On this day in 1983 the Brewers signed Puerto Rican-born pitching prospect Juan Nieves as an amateur free agent. Nieves was only 18 years old but was brilliant in his first season in the minors, posting a 1.30 ERA for low-A Beloit over 12 appearances.
Just three years later Nieves made his major league debut as a member of the 1986 Brewers, posting a 4.92 ERA and working 184.2 innings in his age 21 season. His numbers were only slightly better as a 22-year-old in 1987, but one of his 14 wins that season was the only no-hitter in Brewer franchise history.
Unfortunately, things went downhill for Nieves from there. 1988 was his last major league season before shoulder injuries derailed his career. He was done with affiliated baseball following the 1990 season, and is currently working as a coach for the White Sox.
With help from the B-Ref Play Index, happy birthday today to 2005 Brewer Nelson Cruz. He turns 32.
Today is also the 13th anniversary of a 19-12 Brewer win over the Cubs at Wrigley Field in 1999. We covered that event in this space last year.