On this day in 2006, the Brewers welcomed back an old friend for a second tour in Milwaukee. Longtime Whitefish Bay resident Craig Counsell, who had played 140 games for the Brewers in 2004, signed a two year, $6 million dollar deal to return.
The best season of Counsell's career came immediately after he left Milwaukee the first time: In 2005 as a member of the Diamondbacks he played in a career high 150 games and hit .256/.350/.375, good for 3.1 rWAR. Counsell's second best season, however, came in 2009 as a Brewer when he was already 38 years old.
Counsell has played in Milwaukee through five seasons and four contracts in his second run as a Brewer, but it's likely his time as an active major leaguer has come to an end. He hit just .178/.280/.223 in 2011, and Doug Melvin has told reporters he doesn't plan to offer a contract to the utility infielder for 2012. The odds are pretty good Counsell will coach somewhere next season, either with the Brewers or as a member of Dale Sveum's staff in Chicago.
With help from the B-Ref Play Index, happy birthday today to 1998 Brewer Bob Hamelin. He turns 44.