Today In Brewer History: Happy Birthday, Mark Kotsay

Jamie Squire

One of the most notable scapegoats from the 2011 Brewers turns 37 today.

On this day in 1975 Mark Kotsay was born in Whittier, California. He went to Cal State Fullerton before the Marlins drafted him with the #9 overall pick in 1996. He made his major league debut as a September callup the next year.

In his prime Kotsay was a very good defensive outfielder and productive major league hitter, but he had already appeared in 1624 games as a member of six teams over 14 major league seasons and his best days had largely passed him by when the Brewers signed him as a free agent before the 2011 season.

Once he joined the Brewers Kotsay became something of a lightning rod. He hit just .239/.311/.284 through his first 54 games for Milwaukee, a stretch that ran all the way into July. Ron Roenicke also did him no favors by putting him into the following situations:

  • Allowing him to start a combined 22 games batting second, third or fifth.
  • Playing him in center field over both Nyjer Morgan and Carlos Gomez despite the fact that he had played just five games at the position over the previous two years combined.

Unfortunately, many Brewer fans' lasting memory of Kotsay is one of the latter moments, when Roenicke penciled him into the lineup in center in Game 3 of the 2011 NLCS. Kotsay did homer in that game, but also was unable to reach several balls hit to center field and was picked off second with one of the worst slides you'll ever see.

Kotsay is widely praised as being a good guy to have in the clubhouse, which is probably part of the reason the Padres recently re-signed him despite the fact that he's mostly limited to corner outfield/first base work and has hit just .257/.315/.372 over the last six seasons.

Thanks to the B-Ref Play Index for informing me that Kotsay turns 37 today.

Today is also the ninth anniversary of pitcher Victor Santos signing with the Brewers as a free agent. We covered that event in this space last year.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Brew Crew Ball

You must be a member of Brew Crew Ball to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Brew Crew Ball. You should read them.

Join Brew Crew Ball

You must be a member of Brew Crew Ball to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Brew Crew Ball. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9351_tracker