On this day in 1983, Ryan Braun was born in Mission Hills, California. He went to college at the University of Miami and was drafted by the Brewers with the fifth overall pick in the 2005 draft.
After spending back-to-back summers watching high draft picks wait until the last possible minute to sign, I think I've developed an even greater appreciation for what Braun did: He signed just eleven days after being selected and got right to work in Helena, hitting .341/.383/.585 in his first ten games and earning a near-immediate promotion to low-A West Virginia. Braun's only full season in the minors was 2006 when he hit .289/.357/.514 between Brevard County and Huntsville, and he was batting .342/.418/.701 with ten home runs in 34 games for AAA Nashville when the Brewers called him up to the big leagues on May 25, 2007.
You know the rest from there, of course: Braun won Rookie of the Year in 2007, and has been both an All Star and a Silver Slugger in each of the four seasons since. He's already one of the top ten Brewers of all time in home runs (ninth) and RBI (tenth), and by the end of next season he'll also be in the top ten in hits (currently 12th), runs (currently tied for 12th) and doubles (currently 11th).
Of course, Braun has a lot of time to chase those records: He's under contract with the Brewers through 2020.
- Helena Brewer Mike Strong, who turns 23.
- Seattle Pilot Gary Bell, who turns 75.
- 1965 Milwaukee Brave Dan Osinski, who turns 78.