Throwback Thursday: Don Money

Don Money

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Don Money was traded along with Bill Champion and John Vukovich from the Phillies to the Brewers for Ken Brett, Jim Lonborg, Ken Sanders, and Earl Stephenson after the 1972 season. Money had started as the Phillies shortstop, but he got moved over to third base to make room for Larry Bowa. The Phillies traded Money to make room for a young third baseman named Mike Schmidt.

Money was not a Hall of Fame type of player (he received one vote in 1989, not enough to stay on the 1990 ballot), but he was arguably one of the first stars on the Brewers. Money was the kind of player that would do anything that the team needed. In 1978, when he was voted in as the AL starter at second base, he had actually been playing first base to fill in for Cecil Cooper, who had broken his leg.

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Though Money did not hit a lot of home runs, he did hit some memerable ones off of the Red Sox. On July 29, 1975 at Fenway Park, Money led off the game with a home run. Darrell Porter followed with another home run to give the Brewers a 2-0 lead. In the third inning, Money hit another solo home run for a 3-0 lead. In the fifth inning, after a leadoff double by Kurt Bevacqua, Money was asked to lay down a bunt. Instead of complaining about trying to hit a third home run, Money laid down a bunt to move Bevacqua over to third. That proved to be crucial, as Bevacqua scored on a wild pitch. The Brewers won the game, 4-0.

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Money again hit a pair of home runs at Fenway Park on May 22, 1977. He led off the fourth inning with a home run to put the Brewers on the board. In the fifth inning, Money hit a three-run home run to put the Brewers up 6-4. The game was a home run derby as the Brewers hit three more, but the Red Sox hit six and won by a score of 14-10.

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In the second inning on April 12, 1980 at County Stadium, Cecil Cooper hit a grand slam with nobody out. After a walk, double, strikeout, and intentional walk, Don Money came up. He hit the second grand slam for the Brewers in the inning. Robin Yount followed that up with a third home run and an 11-0 lead in the second inning in an eventual 18-1 win over the Red Sox.

Money played a key role in the Brewers ascension from an expansion team to a competitive team. He became the starting third baseman in 1973 and was an American League All-Star 4 times (1974, 1976, 1977, 1978). In 1978, he was voted in as the starting second baseman, becoming the first Brewer to be voted in as a starter.

He finished with the highest fielding percentage as a third baseman in the American League in 1973 and 1974, and has the 12th highest career fielding percentage for third basemen.

In 1977, Money moved over to second base when the club acquired Sal Bando. He spent the rest of his career playing first, second, third, and designated hitter. He was a veteran leader on the contending teams in the late 70s and early 80s.

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Money is in the Brewers’ top 10 in runs scored (8th, 596), hits (7th, 1168), total bases (9th, 1825), doubles (8th, 215), walks (6th, 440), sacrifice hits (3rd, 70), and sacrifice flies (9th, 34).

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