On this day in 1970, Mike Matheny was born in Columbus, Ohio. After a three year collegiate career at Michigan the Brewers drafted him in the eighth round of the 1991 draft, two picks after the Twins selected Brad Radke (40.9 career rWAR) and six picks before the Mariners took Derek Lowe (31.7 rWAR and counting). Matheny spent parts of four seasons in the minors before being called up midseason in 1994.
Matheny is likely better remembered as a Cardinal but he played parts of five seasons in Milwaukee, hitting .231/.278/.334 but playing plus defense. He left as a free agent and spent one year in Toronto before joining St. Louis, where he hit slightly better (.245/.304/.339) and won three Gold Gloves.
Matheny's career was ended early by concussion issues but he still managed to catch 1285 games in his career, the 52nd most in major league history. Over 400 of those games came as a Brewer, the fourth most in franchise history.
Matheny turns 41 today. With help from the B-Ref Play Index, we'd also like to wish a happy birthday to:
- 1989 Brewer Jeff Peterek, who turns 48.
- 1988 Brewer Jeffrey Leonard, who turns 56.
- 1962 Milwaukee Brave Ken Aspromonte, who turns 80.