We are still hard at work putting together the All-Brewers Team here. As it sits now, things are going fairly smoothly. But as you have heard in earlier posts, we are in a tough spot for a few positions.
Here’s where you come in.
First off, we are in a pickle with our catchers. Now as you know, Milwaukee is not really a hub of outstanding players at the position, but we did have some excellent players grace us behind the plate in our forty-one years. So let’s take a look at the candidates we brought up. We present the three catchers to you, and you will be able to vote them on to the All-Brewers Team.
Ted Simmons (1981-1985)
Ted was brought to Milwaukee after a thirteen year career in St. Louis. We acquired Teddy in the same trade that brought Rollie Fingers and Pete Vuckovich. During his five years with the Brewers he averaged .262 at the plate with 66 HR’s. He filled in at 1B, 3B and in the Outfield as well, making him a versatile player with great defensive skills (career .987 fielder) and a potent bat. Unfortunately, Simmons laid an egg – or near a dozen of them – during the Brewers playoff appearances, getting only 11 hits in 59 AB’s. That aside, he was certainly one of the pieces that made Milwaukee successful in getting to the postseason, and made a lasting impact in only a short time with the team.
Dave Nilsson (1992-1999)
Dave Nilsson was a career Brewer behind the plate and -like everyone else on this list – played other utility positions for the team. He was signed by Milwaukee as an amateur free agent in 1987, but didn’t see Major League Action for several years. At the time, it probably seemed strange plucking a player out of Australia to come and play baseball in America but the transaction to get Nilsson ended up working well for Milwaukee. Dave was a career .284 hitter for the Crew with 105 HR’s in 8 seasons. He wasn’t necessarily a power guy, but during his tenure in Milwaukee he registered a 10.5 WAR (Wins Above Replacement). That stat is either a reflection of the terrible days the organization had – or much more likely – how important Nilsson was in the Brewers line up.
BJ Surhoff (1987-1995)
William James Surhoff was drafted by Milwaukee out of North Carolina in the 1985 draft. In his nine seasons with the club, he played 704 games behind the plate more than any other Brewer besides Charlie Moore. He had quite a long career, playing 19 seasons in the Majors before calling it quits in 2005. During his tenure for the Brewers, he averaged .274 at the plate and racked up 1064 hits. His performances were always solid both at the plate and at defense. There’s a strong argument to be made that if he did not stay at catcher in his early days in Milwaukee, he easily could have made 3,000 hits.
So there it is, our first (though certainly not the last) reader vote for the All-Time Brewers Team. Let the votes pour in and make your case on the comment board.