If everything goes as planned, sometime in April newly acquired infielder Owen Miller will become the 12th Wisconsin-born MLBer to suit up and play for the Milwaukee Brewers.
Miller, who was born in Mequon, was traded to the Brewers for a player-to-be-named-later from the Cleveland Guardians. The 26-year-old will be starting his third season in the majors in 2023. Last season he hit six HRs, had 51 RBI, and batted .243 in 130 games with Cleveland. He played first, second and third base with most of his time spent at first base.
Brabender was first Wisconsin-born player to play for Brewers
Gene Brabender was the first Wisconsin-born player to suit up for the Brewers’ franchise. He played for the 1969 Seattle Pilots, the precursor to the Brewers, and then saw action in the first season the team played in Milwaukee in 1970. Brabender was born in Madison.
Jim Gantner, who was a mainstay of the Brewers’ teams from 1976-92, is probably the state’s most famous player to wear a Brew Crew uniform. Gantner, who was born in Fond du Lac, played 1,801 games with the Brewers, batting .274 and providing stellar play at second base in his 17-year career with Milwaukee.
Eleven Wisconsin-born players to wear Brewers uniform
Here’s a brief snapshot of the 11 Wisconsin-born players who have played for the Brewers.
Gene Brabender, born in Madison. Pitched in 70 games for the Brewers from 1969-70. Won 19 games for the Crew.
Jerry Augustine, born in Kewaunee. Pitched in 279 games for the Brewers from 1975-84. Played entire MLB career with the Brewers. Won 55 games for Milwaukee.
Jim Gantner, born in Fond du Lac. (See above) Infielder with the Brewers’ World Series team in 1982. Had eight hits in that World Series.
Willie Mueller, born in West Bend: Pitched in six games for the Brewers from 1978-81. Had one victory for the Brewers.
Bob Wickman, born in Green Bay. Pitched in 177 games for the Brewers from 1996-200 as a closer. Won 21 games and had 79 saves in his five seasons with the Brewers.
Paul Wagner, born in Milwaukee. Pitched in 13 games from 1997-98. Was 2-5 with the Brewers on the mound.
Matt Erickson, born in Appleton. Infielder who played in four games with the Brewers in 2004. Collected one hit.
Damian Miller, born in LaCrosse. Primarily a catcher. He played in 273 games with Milwaukee with 19 home runs and a batting average of .257. Ended his MLB career with the Brewers.
Vinny Rottino, born in Racine. Infielder who played in 18 games for the Brewers from 2006-2008. Collected five hits and four RBI.
J.P. Feyereisen, born in River Falls. Pitched in 27 games out of the bullpen for the Brewers in 2020-21.
Jordan Zimmerman, born in Auburndale. Pitched in two games for the Brewers in 2021.
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