On this day in 1969, Jeromy Burnitz was born in Westminster, California. He grew up in Texas and went to college at Oklahoma State before the Mets drafted him in the first round (17th overall pick) in 1990. Burnitz made his big league debut as a Met in 1993 and had a couple of forgettable years both there and in Cleveland before coming to the Brewers in a 1996 trade that sent Kevin Seitzer to the Indians.
Burnitz played five-plus seasons in Milwaukee and was somewhere between good and great in all of them. His best season was 1999, when he hit .270/.402/.561 with 33 home runs in 130 games and started for the NL in his lone All Star Game.
Despite being in Milwaukee only slightly more than five full years, Burnitz is eighth on the Brewer all-time list with 165 home runs (although Ryan Braun will almost certainly pass him this season). Among batters to make at least 3000 plate appearances as a Brewer Burnitz's .362 career OBP ranks fifth, and his .508 slugging percentage is third behind only Ryan Braun and Prince Fielder.
The Brewers sent Burnitz back to the Mets in 2002 as part of a three team, ten player deal that brought Glendon Rusch, Lenny Harris and Alex Ochoa to Milwaukee. Burnitz played five more major league seasons as a member of five different teams before retiring following the 2006 season.
Burnitz turns 43 today. With help from Brewerfan.net and the B-Ref Play Index, we'd also like to wish a happy birthday to:
- Nashville Sound Paul Phillips, who turns 35.
- 1977 Brewer Barry Cort, who turns 56.
- 1964 Milwaukee Brave Ed Bailey, who would have turned 81.
Today is also, of course, the 25th anniversary of Juan Nieves throwing the only no-hitter in Brewer franchise history in 1987. We covered that event in this space last year.