Major League Baseball’s 2020 season has been postponed indefinitely and, as a result, we’re not quite sure when the Milwaukee Brewers will be taking the field again. As we wait for Opening Day to come (whenever that may be), we decided it would be a great time to look back at the past 50 seasons of Brewers baseball.

After much thought, ample research, and some spirited debates, Milwaukee Record co-founder/editor Tyler Maas and contributors Jared Blohm and Kyle Lobner have assembled a list of the 50 best Milwaukee Brewers players—we repeat: PLAYERS, not managers, owners, or broadcasters—of all time, along with rankings. Last week, we ran down numbers 50-31. Tuesday, we covered 30-11. We’ll finish this list with players 10-1 below.

10. George Scott
Following a trade from Boston, George Scott played five seasons in Milwaukee from 1972 to 1976, winning a Gold Glove in each season. “Boomer” was a big target at first base, a big slugger at the plate and a big personality, typically sporting impressive mutton chops and flashy necklaces. In 1975, his lone All-Star season with the Brewers, he led the AL with 36 home runs and 109 RBIs. Following the 1976 season, the Brewers traded Scott back to the Red Sox for a package that included Cecil Cooper, the only first baseman who ranks higher on this list. [Jared Blohm]

9. Geoff Jenkins
Poor Geoff Jenkins. The long-tenured outfielder was a trusted power source and a great defender for pretty much the entirety of his 10-year Brewers career. Sadly, in spite of his greatest efforts as one of the few redeeming players on some historically bad ball clubs, Jenks was only part of one winning season in Milwaukee (his final year with the team in 2007). Between his impressive outset in the late ’90s and his Brew City swan song the season before Milwaukee finally ended its 26-year postseason drought, Jenkins smacked 212 home runs and 704 RBI, committed a mere 37 errors compared to 91 outfield assists, appeared in an All-Star Game, earned top-10 honors on numerous team leaderboards, and was confused for Brett Favre more than a few times by casual fans. Despite having little-to-no support around him, Jenkins managed to shine bright during the darkest timeline in franchise history. [Tyler Maas]

8. Don Money
The Brewers struck gold in a seven-player deal with the Phillies just a few days after the conclusion of the 1972 World Series, sending four established Major Leaguers to Philadelphia, but getting back one of the organization’s first true stars. Money’s career in Milwaukee really should be divided into two parts, and for the first one he was excellent: He was an All-Star four times in six seasons from 1973-78 and posted above average offensive numbers in each of those seasons. From 1979-83, he was a part-time player with mixed results, but he got into 96 games for the 1982 team and hit .284 with a .360 on-base and .531 slugging percentage. Before a fellow named Yount, came along he was the franchise’s all-time leader in hits and runs scored. [Kyle Lobner]

7. Jeff Cirillo
Cirillo, a slick-fielding third baseman, was the best player on a bunch of bad to middling Brewers teams in the mid- to late-’90s. The franchise leader in batting average (.307) ranks second in OBP (.383) and sixth in OPS (.831) and earned an All-Star bid in 1997. Primarily securing the second or third spot in the batting order, he posted an OBP over .400 twice as a Brewer. Cirillo was traded to Colorado before the 2000 season and also spent time with the Mariners and Padres before returning to the Brewers for a two-year stint in a reserve role in 2005 and 2006. [JB]

6. Ben Sheets
The fifth and sixth spots on this list were the final controversy between voters: Ballots were unanimous for the first four spots, but the debate about the organization’s best pitcher was split. I voted for Sheets, a four-time All-Star whose career was shortened by injury and dampened a bit by baseball’s Steroid Era. Sheets’ 2004 season deserves its own separate entry in this series, a 2.70 ERA, 237-inning masterpiece that feels completely out of place in its era (and possibly would’ve netted a Cy Young Award if the Brewers hadn’t been awful). Many Brewers fans’ memories of Sheets are tainted by the injuries that cost him portions of the 2005, 2006, and 2007 seasons and caused him to miss the 2008 playoffs, but a longer look at his full body of work reveals an outstanding pitcher. [KL]

5. Teddy Higuera
Like Ben Sheets, Teddy Higuera was a great pitcher who had the chance to be a generational talent had a litany of injuries not derailed his rise to the top. Following an excellent rookie campaign in ’85, he earned an All-Star spot and enough votes to come in second in Cy Young voting in 1986. That same season, Higuera won 20 games—a single season total no other Brewers pitcher has touched since—on the strength of a 2.79 ERA and an astonishing 15 complete games. Sadly, he missed time with a back injury in 1989, then tore his rotator cuff in 1991 (causing him to miss the entire 1992 season). Higuera missed more time and struggled mightily in 1993 and 1994 before begrudgingly calling it a career. Before his premature retirement, the Mexican Professional Baseball Hall Of Famer notched 94 wins (3rd most in team history) and 1,081 strikeouts (also 3rd most in team history) with 50 complete games and 12 shutouts. [TM]

4. Cecil Cooper
Cooper received all three fourth-place votes in this poll, and there’s little argument the three higher-ranked players deserve their spots. But Coop’s contributions as a Brewer should not be overlooked. After six seasons in Boston, the first baseman played 11 seasons in Milwaukee (from 1977 through 1987) to close out his career. In the first 10 years of that stretch, Cooper averaged more than 20 home runs and 90 RBI per season. He was a five-time All-Star, a three-time Silver Slugger and a two-time Gold Glove recipient as a Brewer. He finished in the top five of MVP voting three times. Cooper ranks fourth in franchise history in WAR, third in batting average, third in RBI, fourth in runs, fourth in hits, fourth in total bases, fifth in games played and sixth in home runs. He was also the author of one of the biggest hits in franchise history—the two-RBI go-ahead single in Game 5 of the 1982 ALCS against the Angels. [JB]

3. Ryan Braun
The 2020 season—assuming there is one—could be Ryan Braun’s final year with the Brewers. If it’s not the last, it won’t be too long before his career in Milwaukee ends, at which point fans will be left to honestly assess Braun’s place in Brewers history. Of course, the Rookie Of The Year and 2011 MVP’s legacy is a complicated one in which accolades he attained and indelible moments he engineered are forced to interact with his PED allegations/suspension and his suspect defense. Still, when taking everything (warts and all) into account, we can only think of two players who have been more significant to the Milwaukee Brewers than this six-time All-Star, five-time Silver Slugger, and unquestioned leader. Braun’s 344 home runs give him a commanding lead on the all-time Brewers homer list, and his .298 lifetime average is the 5th best among all Brewers. Quite fittingly, Braun places third in nearly every other major offensive category…at least for now. Should he stick around for a few more seasons and end his career on a strong note, Braun could very well be considered the best Brewer of all time (at least statistically speaking), which would make his already-complicated legacy even more difficult to evaluate. [TM]

2. Paul Molitor
Where do you start to tell the story of a Hall Of Famer who made five All-Star appearances as a Brewer, was a key part to the first two postseason teams in franchise history (and nearly a third), a player who led the American League in five different categories at least once, who stole over 400 bases and collected nearly 2,300 hits in Milwaukee? With all due respect to Robin Yount or Ryan Braun…or perhaps even Christian Yelich, the title of most electrifying offensive player in franchise history almost certainly has to belong to Molitor. The only questions with Molitor are what he could have been had he stayed healthy (he missed 50 or more games five times in 15 seasons in Milwaukee) and what the Brewers could’ve been if they’d managed to keep him around following the 1992 season. Nonetheless, Molitor averaged 4.0 Wins Above Replacement (per Baseball Reference) per season over his 15-year run as a Brewer, something not even the next guy on this list can claim. [KL]

1. Robin Yount
Who else could it be? The combination of a high peak and exceptional longevity allowed Yount to reach a stratosphere far and above any other player in franchise history, and one any other Brewer is unlikely to ever approach again. A full-time big leaguer at age 18, Yount spent 11 years as a positive defensive player who could also really hit at shortstop, then moved to the outfield and had a career renaissance out there. He’s the Brewers’ all-time leader in games played at two different positions, and he’s hundreds of games ahead of second place in both categories. His 1982 season alone would have qualified him for inclusion on the top 50: Baseball Reference estimates he was worth 10.5 WAR that year, tied for the 14th best by any player since the end of World War II. [KL]

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