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Today In Brewer History: Happy Anniversary, R.A. Dickey

Before he was a Cy Young Award winner or a knuckleballer, the former first round pick was a Brewer minor leaguer in 2007.

Tom Szczerbowski

The Brewers have taken a lot of heat over the years for their relative struggles when it comes to developing pitching. You have to wonder how that criticism might have changed, though, if a future Cy Young Award winner hadn't slipped through their fingers.

On this day in 2007 the Brewers signed 32-year-old pitcher R.A. Dickey to a minor league deal. Dickey was a former first round pick of the Rangers but had struggled mightily in the majors, posting a 5.72 ERA over 77 career appearances in parts of five seasons.

Dickey went on to split the 2007 season between the rotation and bullpen for AAA Nashville, posting a 3.72 ERA over 169.1 innings. He never appeared in a game as a Brewer and left the organization as a minor league free agent after the season.

The Brewers had no way of knowing, of course, that Dickey would go on to perfect the knuckleball and post a 2.95 ERA over 616.2 innings over the last three seasons as a Met. They probably never would have guessed he'd be the 2012 NL Cy Young Award winner or, at 38 years old, be so valuable the Blue Jays traded multiple top prospects for him. But it's fun to think about how things might have changed if they had known.

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

Today is also the 35th anniversary of the Brewers drafting reliever Doug Jones in the 1978 January secondary draft. We covered that event in this space last year.