Cirillo, George Scott, B.J. Surhoff and Darrell Porter were worth over 30 career WAR. I’ll add Teddy Higuera (28.9) to the mix, because he falls just short and is the only pitcher really worthy of this discussion. Between them, this group received a grand total of four Hall of Fame votes, so I probably don’t need to say that it’s pretty slim pickings.

Surhoff, who quite unbelievably received two of the four aforementioned votes, played one more year in Milwaukee than in Baltimore, but enjoyed most of his better seasons with the Orioles, including his only All-Star appearance and two trips to the postseason, so I’m ruling him out.

Porter played almost an identical number of games with Milwaukee, Kansas City and St. Louis, but his best years were clearly the Royals years, including two top ten MVP finishes and three All-Star appearances, so he’s out.

That leaves Cooper, Money, Cirillo, Scott—who played longer in Boston, but clearly had his best years in Milwaukee—and Higuera, who technically isn’t Hall-eligible because he only played nine years, but that’s kind of a silly rule. Here’s how they look based on Hall Rating:

Cooper – 63

Higuera – 63

Cirillo – 63

Money – 61

Scott – 57

Just what I thought. Well, I’ll admit I really didn’t expect Cirillo to rank that highly, but I’m not surprised there’s really not much separating these guys in terms of their overall careers. In such cases, I like to fall back on who produced the most for the team in question. That essentially means it’s down to Higuera and Cooper, who are 4th and 5th in team history in WAR, after Yount, Molitor and Braun.

Higuera’s an interesting case—although, as I previously said, he’s technically not eligible for the Hall of Fame—but I’m sticking with my original decision that Cecil Cooper is the Brewers’ greatest eligible non-Hall of Famer. Cooper is basically third (behind Yount and Molitor) in the team’s history in just about every offensive category: runs, hits, total bases, doubles, runs created, extra base hits, times on base. Alright, that’s a bit of an exaggeration, but he’s also second all-time in RBI.

Cooper enjoyed a nice five-year peak from 1979-1983, during which he batted .320/.359/.517 (143 OPS+) with 123 HR, 535 RBI and 459 runs scored, winning three Silver Sluggers, and finishing 5th in AL MVP voting three times and 8th another time. He also won two Gold Gloves and was named to four All-Star teams during a period in which he was worth 23.3 WAR.

These years comprise his age 29 to 33 seasons, so he was a bit of a late bloomer. He also didn’t produce much beyond his prime, so there are no Hall of Fame discussions regarding Cecil Cooper. Still, for a short period of time, he was capable of producing at a very high level, and he’s certainly a player worth remembering.

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79 Comments on "The All-Time Milwaukee Brewers Team"

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Dr. Doom
Guest
Yay Brew Crew! A couple things: I would ABSOLUTELY put Dave Nilsson as the backup catcher. He could be moved to play elsewhere, too, which would make him much more useful than Surhoff. It’s truly frightening how, until just a couple of years ago, you could make the argument that the Brewers all-time team was… the 1982 Brewers. In my opinion, it’s basically Ryan Braun and Prince Fielder that made that argument totally moot. But it seriously had merit circa 2008. As a Brewers fan, I have to say it: if you’d allow us to cheat and keep the half-season… Read more »
PP
Guest

Agree on Boomer. But I’m giving a shout out to him anyway, Red Sox HOFer, .283, .342, .456, 115 taters, 20.8 WAR, 131 OPS+ over 5 years with the Brew Crew.

Lawrence Azrin
Guest
I might pick Prince Fielder over Cecil Cooper in a peak/career argument, but #6/Dan below beat me to it – Prince’s defense (Rfield of -75/7 years; Cooper about average) really cuts into his overall value). I’d still take Prince over George Scott on peak, and I’m a George Scott fan – I have fond memories of him from my 1st years following the Red Sox. Useless factoid #1: Cecil Cooper is one of the very best players to be on the HOF ballot and not get a SINGLE vote. Useless factoid #2: Gorman Thomas played for Seattle in between stints… Read more »
Chuck
Guest

“KInd of stunning that 20 years after Yount retired and Molitor went to the Blue Jays, those two are _far and away_ the Brewers two best players…”

Why is that “stunning”?

Hall of Famers don’t exactly grow on trees.

Lawrence Azrin
Guest
The dropoff from Yount/Molitor to whomever is #3 all-time in Brewers history (Cooper? Braun yet?) is pretty steep, especially for a team that’s been around since 1969. Compare that to the team that’s been in Seatlle since 1977 – you’ve got Junior Griffey, Edgar Martinez, and Ichiro for starters, then A-Rod and Randy Johnson and Jay Buhner and Jamie Moyer, not to mention King Felix building his resume. I suppose we could do this more scientifically – perhaps total AS game selections, Top-10 appearances in seasonal WAR, or MVP-shares divided by {years franchise is in existence}? I’ll leave that to… Read more »
Chuck
Guest

In that light, I see your point.

Doug
Editor
Here are the Brewers’ WAR leaders since 1994 (after Yount’s retirement). Rk Player WAR/pos From To Age G 1 Ryan Braun 32.0 2007 2012 23-28 883 2 Jeff Cirillo 24.6 1994 2006 24-36 978 3 Geoff Jenkins 20.2 1998 2007 23-32 1234 4 Prince Fielder 15.3 2005 2011 21-27 998 5 Corey Hart 14.6 2004 2012 22-30 945 6 Jeromy Burnitz 14.5 1996 2001 27-32 782 7 Rickie Weeks 12.0 2003 2012 20-29 917 8 Richie Sexson 10.4 2000 2003 25-28 534 9 J.J. Hardy 10.1 2005 2009 22-26 571 10 Jose Valentin 9.9 1994 1999 24-29 739 Provided by… Read more »
topper009
Guest
Goeff Jenkins was an outstanding defensive outfielder, and really the face of the Brewers during their terrible logo era of 1994-1999. Or maybe Cirillo Jeronmy Burnitz quietly put up some decent years for the Crew, highlighted by starting the 1999 all-star game (the only Brewer to start an all-star game in the 90s) He got the first hit for the NL and scored the first run for the squad (although he didnt have to face Pedro “The Meal Ticket” Martinez who struck out 5 of his 6 batters faced. Jose Valentine (don’t forget to give your novia a Jose Valetine… Read more »
Evil Squirrel
Guest

Goeff Jenkins was an outstanding defensive outfielder, and really the face of the Brewers during their terrible logo era of 1994-1999. Or maybe Cirillo

Nooooooooo!!!! I loved that logo, and the font that came with it! That was the exact same period the Astros had their best logo design too, and I miss them both….

Voomo Zanzibar
Guest

Best rental of all time?

Well, the Cubs re-sogned Sutcliffe after ’84, so that’s eliminated.
Statistically, Randy Johnson with the Astros is in the argument with CC.

Sabathia had 6 more starts, but.

10-1
1.28
322 era+
4 shutouts

vs

11-2
1.65
255 era+
3 shutouts (7 CG)
_____________________

And Carsten Charles bonked in his playoff start.
Randy lost both his games, but he was competitive:
14 IP
3 ER

topper009
Guest
Sabathia was so dominant he led both leagues in shutouts in 2008. And he threw a no-hitter which was incorrectly ruled a 1 hitter. I was at the game in Pittsburgh for my annual Brewer roadtrip. The only “hit” occured on a comebacker that was bobbled and dropped by Sabathia, pretty clear error. After the game we went to some popular spot where they put french fries on the burgers, I forget the name. It was recommended to us by then Brewer sideline reporter and later MLB network correspondant Treni Kusnieriek, which she was familiar with because of her former… Read more »
GrandyMan
Guest

“popular spot where they put fries on the burgers”

You’re likely referring to Primanti’s. The tastiest heart attack you’ll ever have.

Nick Pain
Guest

The decision to have Fingers not the closer reminds me of the discussion regrding Rod Carew and the all-time Angels team. I agree with both.

John Autin
Editor

Honorable Mention to Diego Segui, relief ace of the Seattle Pilots. He bridges this post and Doug’s “Mr. Journeyman” with the following trek:

KC A’s, Senators, KC A’s, Oakland A’s, Pilots, Oakland A’s, Cardinals, Red Sox, and finally (after a good season back at AAA) he ended his career at 39 with the expansion Mariners.

John Autin
Editor

Dan, these look sound choices. I’d still like to see Tommy Harper as a reserve, especially since you aim for a realistic bench.

Harper only played 3 seasons for the franchise, but in that short time he:
– Set the club’s season SB record that still stands;
– Had the only 30-HR year in their first 6 season, and their only 30-30 season before Braun; and
– Notched the 3rd-best season WAR/pos in club history.

Plus, think of the versatility! Harper could play just about any position. Badly, yes, but that’s why he’s a bench guy.

Hartvig
Guest

Somehow my post says it was made an hour after yours but I swear when I started typing it neither of your posts were here. Anyways, I apologize for appearing to have stolen your ideas when in reality it’s just a case of great minds thinking alike.

John Autin
Editor

No sweat, Hartvig. In the future, you and I can just take turns being Casey & Mickey in the 1958 anti-trust hearing.
http://www.baseball-almanac.com/quotes/casey_stengel_senate_testimony.shtml

Doug
Editor
Hear, hear. Definitely want Harper for the bench. And, don’t forget the walks, He was good for 80 or so a year which, with his speed, is a not insignificant advantage. I was also going to mention the other Tommy on the Pilots, Tommy Davis, if only to remind folks that the 2-time NL batting champion was on that team. Didn’t have a great year with Seattle (probably why he was traded), but continued to be a potent hitter the rest of his career (.290 BA), although with limited walks and power that reduced his value (only 100 OPS+). Davis’s… Read more »
Hartvig
Guest
What your team needs is a Seattle Pilot. Don Mincher probably had the best season among position players in what was his only season with the franchise but it’s tough to see him taking out Cooper, Scott or Fielder. Diego Segui also did a pretty nifty job in his only season with the franchise and would actually fit the role of swingman better than Gallardo or Slaton. But I think the pick should be Tommy Harper who pretty much stunk in Seattle but then put up possibly the best season any Milwaukee third baseman ever had the following year. Plus… Read more »
no statistician but
Guest
Bill James argues that Harvey Kuenn’s coaching was a big factor in making Cecil Cooper into a much better hitter. One more reason for making Kuenn the all-time manager. Kind of off the point, but I have a recollection of seeing Kuenn in 1961 at Wrigley, playing for the Giants at 3B although he was normally an outfielder and his fielding skills by then were hardly the best. In spite of that he made a tremendous leaping grab of a bullet shot foul just outside the baseline, one of those efforts that get etched into your memory, certainly the outstanding… Read more »
Insert Name Here
Guest

I wonder if you may have stumbled across this team when “scouring the Internet”? (It appears on the 3rd page of Google results.)

http://www.sporcle.com/games/redsoxfan34/all-time-milwaukee-brewers-2nd-edition

It’s part of a series of all-time teams quizzes I have made over at Sporcle, under the guises “redsoxfan34” and “redsoxfan24”, and using a methodology outlined in each quiz’s first comment (it’s too long to post here or above the actual quiz). Unlike yours, I used a DH and a full bullpen, but some selections are quite similar.

Dan McCloskey
Guest

Pretty cool IMH. I’ll have to try your quiz on my commute home from work.

Phil
Guest

I probably made the same point on the Brewers Mount Rushmore thread: you must at least find a spot for Joe Schultz. Not manager, Harvey can have that, but something where he’s around, available, and keeping everybody loose. Maybe Assistant to the Traveling Secretary, George Costanza’s job on Seinfeld. That episode where George strolls into the clubhouse and gives Danny Tartabull some unsolicited advice on hitting–that’s a Joe Schultz job.

Voomo Zanzibar
Guest

Hiya Blondie, how’s your old tomato?

Phil
Guest

Three most quotable people ever: 1) Bob Dylan, 2) William Shakespeare, 3) Joe Schultz.

Lawrence Azrin
Guest

I think I’ll take Yogi Berra over Joe Schulz for “most quotable, baseball division”.

Will Rogers, Mark Twain,Thomas Jefferson, and Abraham Lincoln just scratch the surface of other quotable notables.

bstar
Guest
Don’t get me wrong, Sixto Lezcano was pretty darn good for a few years, but I thought certainly there would be at least a few names competing for the top right fielder in Brewers history. There really aren’t. In fact, that position has been a veritable black hole for Milwaukee. I can find only 3 players with over 10 career WAR in right field for the Crew, including Lezcano, Corey Hart, and Jeromy Burnitz. Go down to 4+ career WAR and only one more name appears: Rob Deer. That’s it. Hart should pass Lezcano for career WAR in a year… Read more »
brp
Guest

Hart won’t be accumulating that WAR as a RF, most likely, unless there’s injury and/or Braun gets suspended.

John Autin
Editor
I looked up the top WPA games in Brewers history. Numbers 1-11 each came from a different guy. All are familiar figures except for #10: http://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/MIL/MIL197006230.shtml June 23, 1970, 2 outs in the bottom of the 9th, Milwaukee down a run with 2 men on. Utility infielder Gus Gil stepped in to pinch-hit against Ron Perranoski (saves leader in 1969 and ’70), who had just entered. Gil was so far a .186 career hitter (66 for 355) with neither home run nor triple. The Brewers were 21-44, dead last in the AL West, and playing the 1st-place Twins (40-21). Gil… Read more »
John Autin
Editor
The top WPA game by a Brewers hitter (1.027): http://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/MIL/MIL198405030.shtml May 3, 1984: Mark Brouhard had stroked a go-ahead HR in the 7th off Bud Black, but Daryl Motley tied it the next inning with a shot off Don Sutton. Top of the 10th, Pete Ladd’s 3rd and 4th walks of the inning forced in 2 runs for KC. In the home half, facing Quisenberry, the Crew got one run back and men on 3rd and 2nd. Jim Sundberg bounced back to Quis for the 2nd out, and they intentionally walked Yount. Brouhard singled, and the tying & winning runs… Read more »
birtelcom
Editor
The Braves were in Milwaukee for just 13 seasons, compared to 43 (and counting) Brewers seasons, but an All-Milwaukee team would have a number of Braves representatives on it. Del Crandall or Joe Torre would likely knock Porter out of the starting catcher spot. Joe Adcock would give Cecil Cooper a run for his money in a starting first base battle. I’d move Molitor to second base, where he played 400 games for the Brewers, to make room for Eddie Mathews (more WAR playing for Milwaukee teams than anyone else) at third base. You might gain wins putting Johnny Logan… Read more »
Jeff
Guest

I haven’t researched this but I find it hard to believe that Bill Wegman makes the all-time starting rotation. Are you kidding me? How could they be that bad for over 40 years? Even Chris Bosio made the rotation and he wasn’t anywhere near great. He was quite inconsistent but I guess he was marginally better than Wegman.

Too bad about Teddy Higuera’s career though. At one time I really thought he would be a Hall of Famer. He was good. How good? John Tudor good, that’s how good.

birtelcom
Editor

Higuera produced, according to b-ref, 22.3 WAR over his second through his fourth seasons in the majors. That’s the highest total for a major league pitcher over his second through fourth seasons since 1901, just ahead of Christy Mathewson. Since 1920, the next highest numbers on that list after Higuera have been by Clemens, Blyleven, Gooden, Dean and Seaver.

John Autin
Editor
The key phrase being, “I haven’t researched this….” 🙂 Wegman is #6 in career wins for the franchise, but his 102 ERA+ is better than that of wins leader Jim Slaton and #4 Moose Haas. Wegman is #4 in career WAR. No really big years, but three years of 4+ WAR, which are nos. 15, 17, and 21 on their season list. BTW, the Brewers are not the only franchise with modest SP leaders. San Diego (same age) also has just 2 SPs with 20+ career WAR (Jake Peavy 23.2, Andy Ashby 21.6), each with less WAR than the corresponding… Read more »
Lawrence Azrin
Guest

…And no one has yet mentioned Pete Vuckovich, who won the 1982 CYA with the Brewers.

Problem is, his 1982 may be the _very worst_ CYA season ever. I don’t know what standard to use (WAR? ERA+), but his WAR was 2.5, his ERA+ 114, only 18 W and only 105 SO… I didn’t do a B-R P-I search, but I looked up a bunch of CYA winners, and everyone else (not a reliever) had a WAR of at least 3.5.

Hold on, Bob Welch’s 27-6 1990 season gets only a 2.7 WAR.

Voomo Zanzibar
Guest

Welch’s 27 win season was his 8th best year, in terms of WAR.

Odd.
Just scanning his game logs, he had maybe one cheap win.
He went deep into games and gave QS most of the time. What’s the beef?

http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/gl.cgi?id=welchbo01&t=p&year=1990

Lawrence Azrin
Guest

Maybe it was the Park Factor? Also, having Dennis Eckersley saving 48 games, with a 0.61 ERA (a 603 ERA+!!) must’ve helped a lot, too.

Voomo Zanzibar
Guest

1.92 era at home
3.94 on the road

But is might be this:

.67 RA9DEF
That’s a very high defensive run support.

That’s got to be it, because he scored 3.1 WAR the year before with an almost indentical era+ in 30 less innings.

Voomo Zanzibar
Guest
Doug
Editor
Lawrence, those 1982 Brewers must have among the worst (if not THE worst) starting staffs for any pennant winner. After Vuckovich, their other four starters had ERA+ scores of 97, 90, 85 and 77. To add to their woes, Doc Medich contributed 10 starts and a 76 ERA+. Aside from the work of Fingers and Jim Slaton in the bullpen, their saving grace may have been the September acquisition of Don Sutton, who went 4-1 in 7 starts including 2 CG, one a shutout. All but the first were quality starts, which the first would have been as well save… Read more »
topper009
Guest

But Mike Caldwell, 1 of 3 20 game winners in Crew History, threw a 3 hit shutout in game 1. There have only been 2 such efforts since, Orel Hershiser game 2 1988 and Randy Johnson game 2 2001.

Trivia, who threw shutouts in World Series game 7s?
1991 –
1985 –
1965 –
1962 –
1957 –
1956 –
1955 –
(3 in a row!)
1934 –
1920 –
1909 –

Doug
Editor

Podres in 55.
Morris in 91.

Lawrence Azrin
Guest

1909 -Babe Adams
1934 – Dizzy Dean
1965 – Sandy Koufax
1985 – Brett Saberhagen

topper009
Guest

Looks good so far. The ’62 and ’57 pitchers were the seies MVPs, but man Im not sure Ive even ever heard of the 1956 guy

Doug
Editor

I’m going to guess Spahn in 57 and Whitey in 62.

Doug
Editor

Just looked. Wrong on both counts for ’57 and ’62.

Doug
Editor

Looked up 1956. I had heard of him but that’s all. ’56 was his one nice year, and at age 22. A bit surprising he didn’t seem to improve after that.

Richard Chester
Guest

Reply to #65:
Johnny Kucks was involved in the famous Copacabana brawl in NY in 1957. Several Yankees were there celebrating Billy Martin’s 29th birthday when a fight broke between them and a drunk who was heckling Sammy Davis Jr. Ford, Bauer, Mantle and Berra also attended. After that Martin’s days with the Yankees were numbered, being shipped off to the A’s a few weeks later.

John Autin
Editor

Two things about Johnny Kucks (topper’s 1956 mystery man):

1) Kucks is the only pitcher with a WS shutout and negative career WAR.

2) He’s the only one on that game-7 shutout list who relieved in the same Series (Kucks appeared in games 1 & 2), also the only one with no other starts in the same Series. So he’s also the only one with no other WS starts in his career.

GrandyMan
Guest

Without looking, I’ll take Lew Burdette in ’57 and Ralph Terry in ’62.

bstar
Guest

@67 Word has it that Barry Manilow was involved in that brawl also.

no statistician but
Guest

Kind of late as usual, but just a note on Johnny Kucks: In his first five years he won eight games four times and eighteen once. Wonder what his lucky number was.

topper009
Guest
Burdette and Terry are correct. The last one is HOFer Stan Coveleski in 1920 (although that was not a decisive game 7 because in was a best of 9 WS) Back to 1957, game 1 and 4 starter Warren Spahn was ready to go for game 7 but game 2 and 5 starter Lew Burdette was an option. Spahn was 1-1 in the series, 8 runs allowed in 15.1 IP. Burdette was 2-0, with 2 runs allowed in 18 IP. Spahn put up 4.4 WAR in 271 IP and led the league in wins in 1957. Burdette put up 0.9… Read more »
Doug
Editor
For non-intuitive choices for starting pitcher, no manager will ever top Connie Mack in 1929. Lefty Grove, who won 20 and started 37 times during the season, was left on the bench for the series. Probably this was because Grove hadn’t pitched a complete game in over a month and had logged just 20 innings and had a 7.65 ERA over his last 5 starts. Still, conventional choice would be to stick with your ace who would be “due for a turnaround”. Instead, Mack went with Howard Ehmke (only 8 starts on the season) in game 1 and also the… Read more »
PP
Guest

Speaking of the ’69 Pilots, no mention yet of Bouton and Schultzie and pounding Buds and shooting large, semi-aquatic creatures? I had to do it…

PP
Guest

I meant to add that’s HOF material.

John Autin
Editor
Since 1969, here are the number of pitchers for each franchise who amassed 20+ WAR, and the top 2 WAR totals. (All rounded to the nearest whole number, so the “20 WAR” count is really 19.5 WAR.) Team …20+ … #1 … #2 KCR … 9 … 45 … 39 LAD … 8 … 39 … 37 BOS … 8 … 78 … 52 LAA … 7 … 49 … 38 CHC … 7 … 46 … 36 NYY … 7 … 53* … 46 HOU … 6 … 44 … 24 TOR … 6 … 54 … 46 NYM… Read more »
GrandyMan
Guest

How did you do this search? Mine returns fewer results for some teams — 7 for the Royals instead of 9, 7 for the Dodgers instead of 8, etc, etc.

I just used a simple “Teams with Players Matching Career Criteria” search.

Richard Chester
Guest

Try setting WAR equal to or greater than 19.5.

Lawrence Azrin
Guest

If you go back to 1965, Dave McNally clears 20 WAR for the Orioles. Still, somewhat surprising – Mike Cuellar only had 15.0 WAR for the Orioles, and that’s from 1969 to 1976; 143 wins and a 3.20 ERA. Besides Palmer/Mussina, the Orioles had a bunch of guys who were consitently good, but rarely great.

Incidentally, McNally and Cuellar are each others Most Similar.

GrandyMan
Guest
Most teams seem to have a pretty even, or at least predictable, pattern of success. However, it never occurred to me that the Royals had so many consistently good arms in their heyday – they had at least 3 20 WAR pitchers in every season from 1979-96, 4 every year from 1984-91, and even 5 during most of the second half of the ’80s. They would’ve had 6 in ’84 if not for Dennis Leonard’s injury. Also, I was surprised to see that Oakland had only three such pitchers (and only one before 1999), and that the Cardinals only had… Read more »
topper009
Guest

O my god I just spent an hour on a post and I was told it looked a littel spammy and deleted it.

topper009
Guest
Highlights -Brewers have always sucked except for a brief very good peak. They are the only AL team to have the MVP and CY Young winner for back to back seasons (81-82) Can you name the only other instance of this? -As late as 1990 Robin Yount was the highest paid player in the league, so you can say they werent always trying -You can name Darrell Porter to any Milwaukee team since he won the 82 suds series MVP againstthe Brewers -As bad as the Brewers have been historically, they have only had one number 1 pick, which they… Read more »
Voomo Zanzibar
Guest

I’d like some Leinenkugel with that spam, please.

Hartvig
Guest

I would think in Wisconsin they would call it Headcheese instead of Spam

Shping
Guest

Don’t forget Milwaukee-born Bob Uecker, who should make the team as a backup catcher or at least official man-in-the-booth. I always thought E Mathews was from the cheese-state too.

Tmckelv
Guest

“Money was only a regular second baseman for one year with the Brewers”

He made the most of that time…

http://www.comc.com/Cards/Baseball/1979/Topps/265/Don_Money/1867266/REVIEWED/COMC/G-VG-EX

topper009
Guest

Cleveland seems to get the sports tough luck wrap, but man Seattle:

Pilots, Mariners: 37 seasons, 0 pennants
Seahawks: 37 seasons, 1 “pennant”, 0 Titles
Sonics: 41 seasons, 3 “pennants” 1 Title (1979)

UWash Huskies FB: 7-4-1 in the Rose Bowl
Wash St. Melancamps: 0-3 Rose Bowl
UWash Huskies BB: 1 “final four” in 1953
Washington St BB: 1 “final four”, lost 1941 National Title game to Wisconsin
Gonzaga Bulldogs BB: 0 final fours

No wonder Frasier Crane wasn’t into sports very much

Doug
Editor

Seattle University (only 7,000+ students in 2012) also went to the 1958 Final Four and beat the #1 seed Kansas State in the semi-final before losing the final to Kentucky. Apparently, that team also beat the Harlem Globetrotters.

Voomo Zanzibar
Guest

Here is the very matter-of-fact report on the CalTech website of their baseball team snapping a 228 game losing streak:

http://gocaltech.com/sports/bsb/2012-13/releases/20130202nbsm7q

John Autin
Editor

Great link, Voomo! My favorite lines from the report on Caltech’s historic win:

“However, a determined Beavers squad responded.”
— Who ever saw a squad of beavers that was anything but determined?

“Daniel Chou threw a complete game in grabbing the win in his first collegiate start.”
— His first start! Pitching for a team that hasn’t won in almost 10 years, he allows a 7-run inning *and* goes 0-for-4 from the leadoff spot — and he gets the win!

Life is beautiful.

topper009
Guest

The 2 first baseman on this team were traded for each other, Cooper for Boomer (plus Bernie Carbo, who held the distinction of hitting the most famous HR in Red Sox history… for all of 4 innings)

Shping
Guest

Porter disqualified: oh, and i think you meant to say that Darrel should NOT be eligible for any Brewers all-time team, because as you mentioned and as any Brewers fan from the 80s knows, Porter became the enemy after his Cardinal heroics in ’82 series.

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