Cirillo's 1999 Topps card, #89 - Author's personal collection.
With all due respect to Paul Molitor and Don Money, it's possible this '90's and '00s Brewer was the franchise's greatest third baseman.
Jeffrey Howard Cirillo may have played for the Brewers during some lean times, but that doesn't change the fact that he's arguably the franchise's best third baseman.
Cirillo was an eleventh round pick out of Southern Cal in 1991 and by 1994 he was in the majors, appearing in 39 games in the strike-shortened season. From 1995 to 1999 he was a fixture at third base for the Brewers, appearing in 750 of the team's 790 games and hitting .311/.388/.457.
Cirillo's best season as a Brewer was likely 1996, when he hit .325/.391/.504. He made his only Brewer All Star appearance in 1997, though, and posted OBPs over .400 in 1998 and 1999.
Following Cirillo's All Star appearance in 1997, this was his 1998 Topps card, #45:
And here he is a year later on Topps #89:
Following the 1999 season Cirillo was traded to the Rockies, where he was an All Star again in 2000. His career unraveled a bit when the Rockies traded him to Seattle in 2002, but he came back to Milwaukee to have a couple of good years as a bench player in 2005-06.
Cirillo is one of just three players in Brewer franchise history who have appeared in 500 or more games at third base, and has a higher career OPS than each of the other two:
Cirillo is also eleventh on the Brewer all-time list with 1000 career hits, seventh with 217 doubles and 12th with 374 walks.
With help from the B-Ref Play Index, we'd like to wish a happy birthday today to:
- 1991 Brewer Jim Olander, who turns 50.
- 1970-71 Brewer Ted Savage, who turns 76. We covered his birthday in Today In Brewer History last year.
After over 500 installments spanning two seasons and a full offseason, there are some days where I've exhausted all of the available content for Today In Brewer History. Brewers A-Z is a supplemental feature to help fill in the gaps in my historical calendar. You can see past installments in the series