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A Breakdown of Specially Honored Milwaukee Brewers Uniform Numbers
Bob Uecker-#50. Bob is on the Ring of Honor at Miller Park for 50 Years in Baseball, although at some point soon it could really be conceivably updated to 60 plus. Bob's minors career went from 1956-1963. He also appeared in the majors from 1962-1967 including two seasons with the Milwaukee Braves, which were 1962 and 1963. After 1967, which was the last of his playing days, it is unknown what he did in 1968 and 1969. It is believed 1970 was the year that "Uke" worked as a Scout for Bud Selig and the new Milwaukee Brewers. In 1971 Bob Uecker began working on Brewers Radio Broadcasts. He was not the LEAD MAN in 1971, but the fact remains that he has been a part of Brewers radio broadcasts in some capacity for every year but one. This goes in my "Things Every Brewer Fan Should Know." Yes that is right Brewers fans, Bob Uecker has been on the airwaves for every SINGLE YEAR IN BREWER HISTORY except for one! Bob received the Ford C. Frick award in 2003, which means he has a spot in the Broadcasters' Wing of the Baseball Hall of Fame.
Technically the #50 is not "retired." If they do want to use it for a player, they can. For example, the #50 ceremony to honor Uecker on the Miller Park Ring of Honor took place on August 26th, 2005 and since then guys like Chris Spurling, Claudio Vargas, Kameron Loe and Blake Lalli have worn #50 at the major league level.
Bud Selig-#1. The announcement was made on 9-26-14 that #1 would be retired, not just put on the Ring of Honor like Uecker's was. The official ceremony was held for Selig #1 on 4-6-15. In the past, Bud was a minority owner of the Milwaukee Braves. After the Braves moved to Boston, Bud made it possible for several Chicago White Sox games to be played at County Stadium, which was of course without a major league team. From approximately 1965 until 1970, Bud tried unsuccessfully to get an expansion team or any major league team in Milwaukee. In the late part of spring training in 1970, Bud bought the Seattle Pilots out of bankruptcy court and the Brewers were born. On Sept 9th, 1992, he became the interim commissioner of baseball while still actually owning the Brewers. This was the same day as Robin Yount's 3000th hit, a fact every Brewer fan should know. Eventually ownership of the team was transferred to Wendy Selig Prieb, and all the way from 1992 until 1998 Bud was the "acting commissioner." In 1998, Bud officially handed the team over to Wendy. During the time period of 1998 to 2005, Brewers Baseball was in a dreadful state. Ulice Payne and Dean Taylor were among some of the Brewers front office members during the horrible years that took place before Mark Attanasio finally became the owner of the Brewers officially on January 13, 2005. Bud was the "official" MLB commissioner from 1998-2015.
Paul Molitor-#4. Paul's uniform number was retired at County Stadium on 7-11-99. He was inducted in the Baseball Hall of Fame on 7-25-2004.
Paul played for the Crew from 1978 through 1992. As a Brewer he was a 5 Time All Star and he also won two Silver Slugger awards. He finished 2nd in the Rookie of the Year Balloting to Tiger Lou Whitaker. Paul never won an American League MVP as a Brewer, but he received votes in six different years. After the 1992 season, he then went onto Toronto for the 1993 through 1995 seasons, and then finally he went to the Twins starting in 1996 and played through the 1998 season. Incidentally, Molitor left the Brewers after the 1992 season, and Gantner retired after the 1992 season, which means one very key Brewer by the name of Robin Yount was left to play 1993 without his familiar friends. This is also something every Brewer fan should know...
Robin Yount-#19. Yount played from the 1974-1993 in the majors for the Brewers. I do not know what his contract status was at the time, but it would be interesting to know if he had a "gentleman's agreement" to come back for the 1994 season, since Baseball Reference said Robin was a free agent AFTER the 1993 season. He retired in February 1994 as the Brewers were in Spring Training. At County Stadium, Robin had his #19 retired on 5-29-94. Maybe it is a good thing that Robin decided not to play in 1994, since that was a strike season. Last season, in 2014, the Brewers held a ceremony for the 20th anniversary of Robin's retirement. Despite that, I have heard some media members who get paid to cover the Brewers everyday that were not able to even properly say what years Robin Yount played even though he was the face of the franchise. To me it just seems like a fact Brewer fans should know. I have heard some media members and fans alike call him a player that played until the mid to late 1990's, but really he had just two years under Phil Garner, which were 1992 and 1993. Robin won the American League MVP Award in 1982 at Shortstop, and won the award again in 1989 at Centerfield. In his twenty year major league career which started at the age of 18, Robin also was a three time All Star, and he took home 3 Silver Slugger Awards and 1 Gold Glove Award as well. Robin's Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony took place on 7-25-1999.
Rollie Fingers-#34. On August 9th, 1992 Rollie Fingers had his uniform number retired at County Stadium. Highlights in his Brewers career include the fact that he won BOTH the Cy Young AND the MVP awards in the American League as a Brewer in 1981. Rollie had 78 innings pitched in relief that year with an ERA of 1.04 and 28 saves for a team that ultimately made the 1981 playoffs. As a Brewer, he was also a two time All Star, achieving that honor in 1981 and 1982. Ultimately, he was a Brewer through the 1985 season and then retired from baseball after that season. Rollie was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame on August 2nd, 1992.
Hank Aaron-#44. Hank has baseball achievements that are well documented. For instance, he hit 755 home runs in his career and was a member of 21 All Star Teams! He played in the majors for the Milwaukee Braves from 1954 through the 1965 season. In that time in Milwaukee, Hank won an MVP award in 1957, as well as Gold Gloves in the years 1958, 1959, and 1960. When the Braves moved to Atlanta, so did he. However, Hank did come back to play the final two years of his career with the American League Milwaukee Brewers after he came over in a trade. The 1975 and 1976 seasons showed that Hank did not have as much spring in his step, but of course many fans feel the "fade" of Hank is irrelevant compared to all the things he accomplished in baseball. He still is a very well-respected Hall of Famer nonetheless. The Brewers retired his number after the conclusion of the 1976 season, and Hank got his place in the Hall in 1982.
Finally, Jackie Robinson has his number retired across all of Baseball. Jackie broke the color barrier when he was the first African American to appear in the Major Leagues in the year 1947. Jackie's number 42 hangs high up in Miller Park among all the other retired numbers, yet Jackie played years before the Brewers even existed.