Five members of the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame have spent some time with the Milwaukee Brewers, with two of them being inducted as Brewers. Here is a look at each of the five and their contributions to the Brewers.
Aaron spent the first 12 years of his 23 year career in Milwaukee with the Braves, then returned for his final 2 seasons with the Brewers. He was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1982, becoming the first member of the Brewers to be enshrined.
Aaron is most well known for breaking Babe Ruth’s career record of 714 home runs in 1974. He would finish that season with 733 career home runs at the age of 40. Aaron became a free agent after spending 21 seasons with the Braves.
Aaron returned to Milwaukee in 1975, but he was just hanging on at that point. Brewer fans embraced the Milwaukee legend, though, and were excited that Aaron chose to end his career where he started it.
Aaron made the All-Star team in 1975, giving him a Major League record 21 seasons as an All-Star, one more than Willie Mays and Stan Musial. He hit 12 home runs that year and 10 more in 1976 to give him a total of 755 in his illustrious career.
Aaron’s number 44 was retired after his retirement in 1976.
Fingers spent the last 4 years of his 17 year career with the Brewers. He arrived in Milwaukee in 1981 and won the Cy Young and MVP in the strike-shortened season. His performance helped the Brewers to get to their first post season. Fingers was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1992.
The following season, Fingers helped the Brewers get to the World Series for the first, and so far only, time. He became the first pitcher to record 300 career saves on August 21. Unfortunately for the Brewers, Fingers suffered a torn muscle in his arm on September 2, and he would not pitch again that season. Most baseball experts agree that if he were healthy, the Brewers probably would have won the World Series.
Fingers missed the following season, but came back in 1984 at the age of 37. He picked up 23 saves that season and 17 more in his final year to end his career with 341 saves. Fingers was instrumental in getting the Brewers to their first post season and their first World Series, and he will forever be loved by the Brewer faithful.
Fingers’ number 34 was retired in 1992.
Sutton was an established star, pitching for the Dodgers for 15 years, making the All-Star team 4 times and pitching in 3 World Series before coming to the Brewers. He finished his career with 324 wins and 3,574 strikeouts. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1998.
Sutton signed with the Astros before the 1981 season and pitched for them until he was traded to the Brewers on August 30, 1982. The Brewers were looking for the right piece to put them over the top and Sutton delivered in a big way.
Sutton pitched started 7 games in the final month, going 4-1 with a 3.29 ERA and 36 strikeouts. He averaged almost 8 innings per start, saving a bullpen that was missing their closer.
Sutton’s biggest start came in the final game of the season. The Brewers had come into the 4-game series against the Orioles needing just 1 win to clinch the AL East, but they dropped the first 3 games. Sutton pitched in the finale, giving up just 2 runs in 8 innings in the 10-2 Brewer victory that sent them to the ALCS against the Angels.
Yount was the first player to be inducted into the Hall of Fame as a Brewer. He spent his entire 20-year career with the Brewers. Yount is a 3-time All-Star and 2-time MVP, winning the award as a shortstop and a center fielder.
Yount came up in 1974 as an 18 year old with an incredible amount of anticipation. Nicknamed The Kid, Yount found the hopes and dreams of Brewer fans were placed on his shoulders. It took a little time, but he did live up to his potential.
Yount was instrumental in getting the Brewers from a struggling team to one of the best in baseball. His best season by far was when he led the Brewers to the World Series in 1982. He hit .331 and led the league in hits (210), doubles (46), slugging percentage (.578), OPS (.957), and total bases (367). He also drove in 114 runs and scored 129 more.
Yount holds the Brewers career record for games (2,856), hits (3,142), runs (1,632), doubles (583), triples (126), and RBI (1,406). The Kid has left his mark on the Brewer record books and the Brewer fans’ hearts.
Yount’s number 19 was retired in 1994.
Molitor was one of the Brewers’ most exciting players. He came up as a second baseman in 1978 and finished second to Lou Whitaker for the AL Rookie of the Year. Molitor would be another player that helped the Brewers become one of the best teams in baseball. He was elected to the Hall of Fame in 2004, becoming the second member inducted as a Brewer.
Molitor made the All-Star team as a second baseman in 1980, then moved to the outfield in 1981. He settled into the third base role in 1982, and his numbers that year were impressive. He hit .301 with 19 home runs, 71 RBI, and an AL leading 136 runs scored.
Molitor hit .316 with 2 home runs in the 5-game ALCS against the Angels in 1982. Then he started the World Series off with a record breaking 5 hits in Game 1. He would finish the heart breaking Series hitting .355 with 5 runs scored.
Molitor is the Brewer career leader with 412 stolen bases and is second in hits (2,281), doubles (405), triples (86), and runs scored (1,275). He spent 15 seasons with the Brewers, many of which were shortened due to injury. Brewer fans can only wonder what might have been had he been healthy during those years.
Molitor went on to play 6 more seasons, 3 with the Blue Jays and 3 with the Twins. He was the World Series MVP with the Blue Jays in 1993, hitting .500 against the Phillies. Molitor was the first player to have a triple for his 3,000th hit and finished his career with 3.319 hits.
Molitor’s number 4 was retired in 1999.