Rickie Weeks, JJ Hardy and Trevor Hoffman are being inducted into the Milwaukee Brewers’ Wall of Honor. The Brewers announced the new honorees with plans to recognize their contributions to the franchise in August.
Weeks and Hardy were drafted and developed by the Brewers. Both were key parts of the team’s resurgence beginning around 2006. The two served as offensive staples up the middle for the Crew and, although often critiqued by fans, had fantastic careers at The Keg.
Weeks was the first of the two middle infielders to debut, getting a cup of coffee in 2003 when he recorded just 14 plate appearances. Once he started playing full-time with the Crew in 2005, he stayed with the team until 2014. The second baseman accumulated 18.6 WAR and 108 wRC+.
The highlight of his career was his great stretch from 2009-2011 when Weeks hit .269/.357/.472 and the fourth-highest wRC+ among 2B at 126. He was only behind Robinson Cano, Chase Utley and Ben Zobrist during that time period. Rickie also was an All-Star in 2011, the only time he was selected to the team in his career.
Weeks was constantly criticized by fans and journalists for his defense and inability to stay healthy. He left the team after his contract expired in 2014, finishing his career playing with three other teams from 2015-2017.
Hardy played with Milwaukee for less time but was no less important. Known as a defensive wizard, the young shortstop pleasantly surprised many fans with his offense when he arrived to he majors. He suffered a major injury that ended his second season after only 37 games.
When Hardy returned in 2007, he was sensational, hitting his way onto the All-Star team and first-half MVP talk. He cooled down, but still finished with a very impressive line of .277/.323/.463. The heartthrob then ramped it up in 2008, when he hit .283/.343/.478. However, Hardy’s production plummeted into the abysmal category in 2009. After that season and the arrival of then top-prospect Alcides Escobar, Hardy was traded to the Minnesota Twins. After leaving the team, Hardy eventually put together a memorable second act with the Baltimore Orioles. He earned three gold gloves, another trip to the All-Star Game and a Silver Slugger.
From 2005 to 2009, Hardy earned an 11 WAR for the Brew Crew. He helped the team make the playoffs for the first time in over 20 years. Aside from that direct impact, he has a lasting impact on Milwaukee. Hardy was traded for Carlos Gomez. Gomez would later be traded for Domingo Santana, Josh Hader, Brett Phillips and Adrian Houser. Hader is now one of the most dominant pitchers in baseball, Santana became Ben Gamel, Phillips brought Moose to Milwaukee and Houser is still a high-potential arm in the farm system.
Finally, Hoffman truly made a pit stop in Milwaukee to finish out his career. He started with the team in 2009, where he had a masterful season. Closing out games for the Milwaukee Nine, Hoffman pitched 54 innings in 55 games and only had a 1.84 ERA. When he came back for his last season in Milwaukee, and his career, he wasn’t the same pitcher. With a 5.89 ERA, he lost his closer’s job to John Axford. He still locked down save #600, the first ever major leaguer to accomplish the feat, in the 2010 season.
Since departing, Hoffman has been named a Hall of Famer and resumed his working relationship with the San Diego Padres. Still, as a major force for the team in 2009 and for recording a milestone moment in MLB history, Hoffman deserves the recognition.
The three players will be added to the wall on Aug. 9. They will be the 66th players to receive a spot on the Miller Park Wall of Honor.