The Milwaukee Brewers had the first Austrailian player to ever appear in an All-Star game, and no one can ever take that away from them. If you didn’t follow the Brewers in the 1990s, there was a catcher who played for almost the entire decade for the Crew: Dave Wayne Nilsson.
Dave Nilsson: Career Brewer
Nilsson played his entire MLB career with the Brewers. He debuted in 1992, playing 51 games and ending with .232 batting average, 25 RBIs and four home runs. Nilsson played the next six seasons with the Brewers in the starting line-up. He ended with a career batting average of .284, 789 hits, 470 RBIs and 105 home runs. He also ended with an above average OPS of .817.
Dave was also an All-Star for the Brewers. He made it as a reserve in 1999, and he wasn’t the only Brewer that year. Jeremy Burnitz joined him, and even started after Tony Gwynn had to drop out due to injury. In 1999, Nilsson batted .309 with 62 RBIs and a career season-high 21 home runs. Nilsson had his best year for RBIs and average in 1996, but did not make the All-Star team. He ended with 84 RBIs and a .331 batting average.
The Post Brewers Career of Dave Nilsson
After an All-Star season, Nilsson was a free agent after the 1999 season, and many believed he could have gotten a pretty big contract to finish his career. Instead, he opted-out of the MLB and went on to play in the 2000 and 2004 Olympics for Australia. He helped them win the silver medal in 2004, and was also on the Australian team in 2006 for the World Baseball Classic.
In 2011, he was the manager for the Brisbane Bandits in his native country, and also became the incumbent manager in 2014. He is still the manager, and has been the Australian national baseball team manager since 2018.
I don’t know what any of the next sentence means, but it sounds important. In 2018, he was named one of the Queensland Greats in a ceremony at the Queensland Art Gallery. It must be an Australian thing.
My Movie With Nilsson
A lot of people don’t remember this movie, but there was a sci-fi horror film called “Event Horizon” that came out in 1997. I remember watching the old HBO “First Look” series for upcoming movies and wanted to see it really bad. It had Laurence Fishburne. Additionally, it had Sam Neill from my favorite movie “Jurassic Park”. It was science fiction and horror. Everything was up my alley.
My Dad took me because I was still middle school and it was Rated R. When we went to the Marcus theater in Brookfield, do you want to know who opened the door for us? Dave. Nilsson. I recognized him right away and my Dad did too. We said “Hello” and then got our concessions for the movie. When we got to our seats, guess who else was seeing “Event Horizon”. Dave. Nilsson. It me, my Dad, Nilsson and two older couples.
Don’t remember the film? It was a complete bomb at the box office. It got bad reviews for being too intense, but it’s had a cult following since. I still enjoy the film, but those two older couples sure didn’t! They left. It’s a pretty gory film. The wife from “Apollo 13” has a very gruesome death. Minor spoilers?
So basically, I watched a movie with my Dad and Milwaukee Brewers All-Star Dave Nilsson. I still remember him walking out with us shaking his head, and we all had a good laugh. I should have gotten his autograph on my movie ticket.
If you remember 90s Brewers, most fans will remember Nilsson. It was so cool and random that the Brewers had two Australian and All-Star caliber players. That other player was Brewers legend John Jaha. And if you don’t agree he is a legend, I will throw down and fight.
MORE BREWERS PAST AND PRESENT
- Nyjer Morgan
- Zack Greinke
- Prince Fielder
- JJ Hardy
- Rickie Weeks
- Orlando Arcia
- Jeff Cirillo
- Cecil Cooper
- Paul Molitor
- Justin Smoak
- Ben Sheets
- Bob Uecker
- Keston Hiura
- Josh Hader
- Ted Simmons
- Gorman Thomas
- Pete Vuckovich
- Rollie Fingers