Today In Brewer History: Farewell, American League

On this day in 1997, Major League Baseball made a long-discussed move official: After 29 seasons as an AL team, the Brewers moved to the National League.

The 1997 Brewers went 78-83 in the AL Central, finishing eight games behind the division champion Indians, two back of the second place White Sox and well ahead of the Twins and Royals. Their move made room for the Tigers to shift into the division, which they won for the first time in 2011. The Brewers, meanwhile, became the sixth team in the NL Central. They got off to a 15-6 start and led the division by 2.5 games in April of 1998 but finished 74-88, 28 games back and in fifth place. They also won their new division for the first time in 2011.

The move meant the end of the DH in non-interleague games for the Crew: Julio Franco was their last DH in an AL game on September 28, 1997 and Cal Eldred was their first pitcher to bat in an NL game on March 31, 1998.

Interestingly enough, Bud Selig called the Brewers' move Phase One of a realignment process. We still haven't seen the later phases.

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