Throwback Thursday: Rookie of the Year

Rookie of the Year

The Brewers were the first team to have a Rookie of the Year in both the American League and the National League. They were the only one until Carlos Correa of the Astros won last year in the American League (Jeff Bagwell won in 1991 when the Astros were in the National League).

1992 American League Rookie of the Year

Pat Listach, Shortstop, Milwaukee Brewers

Rookie of the Year Listach

Listach was drafted by the Brewers in the 5th round of the 1988 MLB draft. He made his Major League debut on April 8, 1992 as a pinch runner in bottom of the ninth and gave the Brewers a glimpse of what was to come.

The Brewers were down 5-4 with one out when Kevin Seitzer singled and Listach came in to run for him. Listach stole second and scored the tying run with two outs on a Paul Molitor single. B.J. Surhoff ended up hitting a walk-off grand slam to give the Brewers a 9-5 win.

He went 3 for 4 in his first start, stealing another base and scoring 3 runs in a 13-9 loss. He had a 17-game hitting streak in the second half where he hit .356, stole 5 bases, and scored 14 runs in helping the Brewers win 12 of the 17 games and move into second place in the AL East.

Listach had 50 multi-hit games in 1992, including eight games with 3 or more and two games with 4 hits. He had 54 stolen bases on the year, which was a Brewer record and the second best in franchise history (Tommy Harper had 73 for the 1969 Pilots) and even now is now the third best single-season total in franchise history.

The Brewer shortstop beat out Indians outfielder Kenny Lofton, Mariners pitcher Dave Fleming, and fellow Brewer Cal Eldred for the American League Rookie of the Year. He became the first Brewer to earn the honor, and the last one to do it in the American League.

Unfortunately for Listach, his career was derailed by injury. His second season ended early due to patella tendinitis, which eventually required surgery. He was limited to just 16 games in 1994 and he was never able to get back to the level he was at in his rookie year.

2007 National League Rookie of the Year

Ryan Braun, Third Base, Milwaukee Brewers

Rookie of the Year Braun

The Brewers drafted Braun with the 5th overall pick in the 2005 draft. He made his Major League debut on May 25, 2007 with a 2-RBI performance.

Braun got his first RBI with a sacrifice fly in the sixth inning to put the Brewers on the board. He got his first hit in the seventh inning, an RBI double, and scored his first run when J.J. Hardy hit a home run in the next at-bat.

Braun hit his first home run the next day, a game-tying solo shot in the third inning as part of a 3-hit game. He also stole his first base, but all of this was in a losing cause.

Braun helped the Brewers turn their season around in the last 16 games in June, hitting .379 with 3 home runs, 15 RBI, 16 runs scored, and 4 stolen bases. The Brewers went 13-3 during that stretch, stretching their division lead to 7.5 games. The team ended up finishing in second in the NL Central, but they provided a peek at what was coming.

Braun finished 2007 with a .324 average, 34 home runs, 97 RBI, 91 runs scored, 15 stolen bases, and a National League leading .634 slugging percentage. Those numbers were just good enough for Braun to edge Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki for National League Rookie of the Year.

The following year, Braun helped lead the Brewers to the playoffs for the first time in 26 years. Braun hit 37 home runs that year and topped the 100 RBI mark for the first time. He hit .313 with a pair of RBI in a 3-1 Divisional Series loss to the Phillies.

Braun 2011

Braun has lived up to the hype generated in his rookie campaign. He is a career .306 hitter and the Brewers all-time leader with 262 home runs and counting. He led the league with 41 home runs and 108 runs scored in 2011, when he led the Brewers to the NL Central crown and earned MVP honors.

Braun has done well in the playoffs, hitting .379 with 2 home runs and 12 RBI in 15 games. He is a 6-time All-Star and a 5-time Silver Slugger. But perhaps the moment that he will be best known for by Brewer fans is this home run in 2011:

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