The 1992 Brewers won 92 games and finished just behind the eventual World Series champion Blue Jays in the AL East. Following that season, though, they posted a losing record in each of their next 14 campaigns. The events of this day in 1992 are part of the reason why.
If you haven't already guessed, today is the 19th anniversary of Paul Molitor signing a free agent contract with the Blue Jays, ending his 15 year career in Milwaukee. As a first baseman/DH in 1992 he hit .320/.389/.461 and made his fifth All Star game appearance. In his first year in Toronto he improved upon all those numbers, hitting .332/.402/.509 with a career high 22 home runs and 111 RBI as the Blue Jays won their second consecutive Fall Classic.
Things probably didn't have to end this way for Molitor. He left when Sal Bando and the Brewers offered the future Hall of Famer just $2.5 million for the 1993 season, a $900,000 pay cut. Molitor instead made $13 million over three seasons as a Blue Jay. If Bando had been run out of town on the day the contract was signed, the franchise probably would have been better off.
Molitor played out the three year deal in Toronto and played three more years in Minnesota before calling it a career.
With help from the B-Ref Play Index, happy birthday today to:
- 1999 Brewer Carl Dale, who turns 39.
- 1991-93 Brewer Jim Austin, who turns 48.
- 1989-90 Brewer Billy Bates, who also turns 48.