On this day in 1986 pitcher Pete Ladd signed as a free agent with the Mariners, effectively finalizing the end of his Brewer career. The team had released him about two months earlier.
Ladd is probably best known for his unlikely heroics on the 1982 World Series team: Despite the fact that he had made just 16 major league appearances during the season, Ladd was pressed into duty as the Brewer closer with Rollie Fingers out for the playoffs and allowed just one hit and no runs over four postseason innings. He picked up the save in two of the Brewers' three wins in the ALCS.
With Fingers still on the shelf for the 1983 season, Ladd remained in the closer role and saved 25 games while posting a 2.55 ERA and 0.932 WHIP. Those 25 saves were the fifth most in the AL and at the time the fourth highest total in Brewer franchise history. When Fingers returned in 1984 Ladd faded back into obscurity, posting a 5.00 ERA over his final two seasons in Milwaukee.
Interestingly enough, the #1 entry on Ladd's list of comparable pitchers at B-Ref is another former Brewer: Matt Wise.
With help from the B-Ref Play Index, happy birthday today to:
- 1975-76 Brewer Bill Sharp, who turns 62.
- Baraboo, WI native Len Koenecke, who would have turned 108. Koenecke played three major league seasons between 1932-35 as a member of the Giants and Dodgers.