The Brewers acquired one of their greatest third basemen 40 years ago today.
Third base was one of the weakest spots on some weak teams during the Brewers' early seasons in Milwaukee. After trading Tommy Harper following the 1970 season Brewer third basemen combined to hit just .207/.269/.288 in 1971 and .244/.283/.316 in 1972. The Brewers took a step to address that problem 40 years ago today when they made a seven-player trade with the Phillies to acquire Don Money.
Money appeared in 145 games for the Brewers in 1973, hitting .284/.347/.401. He was even better the next year, leading the AL with 704 plate appearances and making his first of four All Star teams. Money was a Brewer for eleven seasons, hitting 134 home runs over 1196 games. He's still among the Brewer all time leaders in hits (sixth, 1168), runs (eighth, 596) and walks (fifth, 440).
With that said, the Phillies didn't miss Money much. The move opened the door for future Hall of Famer Mike Schmidt to play every day at third base, and all he did was hit .267/.380/.527 with 548 home runs over 18 major league seasons.
With help from the B-Ref Play Index, happy birthday today to:
- 1971-72 Brewer Bill Voss, who turns 69.
- Milwaukee native Ken Keltner, who would have turned 96. Keltner played 13 major league seasons between 1937-50, mostly as a member of the Indians.
Seven years ago today Carlos Lee won a Silver Slugger Award in left field, becoming the first Brewer to win the award as a National Leaguer. We covered that event in this space last year.