The Milwaukee Brewers will honor one of the most influential players in team history today. In a video released by the Brewers on Twitter, Ryan Braun announced his retirement from Major League Baseball on 9/14.
Today, more than 14 years after I first took the field as a Milwaukee Brewer, I’ve decided to retire. While it’s impossible to summarize my emotions, what I feel most is one, simple thing – gratitude.
I just wanted to take a moment to say ‘thank you’.
– Ryan Braun pic.twitter.com/pQxuW9qk1z
— Milwaukee Brewers (@Brewers) September 14, 2021
After being drafted number five overall in the 2005 draft, the third baseman out of Miami began his journey to where he is now; from his NL ROY award to his five straight all-star games and silver slugger awards, moving from third base to the outfield, and his NL MVP. We’ll take a look at Ryan Braun’s eight greatest moments.
8. 5/4/2019 – Six Hit Night Capped Off With Walk-Off 4-3
Braun ended this marathon in Miller Park’s 18th inning with a two-run single for his sixth hit of the game in the longest game (by innings) ever played at American Family Field. Not only was Braun the fifth player in franchise history to get six hits in a game on the walk-off single, but the Brewers were down by one run entering the bottom of the 18th. The Mets walked the bases loaded and Braun delivered this first bit of magic.
7. 10/1/2018 – Late Insurance Run Helps Crew Win NL Central in Game 163
An MLB season generally consists of 162 games, and 162 games give you a large sample size to determine who wins which division, but in 2018, the Milwaukee Brewers and Chicago Cubs were tied at the end of 162 games, so they will play one more. This game would decide the NL Central, and the loser would earn a Wild Card position. Lorenzo Cain singled in the go-ahead run with the game tied at one going into the eighth inning. Afterward, Ryan Braun comes to bat and hits a vital RBI single to center field, putting the Brewers ahead by two.
6. 9/15/2019 – Grand Slam Makes the Difference in Push for Playoffs
In the 9th inning, with the bases loaded, two outs, and the full count, every kid dreams of becoming the hero for the team they root for. Ryan Braun found himself in this very situation at the number six spot in the countdown. Bases loaded, full count, down one in the ninth. After trailing by one run, Braun turned it into a three-run lead that secured a Crew win over the Cardinals, 7-6.
5. 9/23/2011 – 8th Inning Homerun Helps Brewers Win Division; First Since 1982
The Brewers might have made the playoffs for the first time since ‘82 just three years prior, but winning the division was their next hurdle. Headed into this game, the magic number to clinch the division was down to just two games. Needing a Cardinals loss and a win of their own to win the division, the Brewers did what needed to be done, on the back of Ryan Braun. Tied at one in the bottom of the 8th with two runners on, Ryan Braun comes to the plate and hits another go-ahead home run. The Brewers would go on to beat the Marlins 4-1 and clinch the division that night.
4. 8/19/2015 – Braun Passes Yount as Franchise Leader in Home Runs
On a Wednesday afternoon in August, two teams looking up in the standings faced off for a game that would go down in history. In the bottom of the 6th inning, Ryan Braun comes to the plate and hits a solo home run, number 252 of his career, to put him in sole possession on top of the franchise leader board. Robin Yount had previously held that title, a title he held since 1993. Braun would go on to add another 100 home runs in his career over the next five seasons for 352.
3. 4/30/2012 – 15 Total Bases for Braun is Franchise Record
In this matchup in late April, the fans arriving at Petco Park in San Diego, CA did not know they would be witnessing history, not once but twice. Ryan Braun not only became the first player in the history of the ballpark to hit three home runs in one game, but he also added a triple to his stat line to give him 15 total bases for the game, a franchise record. In one of the greatest hitting performances in Brewers’ history (4-5 3HR, 3B, 6 RBI), it happened in a historically pitcher-friendly stadium.
2. 9/25/2008 – Walk-Off Grand Slam Moves Brewers to Tie in Wildcard Race
In a season where the Brewers pushed all of their chips to the center of the table by trading for a big lefty, CC Sabathia, it looked like they could finally make it over the hump and return to the playoffs for the first time in 26 years. With two outs in the bottom of the 10th, Ryan Braun gets an at-bat for a chance to be tied for the only wildcard spot and shows the MLB that he indeed has the clutch gene. Braun hits the WALK-OFF GRAND SLAM and the Brewers would eventually with the wildcard and make it to the playoffs.
1. 9/28/2008 – Go-Ahead Blast in 8th Clinches Wildcard
Just three days after Braun hit the walk-off grand slam to keep their postseason chances alive, he yet again hits a big home run to send the Brewers to the playoffs. Tied at one in the bottom of the eighth, Ryan Braun does it again by hitting a go-ahead two-run home run to take a 3-1 lead over the Cubs. Winning the Wildcard and putting the Brewers back into baseball relevance is the reason that this is the greatest moment in Ryan Braun’s career.