clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Today In Brewer History: Happy Birthday, Harvey Kuenn

On this day in 1930, Harvey Kuenn was born in West Allis, Wisconsin. After playing in college for the University of Wisconsin, Kuenn signed with the Tigers as an amateur free agent in 1952. He made his major league debut later that same year.

Kuenn got a pretty early start on an impressive major league career: As a 22 year old shortstop in 1953 he led the American League with a career-high 209 hits, was named Rookie of the Year and made the first of his eight consecutive All Star appearances. He would go on to lead the league in hits three more times, doubles three times and won the batting title by hitting .353 in 1959. Despite the fact that he was traded before his 29th birthday, Kuenn is one of just 30 players who have ever appeared in more than 1000 games as a Tiger.

All told, Kuenn played 15 major league seasons before calling it quits in 1966, and finished with 2092 career hits and a .303 batting average.

Kuenn was a Brewer coach for much of the 70's and managed one game as an interim skipper in 1975. Health issues handed him a major setback, though, as he needed heart and stomach surgeries and had his right leg amputated below the knee.

When the Brewers fired Buck Rodgers 47 games into the 1982 season, Kuenn was selected to take his place. Despite his lack of managerial experience the Brewers went 72-43 under him and reached the World Series for the only time in franchise history. Despite the comeback, he managed just one more season.

Kuenn passed away in 1988, or he would have turned 81 today. With help from the B-Ref Play Index we'd also like to wish a happy birthday to Carlos Gomez. He turns 26.