Welcome back to Wayback Wednesday. This week we remember the three plus seasons Richie Sexson spent playing with the Milwaukee Brewers.
The early 2000’s aren’t much to talk about amongst Milwaukee Brewers fans. The only real highlight came in 2001 when the team opened Miller Park. Outside of that there were a lot of losses to endure.
The only excitement fans could count on more than Ben Sheets hitting the DL for those Brewers teams, was Sexson hitting moon shots night in and night out. He was a beast for the Crew, and a lot better player than most people remember.
What was most memorable about Sexson?
At 6’8″ tall Sexson, acquired in a blockbuster deal in July 2000, was an imposing figure stepping into the batters box. When he was able to barrel up a ball, it was beautiful to witness. He hit some memorable home runs, but he also struck out in bunches.
What people tend to forget, myself included, is that Sexson was more than a boom or bust hitter for the Brewers. Although he did strike out 528 times in 534 career games, he also had a .366 on-base percentage for Milwaukee.
Sexson also had a +12.6 WAR during his time in Milwaukee. This placed him among the most productive first baseman between 2000-03. He hit 133 mammoth home runs for the Crew, but the team lost a whopping 322 games.
He hit 45 home runs in both 2001 and 2003 while driving in 125 and 124 runs, respectively. During his “down year” with the Brewers, where he only hit 29 home runs, he still managed to drive in 102 runs. To put that into perspective, Brewers first baseman Eric Thames had 31 home runs this season, while only driving in 63 runs.
Sexson was one of the many players former general manager Doug Melvin acquired too early to be part of something in Milwaukee. Add him up there with his former teammates Jeromy Burnitz or Geoff Jenkins. Very good players who just happened to be here at the wrong time.
In December 2003, the Milwaukee Brewers traded Sexson, along with two minor leaguers, to the Arizona Diamondbacks. Among the six players the Brewers received in return was the team’s current manager, Craig Counsell.
As Brewers fans, Sexson should be remembered for the home runs he hit, and especially the “double” he hit off of the flagpole in Houston, instead of the losses the team piled up.
If there is a former Milwaukee Brewers player that you would like to see featured for Wayback Wednesday, please comment below or a link to my Twitter is above.