26 years ago today one of the most notable meteoric rises and falls in Brewer franchise history reached its final conclusion as the organization released pitcher Pete Vuckovich, ending his major league career.
Vuckovich was only 28 but had already pitched for three organizations when the Brewers acquired him from the Cardinals in the 1980 trade that also brought Rollie Fingers and Ted Simmons to Milwaukee. Vuckovich came into his own in Milwaukee, though, leading all of baseball with 14 wins in the strike-shortened 1981 season and winning the American League Cy Young Award as the Brewers reached the 1982 World Series.
Unfortunately, that Cy Young Award was one of the final highlights of Vuke's career. He appeared in just 31 more games over the next four seasons, posting a 4.96 ERA as injuries derailed his career. When the Brewers released him on this day in 1986 he was done with professional baseball.
With help from the B-Ref Play Index, happy birthday today to: