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Russ Snyder, veteran outfielder, kicks off this week's list by donning #7 during the 1970 season. Snyder debuted with the Kansas City Athletics but was traded to the Orioles after two seasons. He stayed with Baltimore for seven seasons, winning one World Series, but was traded shortly before the team made its run of three straight pennants. After a short stint in Chicago and a year and a half in Cleveland, Snyder finished his career by hitting .232/.270/.315 in 124 at bats for the inaugural Brewers.
In 1971, #7 was assigned to first baseman Frank Tepedino. Selected in the third round of the first amateur draft by the Baltimore Orioles, Tepedino was selected seventeen months later in the 1966 Rule 5 draft by the New York Yankees. After four years in their farm system with brief callups to the majors, Tepedino was acquired by the Brewers in exchange for outfielder Danny Walton. Tepedino showed why he couldn't stick with the Bronx Bombers, hitting a paltry .198 with just two home runs in 106 at bats. Despite all that, the Yankees bought him back in 1972 and he later spent a couple seasons playing for Atlanta.
The next season, #7 was an involuntarily popular number shared between two players. The first to wear it in 1972 was infielder Ron Clark. Clark actually was a member of the 1969 Seattle Pilots, but was traded to Oakland in January 1970. At the time of that trade, he was a career .187/.245/.244 hitter over 505 plate appearances. Two years later, he was traded from Oakland to Milwaukee, where he went 10 for 54 with two home runs (40% of his career total) in just 22 games. That power surge didn't help him stick with the team, as he was traded in mid-July for his #7 replacement, fellow futility infielder Syd O'Brien. O'Brien spent just four seasons in the majors, splitting his career between four different teams. In 31 games down the stretch in 1972, he hit .207 with 1 home run. He finished his major league career with a .230/.273/.347 line and exactly 100 RBI.
Follow the jump for players you may actually know!
The 1973 season was the beginning of some stability for uniform #7. At the end of October 1972, the Brewers traded four pitchers, including Jim Lonborg and Ken Sanders, to the Phillies in exchange for John Vuckovich and Don Money. Money had spent four full seasons in the majors at the time of the season but was fresh off two lackluster years at the plate. His bat bounced back in Milwaukee, however, and he was an all-star in four of his first six Brewers seasons. After the 1978 season, he transitioned to a reserve role but stayed with the Brewers through 1983. Over his eleven seasons in Milwaukee, Money appeared in 1196 games, amassed 1168 hits and 134 home runs, and put up a .270/.338/.421 batting line. Since 1998, he has managed in the team's minor league system, currently skippering AAA Nashville. On a personal note, my baseball glove is a vintage Don Money model, passed down from my father.
After one year in mothballs, #7 came out of the storage closet to adorn the back of outfielder Paul Householder. In 1985, Householder rapped out 11 home runs in 299 at bats en route to a .258/.320/.418 line while splitting time between center and right field. His bat went dormant in 1986, however, and he was demoted by the middle of June. He resurfaced briefly with Houston in 1987 but was done in the majors thereafter.
After Householder was cut from the team, the Brewers promoted 1982 first round pick Dale Sveum to the majors. After playing third base for much of the 1986 season, he moved to his left and started at shortstop in 1987 and 1988. In 1987, his game-winning home run on Easter Sunday capped a dramatic comeback and pushed the team to 12-0. Unfortunately for Sveum and the team, his 1988 season was cut short by a gruesome collision with teammate Darryl Hamilton. A fractured leg cost him the rest of the season and all of 1989. He returned for two more seasons in a bench role before moving on to other teams. He won a championship ring with the 1998 Yankees before pursuing a coaching career. He joined the Brewers coaching staff in 2006, served as interim manager for the final 12 games and playoffs in 2008, and enters 2011 as the team's hitting coach.
In 1994, the Brewers traded outfielder Tom Brunansky to the Boston Red Sox in exchange for veteran catcher Dave Valle. Valle appeared in all of sixteen games over two months with the team but hit a remarkable .389/.522/.639 (14-36, 9 BB, 1 HR) over that time. He spent two more seasons in the majors with the Rangers.
On June 30, 1996, Danny Perez made his major league debut by taking over left field in a game against the Toronto Blue Jays. A 21st round pick in 1992, Perez worked his way through the Brewers farm system for his shot at the majors. He spent all of one week on the major league roster, starting one game and going 0 for 4 at the plate. He was sent back to the minors and finished 1996 with a poor .187/.302/.242 line at AAA New Orleans. That performance resulted in his release.
In 1993, the Brewers selected Brian Banks with their second round pick. He made his major league debut in September 1996 and spent the next two seasons bouncing between AAA and the majors while playing behind the plate and in both the infield and outfield corners. In 1999, he stuck with the team all season, backing up catcher and first base. He hit .242 with 5 home runs and 6 stolen bases. For all that, he was released at the end of spring training in 2000. He later resurfaced with the Marlins but was done in the majors after 2003.
In 1999, the Brewers planned on replacing departed first baseman John Jaha with free agent signing Sean Berry. Berry started off well, hitting a 9th inning home run that proved to be the difference in an Opening Day victory. Unfortunately, that was the high point of his season as his batting average tumbled to .228 and he finished the season with just two home runs. An extremely slow start to the 2000 season led to his release. From 2006-2010, he was the Astros hitting coach. On a personal note, I was going through some of my Brewers memorabilia and found a 1999 program signed by Berry, so that's cool.
In 2001, the Brewers brought in two aged veterans. One, Devon White, took over the starting center field job. The other, Tony Fernandez, fresh off a year in Japan, backed up third base. Fernandez spent six weeks with the Brewers, hitting .281 in 28 games, including thirteen starts at the hot corner before being designated for assignment. He finished the year with Toronto (his fourth stint with the Blue Jays) before retiring. He remains the Blue Jays all-time hits leader and was inducted into the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame in 2008.
After going with an old player, the Brewers assigned #7 to a young one. On June 15, 2001, Alex Sanchez made his major league debut in center field. Known primarily for his speed, he wound up hitting .206 (14-68) with six steals in 30 games that season. In 2002, he hit .289 and stole 37 bases while getting caught 14 times. He was traded to Detroit at the end of May 2003 but still managed to lead the American League in times caught stealing and errors in CF that season. After two more seasons of flashy but "empty" .320+ batting averages and abysmal stolen base success rates and the dubious distinction of being the first major leaguer suspended for steroid use, he was out of the majors.
The Brewers once again issued #7 to a veteran player in 2002. Second baseman and 1996 All Star Eric Young joined the Brewers that season. On a team that ultimately lost 106 games, he was one of the not-totally-awful spots. He hit .280 in 138 games, stole 31 bases, and struck out only 38 times (against 39 walks). He underwent a renaissance of sorts the next season, setting a career high with 15 home runs while stealing 25 bases and hitting .260. Perhaps fittingly for a veteran displaying sudden power, he was traded to the Giants in August. He ultimately hung on in the majors through the 2006 season.
In 2005, the Brewers' 2nd round pick from 2001 made his major league debut on Opening Day. J.J. Hardy took the starting shortstop job and, despite struggling mightily to start the year, finished strong to end up with a respectable .247/.327/.384 batting line. Though not fleet of foot, his instincts and positioning made him an excellent defender in Milwaukee. A lingering ankle injury cost him most of 2006 but he returned to make his first All Star appearance in 2007 and played at the same level in 2008. In 2009, he struggled offensively, culminating in a controversial demotion to AAA that exactly coincided with the amount of service time necessary to delay his free agency a year. After that messy transaction, a trade was pretty much a foregone conclusion and he was shipped to Minnesota in exchange for outfielder Carlos Gomez. Hardy enters 2011 suiting up for his third team (Baltimore) in as many seasons.
On August 9, 2010, the Brewers traded veteran Jim Edmonds to Cincinnati so he could make one final championship run. In return they received outfielder Chris Dickerson. After a fast start to his career with six home runs in the final month of 2008, his bat developed into a question mark. Dickerson didn't impress in his late 2010 audition, hitting just .208 in 53 at bats, including 15 hitless at bats in September. He retains #7 going into 2011.