DETROIT, MI - AUGUST 18: J.J. Hardy #2 of the Baltimore Orioles tags out Andy Dirks #12 of the Detroit Tigers during a fifth inning steal attempt at Comerica Park on August 18, 2012 in Detroit, Michigan. Baltimore won the game 3-2. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
On this day in 1982 James Jerry "J.J." Hardy was born in Tucson, Arizona. He was 18 years old when the Brewers made him the #56 overall pick in the 2001 draft, and four years later he was a full time player in his first major league season in 2005.
Hardy appeared in 571 games over five seasons as a Brewer despite missing most of the 2006 season due to injury and briefly being sent back to the minors in 2009. He was a .262/.323/.428 hitter for the Crew, and represented Milwaukee in (to date) the only All Star Game of his career in 2007.
By the end of the 2009 season the Brewers faced a dilemma: Hardy was coming off his worst major league season and top prospect Alcides Escobar was ready to fill the position. As such, the Brewers traded Hardy to the Twins for Carlos Gomez. Hardy struggled in his lone season in Minnesota but was great for the Orioles last season, hitting .269/.310/.491 with a career-high 30 home runs.
Unfortunately, Hardy's bat has cooled back down in 2012. He's hitting .227/.274/.374 for Baltimore this year, good for a career-low .648 OPS.
- 2004-10 Brewer Chris Capuano, who turns 34.
- 1987 Brewer Mark Ciardi, who turns 51.
- Ron Roenicke, who turns 56. We covered his birthday in this space last year.
- 1980-83 Brewer and 2003-08 Brewer manager Ned Yost, who turns 58.
- 1979-80 Brewer Paul Mitchell, who turns 63.
- John Boles, a 2003 inductee into the Appleton Baseball Hall of Fame, who turns 64.