Arguably the best player in franchise history, Robin Yount has been cemented in Brewers’ record books for decades. The two-time MVP was a Brewer for his entire career. Many of his achievements still stay unmatched in the 28 years since he retired.
Yount was selected third overall in the 1973 MLB Draft by the Milwaukee Brewers. His minor league career did not last long, though, as he was called up just one year later. His first few years were quiet, but his personality was not. He caused controversy in 1978 when he threatened to retire because of low pay. In his absence, the team brought up fellow future-Hall of Famer Paul Molitor. Eventually, Yount’s demands were met and he returned.
It wasn’t until 1980 that Yount began to hit with power. This paid off, and he was selected for the All-Star Game that season. Yount hitting with power was a bit odd at the time, as shortstops were not known for that.
The 1982 season was when things really clicked for The Kid. He hit an astounding .331/.379/.578 and led the league in hits with 210. Yount led his Brewers to an AL East crown and eventually helped them reach the World Series. Unfortunately, though, the Brewers lost to the St. Louis Cardinals in seven games. After the season was over, Yount won a near-unanimous Most Valuable Player award. He also received a Gold Glove for his stellar fielding.
Rockin’ Robin continued to play at an elite level as the years went on. After shoulder problems in 1985, Yount was forced to make the switch from shortstop to outfielder. He would play 1,200 games in the outfield over the course of his career.
Yount narrowly won his second MVP in 1989. This made him the third player in major league history to win an MVP award at two different positions. He slashed .318/.384/.511 with 21 homers over the course of the season. Robin ended up having the most hits of any player in the 80’s with 1,731.
Even in his final years of baseball, Robin Yount still made a difference to the Brewers. He signed a three-year contract after the 1989 season and made it clear he would be in Milwaukee for the rest of his career. As he got older, Robin began to decline (for his standards) but was still considered to be one of the best in the game.
On September 9, 1992, Yount reached the 3,000 hit mark. After singling to right off Indians starter Jose Mesa, the team rushed onto the field to congratulate him. At the time, he was only the 17th player to achieve this feat. By getting this accomplishment, Robin added another accomplishment to add to his Hall of Fame resume.
After twenty years in the majors, Robin announced his retirement at the end of the 1993 season. He posted a career .285 batting average with 251 home runs, 3,142 hits, 1,406 RBIs, and 271 stolen bases. The Brewers retired his jersey the following season. He was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1999, his first year of eligibility.
To this day, many of his Brewers records still stand. It’s clear that Yount was one of the best (if not the best) players in Milwaukee Brewers history. His influence on baseball is like no other, and it’s evident why #19 will always hang in American Family Field’s rafters.
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