Today In Brewer History: Happy Anniversary, Cecil Cooper

On this day in 1976, the Brewers pulled off one of the greatest trades in franchise history. They dealt slugging first baseman George Scott and recently acquired outfielder Bernie Carbo to the Red Sox for first baseman Cecil Cooper. Both Scott and Carbo were former Red Sox, returned to Boston.

At the time, it had to be difficult for the Brewers to stomach giving up Scott. He was one year removed from leading the American League with 36 home runs and 109 RBI in 1975, and had won six consecutive Gold Gloves at first base. He's still 15th in Brewer franchise history with 115 home runs, and at the time he was the franchise's all time leader. He hit 33 more in his first season back in Boston.

Cooper, however, would go one to be one of the greatest players in Brewer franchise history. His OPS improved in each of his first four seasons in Milwaukee, topping out in 1980 when he hit .352/.387/.539 with an All Star appearance (one of five), a Gold Glove (one of two), a Silver Slugger award (one of three) and a top five finish in AL MVP voting (one of three).

All told Scott played slightly more than two more seasons as a Red Sox, while Cooper spent eleven as a Brewer. Among the Brewers with at least 4000 career plate appearances only Paul Molitor has a better batting average than Cooper's .302, and only Prince Fielder and Geoff Jenkins had a higher slugging percentage than his .470.

Today is also the first anniversary of the deal that brought Shaun Marcum from Toronto in exchange for Brett Lawrie. That deal was notable in its own right, but I think this one was more so.

With help from the B-Ref Play Index, happy birthday today to Seattle Pilot Freddie Velazquez. He turns 74.

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