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The Milwaukee Brewers were a minor league baseball team that played in the American Association from 1902 to 1952. The team’s home colors were Red and Navy blue and their logo was the famous beer barrel man in team colors.
How did the Brewers Start up?
The Milwaukee Brewers were formed in 1902 following the relocation of another team also known as the Brewers to St. Louis. There had been several teams with the name Brewers in Milwaukee since the 1880s but this current iteration was the only one to last more than a few years. The team was based at the Borchert Field ballpark which had been constructed in 1888.
The Milwaukee Brewers in Competition
The Brewers were a very successful team during their 51 year stint in Milwaukee. They won the American Association Pennant 13 times. Their first triumph came in 1913 and they were at it again in 1914. During both years, they won the post season minor league championship which preceded the Junior World Series by defeating the Denver Grizzlies of the Western League 4-2 and the Birmingham Barons of the Southern Association respectively. They would have to wait more than 20 years for another pennant, which they won in 1936.
That year they won their first Junior World Series, which pitted the winner of the American League against the winner of the International League. The team won three consecutive pennants between 1943 and 1945 before winning the World Series in 1947, beating the Syracuse by four games to three. Their level dropped somewhat when they started a farm team arrangement with the Boston Braves. They recovered to some extent at the beginning of the fifties as they won the 1951 and 1952 league championships. They beat Montreal to the 1951 Junior World series by four games to two.
Milwaukee Brewers’ most Notable Moments
In 1941, the team was purchased in part by Bill Veeck, heralding a period of success for the team but also turning Borchert Field into the stage of some of the most interesting promotional sideshows. Veeck would give away pets to fans, had morning games scheduled for night shift workers in the war and allowed weddings to be held on home plate.
On August 28 1943, which was coach Grimm’s birthday, Veeck’s present was a left hand pitcher, Julio Acosta whom the team desperately needed. Acosta, who Veeck had secretly signed from the Piedmont League’s Richmond was wheeled out to home plate inside a large cardboard cake and popped out to the pleasant surprise of Grimm and the fans. Aside from the unending gimmicks, Veeck had a movable fence installed at Borchert Field which would be moved when playing against teas with good hitters. He would also have groundkeepers flood the infield to give the team an advantage over spry opponents
Milwaukee Brewers most Notable Players
Julio Acosta-signed in 1943 satisfy the Brewers’ need for a left hand pitcher. Despite only playing for part of the 1943 season, he led the braves in wins, appearances and innings pithed. He pitched 276 innings, made 120 runs and allowed 273 runs. The Cuban was instrumental in the Brewer’s three consecutive pennant wins between 1943 and 1945.
Bill Nagel was also an important member of the squad during the excellent run from 1943 to 1945. He led the team in 1944 with 117 hits, and 23 homeruns to help them claim the pennant.
Other notable players include Dick Culler, Ed Walsh, Stoney McGlynn and Nick Altrock.
What Happened to the Milwaukee Brewers?
Despite the success of the Brewers, the city of Milwaukee had always coveted a major league outfit. In 1952, Bill Veeck, who had previously owned the Brewers tried to bring the St. Louis Browns back to Milwaukee but his request was denied by the American league mainly due to the lack of a befitting ballpark. In order to increase their appeal to major league clubs, the city of Milwaukee built a new ballpark, the Milwaukee County Stadium before the 1953 season. The Boston Braves, owned by Lou Perini moved to Milwaukee.
The Major League team was an immediate hit and this cut into the Brewers’ fan base. To avoid the competition, the Brewers relocated to Toledo, Ohio and were renamed the Toledo Mud Hens. A new iteration of the Brewers would return to town in 1970, inheriting the legacy and logo of the relocated franchise. This came after the Braves moved to Atlanta in 1966 and Bud Selig bought the Seattle Pilots, the franchise that was to become the new Brewers.