After looking at the best Milwaukee Brewers players wearing jersey numbers 1-5, it’s time to continue our series.
Our first group of best Brewers players by jersey number had some easy and some tough decisions. Paul Molitor as No. 4 was the obvious choice, but the choice between Jose Valentin and Bill Hall for No. 2, however, is a bit different. We’re going to see more of the same as we go through the list of jersey numbers.
Let’s keep the list going at No. 6
Jersey No. 6
Lorenzo Cain (2018-Present)
Honorable Mention: Sal Bando
In the 50 years of the Brewers franchise, only 11 players have worn No. 6 for the Brewers. Prior to Lorenzo Cain‘s return in 2018, the last player who wore it was Jeff Cirillo in 2006. However, third base coach Ed Sedar had worn it for a number of years in the meantime.
In the two years that Cain has been manning center field for the Brewers, he has finished in the top 10 in MVP voting, won a Gold Glove, and been named an All-Star. Cain had a fantastic season in 2018, leading off and hitting .308/.395/.417 with 25 doubles, 10 homers, 30 stolen bases, and a 119 OPS+.
Cain was the tablesetter for the offense in a historic year for the Brewers and his defense provided tremendous value to the Crew.
Jersey No. 7
Don Money (1973-83)
Honorable Mention: JJ Hardy
One of the best defensive third basemen of all time, Don Money provided a decade of greatness at the hot corner for the Milwaukee Brewers. Although he never won any Gold Gloves due to the existence of Brooks Robinson playing the same position in the same league at the same time, that doesn’t diminish how good he was.
Offensively, Money hit .270/.338/.421 with 134 homers for the Brewers over 11 seasons, providing above-average league production in eight of those seasons. Money was an All-Star four times as a Brewer and earned MVP votes in 1974 and 1978.
Money moved around the infield as Paul Molitor came up to the big leagues, seeing time at second base and first base as well.
Money gave the team some great seasons in the 70s and was productive for the Crew in their playoff seasons in 1981 and 1982, although mostly as a veteran utilityman that filled a part-time role.
An honorable mention goes to JJ Hardy, who most Brewers fans today associate with No. 7, but his time here was too short, and he really only had two strong offensive seasons.
Jersey No. 8
Ryan Braun (2007-Present)
Honorable Mention: Mark Loretta
Ryan Braun is without a doubt a top 5 player in franchise history, and most would have him in the top 3 behind Molitor and Yount. There’s also no doubt that Braun is the best Brewers player to wear No. 8 in franchise history.
Braun is synonymous with his jersey number in the same way that Aaron Rodgers is synonymous with No. 12 for the Packers. I don’t know if the Brewers will officially retire Braun’s jersey number and hang it in the rafters after his career, but it could be unofficially retired similar to the way Jim Gantner‘s No. 17 has been.
Braun has won an MVP award, the Rookie of the Year award, led the team to four playoff appearances, and been the face of the franchise for a decade.
Mark Loretta gets an honorable mention for wearing the number during the 90s and having some productive seasons, and if we made this list before Braun’s career started, he probably would get the honor, but Braun surpassed Loretta for this long ago.
Jersey No. 9
Greg Brock (1987-91)
Honorable Mention: Jean Segura
Greg Brock continued the line of successful Milwaukee Brewers first basemen, which started with George Scott, followed by Cecil Cooper, and then Brock was acquired by the team in December 1986 from the Dodgers for Tim Leary and Tim Crews. In his first season as a Brewer, Brock hit .299/.371/.438 with 29 doubles, 13 homers, and 85 RBIs.
Brock had some solid offensive seasons for the Crew in the late 80s and early 90s. Defensively, Brock was as good as it could get, with a career .994 fielding percentage and 21 total zone fielding runs above average.
This was a close one with Jean Segura. Segura had a fantastic 2013 season for the Brewers as their starting shortstop, earning an All-Star nod and endearing himself to Brewers fans. Unfortunately, he was never quite able to reach that level again with the Crew and was traded a few years later to the Diamondbacks for a package including Chase Anderson and Isan Diaz, who was a part of the package for Christian Yelich.
Brock gets the nod here because he provided more consistent production over a longer period of time.
Jersey No. 10
Bob McClure (1977-86)
Honorable Mention: Yasmani Grandal
Despite the strong 2019 season of Yasmani Grandal, he’s not quite gonna be able to get himself to the top spot for No. 10. If he had stayed for a few more seasons, there’s a chance he could’ve gotten there, but instead the recognition goes to Bob McClure.
McClure spent 10 years in a Brewers uniform, splitting time between the rotation and the bullpen. In his early years he was in the bullpen, but joined the rotation for most of his appearances from 1982-1984. His numbers as a starter were not quite as good as when he was a reliever.
In 73 career starts, all with the Brewers, McClure had a 4.41 ERA and opponents had a .741 OPS. As a reliever, McClure had 625 appearances with a 3.43 ERA and opponents had a .706 OPS. Of McClure’s 52 career saves, 34 were with the Brewers.
The kind of longevity that McClure had for the Brewers on their pitching staff was rare to see. The Brewers have rarely been able to keep pitchers around for a very long time in their history. McClure was a very good big league pitcher that had a nice, long career, spending the majority of it with the Brewers.
We’ll continue our series looking at the best all-time Brewers by jersey number with numbers 11 through 15 coming up soon. Stay tuned.