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Today In Brewer History: Happy Anniversary, Mike Caldwell

On this day in 1977 the Brewers got a bargain on a pitcher who would go on to be a cornerstone of the team for a long time. They acquired pitcher Mike Caldwell from the Reds for a pair of minor leaguers, neither of whom ever reached the majors.

Caldwell, meanwhile, had posted a 3.95 ERA over seven major league seasons. He was 28 and already pitching for his fourth team when he joined the Crew, but it didn't take him long to make himself welcome. He won 22 games for the Brewers in 1978, leading all of baseball with 23 complete games and pitching 293.1 innings.

Despite striking out just three batters per nine innings over his eight seasons in Milwaukee Caldwell posted a 3.74 ERA, won 102 games and pitched 1604.2 innings. Only Jim Slaton (over 2000 innings) pitched more than Caldwell as a Brewer.

With help from the B-Ref Play Index, happy birthday today to:

  • Michael Fiers, who turns 27.
  • 2011 Brewer Jeremy Reed, who turns 31.
  • 1963-65 Milwaukee Brave Ty Cline, who turns 73.
  • Beloit College alum Pid Purdy, who would have turned 108. Purdy played four major league seasons between 1926-29 as a member of the Reds and White Sox.

Today is also the fourth anniversary of Scott Baker becoming the first Twin ever to strike out four batters in an inning in 2008, with the Brewers winning the game 4-2 anyway. We covered that event in this space last year.