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Today In Brewer History: Happy Birthday, Johnny Schmitz

Johnny Schmitz, via <a href="http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/a/a2/Johnny_Schmitz.jpg">Wikipedia</a>.
Johnny Schmitz, via Wikipedia.

On this day in 1920, Johnny "Bear Tracks" Schmitz was born in Wausau, Wisconsin. He signed his first pro contract in 1938 and, after a few seasons pitching for the American Association Brewers, made his major league debut for the Cubs in 1941.

Schmitz pitched for the Cubs from 1941-42 and again from '46-51, with the three year break in the middle spent serving in World War II. He won 69 games as a Cub over those eight seasons, made two All Star teams and received votes in the NL MVP balloting three times.

The Cubs traded Schmitz to the Dodgers in 1951 and he spent the last six years of his major league career as a journeyman, splitting time between the Dodgers, Yankees, Senators, Reds, Red Sox and Orioles. He finished with 93 career wins in 366 appearances (235 starts) and 1812.2 major league innings.

Schmitz passed away in October, or he would have turned 91 today. With help from the B-Ref Play Index, we'd also like to wish a happy birthday today to 1974-77 Brewer Bob Sheldon. He turns 61.