The Brewers’ upcoming two-game series with the St. Louis Cardinals at American Family Field will perhaps be the last that Milwaukee sees one of its all-time nemeses, Albert Pujols. He’s looking for his 700th career home run, joining the three luminaries ahead of him on the all-time list (Barry Bonds, Henry Aaron, Babe Ruth) in the rarest of air.
Pujols entered Sept. 23 with 698 on his ledger and three more games before getting to Milwaukee.
Brewers fans naturally would prefer he simply move on and save the achievement for someone else. After all, he already has 45 of them against the Brewers — which, perhaps surprisingly, is the fewest of the other four teams in the National League Central (and well shy of former NL Central colleague Houston, against whom Pujols has a career-best 62 blasts).
But hey, a little history might be cool too, right? Right?
Perhaps you still have ticket stubs (remember those?) to some of these milestone moments to take place on Milwaukee soil, some for the good guys and some for … the other guys.
A list of all the MLB no-hitters in Milwaukee
- Jim Wilson, Milwaukee Braves. A 2-0 win over Philadelphia on June 12, 1954
- Lew Burdette, Milwaukee Braves. A 1-0 win over Philadelphia on Aug. 18, 1960
- Warren Spahn, Milwaukee Braves. A 4-0 win over Philadelphia on Sept. 16, 1960
- Warren Spahn, Milwaukee Braves. A 1-0 win over San Francisco on April 28, 1961
- Steve Busby, Kansas City Royals. A 2-0 win over Milwaukee on June 19, 1974
- Carlos Zambrano, Chicago Cubs. A 5-0 win over Houston on Sept. 14, 2008*
- Alec Mills, Chicago Cubs. A 12-0 win over Milwaukee on Sept. 13, 2020
*Milwaukee served as a neutral site for a game relocated because of a hurricane in Houston.
The four-homer games in Milwaukee by Willie Mays and Shawn Green
- Willie Mays, San Francisco Giants. A 14-4 win over Milwaukee on April 30, 1961. At the time, he was the ninth player in Major League history to hit four home runs in a game, and he drove in eight.
- Shawn Green, Los Angeles Dodgers. A 16-3 win over Milwaukee on May 23, 2002. Green went 6 for 6 with a record-tying six runs scored, record-tying five extra base hits and and record-setting 19 total bases. He broke the latter record of 18 sets by Joe Adcock of the Braves at Brooklyn, and speaking of him…
May 26, 1959: The Harvey Haddix Game is considered one of MLB’s greatest pitching performances
For 12 dazzling innings, Harvey Haddix spun what many consider the greatest game ever pitched, and he still lost. He retired the first 36 men he faced, but though Milwaukee Braves starter Lew Burdette wasn’t perfect, he matched the Pittsburgh Pirates star with zeroes through the 13th.
In the bottom half, Braves leadoff hitter Felix Mantilla reached on a bad throw by third baseman Don Hoak. Three batters later after an intentional walk to Hank Aaron, Joe Adcock hit the ball into the stands (though he was ruled out for passing Aaron between second and third base in the aftermath, and it was re-classified as a double and just one RBI instead of two).
Either way, the game was over, officially a 1-0 win and heartbreak for Haddix.
May 1, 1975: Henry Aaron breaks Babe Ruth’s RBI record
It’s not as celebrated as the home-run record, of course, but when Henry Aaron singled in Sixto Lezcano in the third, it gave him 2,210 RBIs, eclipsing Babe Ruth’s all-time mark of 2,209 (though Baseball-Reference has a mark of 2,214 for Ruth).
There wasn’t much of a celebration that followed, unlike his home-run record set April 8, 1974. Aaron, who spent the final two years of his career in 1975 and 1976 with the Brewers, added an RBI double later in the game against the Tigers. Aaron’s final game came at County Stadium on Oct. 3, 1976, and he singled in his last at-bat.
Aug. 27, 1982: Rickey Henderson sets single-stolen-season-base mark
Oakland star Rickey Henderson stole his 119th base of the year, bypassing Lou Brock’s 118 set in 1974, with a swipe of second base in the third inning despite a pitch-out. He received a cursory standing ovation from Milwaukee fans at County Stadium, with Brock also in attendance, and he stole three more bases in the game before Milwaukee prevailed, 5-4.
He finished the year with a record 130 steals, and the only player that’s come close to that is Vince Coleman with 110 in 1985 and 109 in 1987. The most steals for any one player since the dawn of the 1990s: Marquis Grissom with 78 in 1992.
July 31, 1990: Nolan Ryan’s 300th win
At 43 years old and already one of the greatest pitchers of all time, Ryan threw 146 pitches over 7 ⅔ innings and secured his 300th career victory, considered one of the most hallowed accomplishments in the sport. He allowed three runs (one earned) on six hits with eight strikeouts as the Texas Rangers prevailed easily, 11-3, though six of their runs came in the top of the ninth.
Sept. 9, 1992: Robin Yount’s 3,000th hit
This one is unforgettable. The lifetime Milwaukee Brewers infielder and outfielder, Yount recorded another of the sport’s great achievements when he delivered his 3,000th hit against Jose Mesa and Cleveland.
The game was marred by a rain delay and a ninth-inning collapse that led to a 5-4 loss, but it was still a magical night in which Yount’s seventh-inning single made history. He became the third-youngest player to reach 3,000, behind Aaron and Ty Cobb.
September 1998: The Home Run Chase between Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa
They won’t be remembered as the ultimate home runs from the storied 1998 season as Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa jockeyed for the single-season home run record, but there was a wild stretch in Milwaukee from Sept. 18-23 in which the Brewers faced the Cardinals and McGwire for three games followed by Sosa and the Cubs for two.
McGwire hit his 64th and 65th homers of the year, technically both setting new single-season records two days after his 62nd homer in St. Louis officially bypassed Roger Maris, with blasts against Rafael Roque and Scott Karl. Not to be outdone, Sosa drilled two homers on Sept. 23 against Roque and Rod Henderson to tie McGwire at No. 65.
The only game Milwaukee won in that stretch was the second one against the Cubs, fondly remembered as the “Brant Brown Game.”
McGwire finished the year with 70, and Sosa, who pulled ahead of McGwire with his 66th homer two days after leaving Milwaukee, never got past 66.
Sept. 7, 2010: Trevor Hoffman’s 600th save
Trevor Hoffman, who had scuffled in the second of two years with the Brewers and hadn’t been called upon regularly as the closer, was given a chance to lock down his 600th career save, becoming the first reliever to reach that milestone. The 42-year-old secured the 4-2 win over the Cardinals and set off an enthusiastic celebration; he’d finish his career with 601, a mark only surpassed by Mariano Rivera (652).
JR Radcliffe can be reached at (262) 361-9141 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at @JRRadcliffe.