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Today In Brewer History: Happy Birthday, Alex Grammas

The sixth manager in Brewer history turns 87 today.

On this day in 1926 Alex Grammas was born in Birmingham, Alabama. He was already 23 when the White Sox signed him to his first pro contract in 1949 and 28 when he made his big league debut with the 1954 Cardinals. His rookie season may actually have been his best one, as he hit .264/.335/.342 as a middle infielder with career highs for hits (106) and runs (57).

All told Grammas played ten major league seasons and appeared in 913 games as a member of four teams. After his playing days he spent multiple seasons coaching for the Pirates and Reds before being named the sixth manager in Brewer franchise history (replacing then-interim manager Harvey Kuenn) in 1976.

Grammas' teams struggled mightily during his two seasons in Milwaukee, going 66-95 in 1976 and 67-95 in 1977 and limping home with a pair of sixth place finishes. His departure following the 1977 season preceded one of the greatest runs in Brewer franchise history, as the team posted the first of six consecutive winning records in 1978. An offense that had scored 570 and 639 runs in Grammas' two seasons set a then-franchise record by plating 804 runs in the first year under George Bamberger.

Thanks to the B-Ref Play Index for reminding me that Grammas turns 87 today. We'd also like to wish a happy birthday to:

Today is also the 15th anniversary of one of the biggest days of Jose Valentin's career, as he hit three home runs in a 7-1 Brewer win over the Marlins. We covered that event in this space two years ago.