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Today In Brewer History: Happy Anniversary, Nelson Cruz

He picked up MLB hit #1 as a Brewer eight years ago today.


On this day in 2005 the Reds crushed the Brewers at Miller Park, scoring multiple runs in four different innings en route to an 11-4 victory. The game was already well out of hand in the seventh inning when rookie outfielder Nelson Cruz entered the contest as a defensive replacement, but he picked up his first major league hit, a double, later in the game. He also scored his first MLB run in the contest.

It feels like a lifetime ago now, but eight years ago Cruz was a pretty anonymous minor leaguer. The Brewers were his third organization, and he'd come to Milwaukee as one of two players dealt for infielder Keith Ginter. He appeared in just eight games as a September callup in 2005, and the hit mentioned above was his only one in seven plate appearances. He wouldn't get back to the big leagues until after being sent to the Rangers as part of the Carlos Lee deal in 2006.

Cruz's career has, of course, grown by leaps and bounds since then. He scuffled out of the gate for Texas but was an All Star in 2009 and again in 2013 and has hit 22 or more homers in five consecutive seasons. Recently, though, he's better known for having been one of the players suspended in the BioGenesis scandal. He'll be a free agent this winter and could be one of the offseason's more interesting stories.

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

Today is also the 112th anniversary of the final game for the 1901 Milwaukee Brewers and the fifth anniversary of Ryan Braun's home run to beat the Cubs and help propel the Brewers to the 2008 Wild Card. We covered those events in this space last year and two years ago.