SBN Wisconsin Hall of Fame Nomination #8. Cecil Cooper

Cecil Cooper was born on December 20th, 1949 in Brenham Texas. In 1968 the Boston Red Sox selected the left-handed Cooper in the 6th round of the draft. After the 1970 season Cooper was selected by the Cardinals in the Rule V draft, but he was returned to the Red Sox in April of 1971.

In September of 1971, the Red Sox would call up Cooper, and he would get his first AB on September 8th, grounding out against NY Yankee pitcher Jack Aker. Three days later, Cooper would pick up his first MLB hit pinch-hitting against Detroit Tigers pitcher Joe Coleman. Interestingly, future Brewer teammate Ben Oglive would be called into pinch-hit after Cooper. Two season later on September 7th, 1973 Cooper would pick up his first MLB HR against the Tiger's Bob Miller.

From 1974-1976, Cooper would become the Red Sox starting 1st baseman and compiled a solid .287/.326/.458/.784 line. In 1975, Cooper would play in the post-season for the first time. He batted .400 against the A's in the ALCS, ending the A's quest for a "four-peat", however against the Reds, Cooper struggled getting only 1 hit (double) in 19 ABs. After the 1976 season Cecil Cooper would be traded to the Milwaukee Brewers for All-Star first baseman George Scott and Bernie Carbo.

In 1977 Cecil Cooper would become the Brewers fixture at first base, as he played in 160 games. In 1979 Cooper would lead the AL in doubles (44), win his first of two Gold Glove awards and would make his first of five All-Star appearances as a Brewer. 1980 would mark Cooper's best year as a hitter, as he scorched a .352 batting average into the books, following George Brett's .390 effort. Cooper would also lead the AL in hits with 219 in 1980 -- a mark that is still the most collected by a Milwaukee Brewer in a season.

Cooper would return to the post-season in 1981, as the Brewers faced off against the Yankees. The following year Cooper would hit a homerun in a losing effort, for the Brewers in the 1982 World Series against the StL Cardinals. In the ALCS against the Angels in 1982, Cooper would hit one of the most memorable singles in County Stadium history, when he drove in two runs, with a game-winning single against Luis Sanchez.

In 1983 Cooper would lead the AL in RBIs with 126, a franchise record that would stand until Prince Fielder broke it in 2009. Cecil Cooper would also win the Roberto Clemente Award in 1983, the only Brewer to ever win the award.

After Cooper retired in 1987, he retired with a .302/.339/.470/.809 career line as a Milwaukee Brewer. He collected 1815 hits and 201 HRs. Cooper would go on to work for the Brewers in several capacities as a coach and manager for the Brewers after he retired, including managing the Brewers AAA affiliate in Indianapolis from 2003-2004. In 2007 Cooper would replace Houston Astros manager Phil Garner as their manager, and he would hold that position until 2009.

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