Milwaukee Brewers: Corey Hart signs one-day contract, retires
Former Milwaukee Brewers right fielder Corey Hart signed a one-day contract and officially retired as a Brewer. He appeared in 945 games in a Brewers uniform and posted a .276/.334/.491 slash line with 154 homers. Hart was a key cog on two playoff teams and went to a pair of All-Star Games. He won’t have his jersey retired since #1 is already hanging in the rafters for Bud Selig, but he spent 13 years in the Brewers organization and deserves to retire on his terms.
The First Few Years
Hart earned his first cup of coffee with a May call up in 2002. He made one appearance and struck out in his only at-bat before heading back to Triple-A. His first at-bat is notable because fans were so interested in seeing prospects that he received a standing ovation before stepping into the box.
He earned a longer look with the Milwaukee Brewers in 2005 with a mid-August call up. He spent most of 2006 at the Major League level, and earned a starting job in 2007.
The Break Out
It didn’t take Corey Hart very long to settle into a starting role. He did well in his first few months, but truly broke out in June 2007. He blasted nine homers, stole 10 bases, and posted a 1.039 OPS. Hart ended the year with a 20/20 season and earned the “Brewers Good Guy” and “Brewers Unsung Hero” Awards.
He went 20/20 again in 2008, and blasted over 30 homers in 2010 and 2012.
What Makes Him A Special Brewer?
A lot of factors made Hart popular, including his fantastic head of hair. However, he was known for producing at home. He owned a .890 OPS and blasted 94 of his 162 career homers in 470 games played in Miller Park. When it was time to play in Milwaukee, Hart could be counted on to deliver. He was also known for a flair for the dramatic with an .870 OPS with runners in scoring position and .766 OPS in ‘late and close’ situations. He also blasted three walk-off homers in his career at Miller Park.
Hart also developed a reputation as a solid dude and a unique interview subject. Even his final press conference ranged from emotional to humorous as he put on his #1 jersey for the final time.
A combination of shoulder and lower body injuries forced Hart out of the game, but he was able to make his retirement official with the team he formed the most memories with.
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He was the first in a wave of prospects that sent the Brewers to the playoffs twice and played an exciting brand of baseball. He won’t get a single Hall Of Fame vote, but his contributions to the Milwaukee Brewers deserved recognition. Hart appears to be interesting in staying with the team with an eye towards managing. It wouldn’t be a huge shock to see him get a job as a roving Minor League instructor or take a coaching job somewhere in the organization in the near future.