This past week has been slightly boring for the Milwaukee Brewers as far as casual fandom goes. The Brewers remain the only major league team without a significant offseason move and it doesn’t appear that Milwaukee will make any noise anytime soon.
With that said, I’m still determined to post at least one article a week, so I decided to take a look at some of the best Brewers in history that aren’t in Cooperstown, coinciding with the recent Hall of Fame announcements. This isn’t necessarily intended to be a promotion for these players, nor am I trying to say that these guys have been ‘slighted’ in any way. I just want to point out some of the better players in Brewers history that aren’t in Cooperstown.
Cecil Cooper: Cooper originally came to Milwaukee through a trade with the Boston Red Sox. Although his arrival was somewhat ignominious, Cooper would prove his doubters wrong over his 11 seasons in Milwaukee by becoming a major factor in the Brewers’ success during the late 70’s and early 80’s.
Cooper was a key part of “Harvey’s Wallbangers” during the Brewers’ run to the World Series in 1982 and in game five of the ALCS, Cooper had a critical bases-loaded single that drove in two runs. Cooper currently ranks sixth in home runs, second in RBIs, and third in hits in Brewers history, and finished his career with 2 golden gloves, 3 silver slugger awards, and five All-Star selections.
After he retired, he had a disappointing managerial career (it was with the Astros, so I’m willing to give him the benefit of the doubt) and he was officially dropped from the Hall of Fame ballot in 1993 after receiving zero votes.
If Cooper had somehow gotten into Cooperstown it would have been a pretty big surprise, but Cooper will always have a special place in Milwaukee history.
Geoff Jenkins: Jenkins is probably better remembered for his horrific injury, but I still think he belongs on this list.
After Cooper the field of “Legendary” players for the Brewers that aren’t in the hall of fame goes down substantially, and Jenkins may seem like a reach, but Jenkins was one of the best players on the late 90’s, early 2000’s Brewers.
Jenkins is currently third on the all time Brewers home run list, finishing his career with 221 long balls in a Brewers uniform, and he was voted to the all star team in 2003.
The Brewers only had one winning season while Jenkins was in Milwaukee (his last year in 2007), so he doesn’t hold the same respect as Molitor, Yount, and Cooper, but he was still one of the better players in Milwaukee history.
Jim Gantner: I decided to rely on players from the ’82 team for this list, mainly because it was the greatest team in Brewers history and everyone from it is golden.
Gantner wasn’t the best player from that squad, but he was a major contributor. He finished his career with 137 stolen bases (third on the Brewers all time list), 1,696 hits and 568 RBIs.
Gantner is probably the biggest stretch on this list as far as “legendary players” goes (he was never even voted on to the all star team), but his place on the ‘82 team, means that he will always be an important part of Brewers history.
Who do you think should be on this list?