Today In Brewer History: Introducing Ben Oglivie

The 1978 Brewers were already 1-0 entering this day 34 years ago, having beaten the Orioles 11-3 at home on Opening Day. They improved to 2-0 with a 16-3 win and a little bit of that offensive outburst came off the bat of outfielder Ben Oglivie, making his Brewer debut.

Oglivie had played seven seasons in the majors before coming to Milwaukee in one of the best trades in franchise history: He was acquired from the Tigers in a deal that sent Jim Slaton to Detroit temporarily, as Slaton spent one year there before returning as a free agent.

Oglivie went 2-for-5 with a walk and scored two runs as the DH in his Brewer debut, and just kept hitting from there. He posted a .303/.370/.497 line in his first season as a Brewer, and hit .277/.345/.461 with 176 home runs in 1149 games for Milwaukee overall.

Oglivie was also part of arguably the biggest turnaround in franchise history: The Brewers won 68, 66 and 67 games in the three years before his arrival and won 93, 95, 86, 62 (in a strike-shortened season) and 95 in his first five years in Milwaukee.

With help from the B-Ref Play Index, happy birthday today to 2003 Brewer Matt Ford. He turns 31.

Today is also the third anniversary of Yovani Gallardo becoming the first pitcher ever to hit a home run against Randy Johnson as the Brewers beat the Giants 4-2. We covered that event in this space last year.

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