Don’t panic, he’s not leaving Milwaukee. That said, it’s not everyday a player, manager or even parts of management inside the team make it into the Hall of Fame, but Doug Melvin has. Oh, that’s in Canada of course. Being from Ontario, I’m sure Melvin appreciates the honor. The Brewers’ own GM Doug Melvin has been inducted into the Canadian Hall of Fame. On June 23, Melvin will be formally inducted, alongside former Expos‘ player Rusty Staub and former pitcher Rheal Cormier.
It’s actually kind of ironic that I read this because I had planned on writing an article about ‘what current Brewers may be Hall of Fame material someday’. Well, I guess this one takes the cake for now. Hiring Doug Melvin was honestly one of the best decisions the Brewers could have made in the past ten years. Though his beginning in Milwaukee was rough, what was great and still is great about Melvin is how he was able to scout out talent. Guys like Prince Fielder, J.J. Hardy, Corey Hart and Rickie Weeks were all scouted out by Melvin, and they’ve all become prominent forces in baseball today.
Milwaukee has had a lot of up and down seasons since 2002, but Melvin restructured the team in ways so that it wouldn’t collapse again. At the end of the 2006 season, Melvin made crucial pitching decisions by letting guys like Doug Davis and Jeff Cirillo go, but brought in Jeff Suppan and Claudio Vargas. Some may have called that tactic risky, but 2007 would bring a whole lot of change to Milwaukee going forward. Ryan Braun came along in 2007 and won Rookie of the Year. In 2008, for the first time since 1982, the Brewers would go on to make the playoffs.
2009 was deemed to be one of the darkest years thus far in the past decade of Brewers’ baseball. CC Sabathia was gone, the team could not carry the momentum from 2008 and the club fell below .500. The two positives however were the signing of closer Trevor Hoffman and Prince Fielder setting the all-time franchise record for RBIs. 2010 was somewhat of a leap in the right direction. Now granted, their final record was 77-85 on the year, but the Brewers did manage to resign Doug Davis, sign free agent Randy Wolf and see Trevor Hoffman get his 600th save. The club also got the distinct achievement of being the only team in baseball to have three players have 100+ RBIs, thanks to Ryan Braun, Casey McGehee and Corey Hart.
Now, last season is where everything completely changed. The Brewers said hello to a new manager in Ron Roenicke, two new starting pitchers in Zack Greinke and Shaun Marcum and a mystery in what would come from the new closer, John Axford. This beginning was something most Brewers fans wanted, a chance to start the season and end it positively. Doug Melvin was hard at work during the off season, making sure his club would succeed. On September 26, 2011, the Brewers would clinch the NL Central and end the year 96-66, the best record in franchise history. Though we all know how the postseason tragically ended in the NLCS, the Brewers have nothing to be ashamed of, especially Doug Melvin. For years past, it seemed every year was going to be a trial and error year, but eventually, the talent would end up breaking through. Alongside becoming NL Central champions, Melvin also won ‘Major League Executive of the Year’ in 2011.
On being elected to his home country’s Hall of Fame, Melvin had this to say,
"“It was quite an honor. I thought if I was recognized, it might be later on, once you’re retired. … But I feel very humbled and honored to be recognized at this point.”"
Melvin has done more than enough to prove himself as the GM/VP of the Brewers organization and with him in charge, there’s nothing to worry about. Sure, Prince is gone, but so what? Melvin found talent before, I’m sure he’ll more than likely find even better talent down the road. Congratulations Doug, and here’s to another great year of Brewers’ baseball!