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. Today, we’ll cover 30-11. Check back on Thursday for 10-1.

30. Jim Slaton
If you’re ranking Brewers by longevity alone, then Slaton belongs near the top of your list. He’s the franchise’s all-time leader in games started as a pitcher, innings pitched, and wins. He’s also in the top five in overall pitching appearances, complete games and strikeouts. He logged over 1,250 innings in a five-year stretch from 1973-77 and was a 1977 American League All-Star before helping the Brewers pull off one of the greatest trades in franchise history. In December of 1977, the Brewers traded Slaton to the Tigers for outfielder Ben Oglivie (more on him later). Less than a year later, Slaton returned to the Brewers as a free agent and spent five more seasons in Milwaukee. [Kyle Lobner]

29. Bill Wegman
A lifelong Brewer, Wegman made his MLB debut for Milwaukee as a 22-year-old in 1985 and pitched 11 seasons in that uniform before retiring following the 1995 season. He was a big part of the Brewers’ near-run to the postseason in 1992, making 35 starts and logging a 3.20 ERA across 261 2/3 innings, a mark no Brewers pitcher has approached since. Baseball Reference estimated his value at 4.8 Wins Above Replacement that season, a mark only a handful of Brewers pitchers have eclipsed since. [KL]

28. Rollie Fingers
With his iconic mustache, Hall Of Fame status, and a Cy Young Award he won with Milwaukee to his credit, it’s no surprise to see Rollie Fingers on this list. In fact, you probably have the fan favorite higher on your list. Though he was an undeniable part of Milwaukee’s incredible 1982 run to the World Series, the amazing reliever drops a few spots because his time with the Brewers was relatively brief compared to his prior stops in San Diego and Oakland. Still, in four seasons with Milwaukee (the final four seasons of his illustrious career), Fingers tallied 97 saves—a record at the time and a sum that’s still good for the third most in franchise history—and a remarkable 2.54 ERA in 177 appearances. Also, he did it all with one of the best cookie dusters in all of baseball sitting atop his upper lip. [Tyler Maas]

27. Rickie Weeks
Arguably the most polarizing Brewer of all time, Weeks was the second overall pick in the 2003 MLB Draft and started his 11-year run in Milwaukee later that summer as a September call-up. He was a permanent fixture on the big league club starting in his age 22 season in 2005 and is one of just two players in franchise history to log 1,000 games at second base. His low batting averages drew the ire of many fans but his .347 on-base percentage was the eighth-best ever for a Brewer with at least 3,000 plate appearances. [KL]

26. Corey Hart
I’m surprised that I was the high voter on Hart in our poll. He was good while he was a Brewer—seven seasons with notable playing time, including two All-Star nominations, two 20-plus stolen base campaigns and one 100-RBI season—but he always struck me as one of those guys who had better numbers at the end of the season than it felt like he was responsible for during the season. He also struck out a ton (ninth most in franchise history) and played some shaky outfield defense. But it’s his birthday today (happy 38th, Corey!), so I’m going to try to end this on a high note. Hart ranks highly in some very important franchise categories—seventh in OPS, sixth in slugging, ninth in doubles, sixth in triples, and 11th in runs. He also has the same name as that dude who sang “Sunglasses At Night.” [JB]

25 Greg Vaughn
During his 15-year career, Greg Vaughn clubbed more than 350 homers, drove in close to 1,100 runs, was selected to four All-Star Games, and had a 50-home run season. The outfielder bounced around the league a bit near the end of his run in the big leagues, but he spent half of his time in the show wearing a Brewers uniform. In his first seven-plus years in Milwaukee, the offensive force and “Vaughn’s Valley” namesake hit 169 home runs and was selected to a pair of Midsummer Classics. He was traded to San Diego in July of 1996, just a few weeks after his second All-Star Game with the Brew Crew. Before he left, he managed a level of production at the plate that still finds him in the top 10 in home runs, RBI, walks, and sacrifice flies, as well as in the top 20 in a wide range of Brewers hitting categories such as at bats, runs, hits, total bases, doubles, extra base hits, times on base, and intentional walks. Had he stayed in Milwaukee for his entire career, Vaughn could have gone down as one of the best Brewers hitters of all time. [TM]

24. Moose Haas
Like Slaton and Wegman before him, Haas gets high marks for longevity: He was a Brewer for 10 seasons (from 1976-85) and logged 160 or more innings seven times in a nine-year stretch from 1977-85. He’s also among a select few Brewers to log four postseason starts as a pitcher, including a victory in Game 4 of the 1982 ALCS that extended the Brewers’ season. [KL]

23. BJ Surhoff
The first overall pick of the 1985 MLB Draft quickly ascended the Minor League ranks and was a regular contributor for the Brewers by 1987. While he wasn’t known for his power (topping out a 13 home runs and 73 RBI with the Brewers in 1995), Surhoff was a versatile athlete who could play good-to-great defense behind the plate, in the outfield, and at third base during his nine years of Milwaukee employment. Added to the 13 homers and 73 RBI listed above, Surhoff also hit .320 in that final (and finest) season with Milwaukee in 1995 before finding even more success and power in Baltimore. [TM]

22. Mike Caldwell
How nuts is this? In his first full season as a Brewer in 1978, Caldwell started 34 games and he completed 23 of them. To put that in perspective: The Brewers have had 14 complete game performances total since 2009. Pitchers are certainly handled much differently now, but those numbers are impressive in any era. In fact, Caldwell led the league in complete games that season while posting a 2.36 ERA (the best full-season starter ERA in franchise history) and a 22-9 record (the most wins in a single season by a Brewer and one of only three 20-win seasons in franchise history). He finished second in Cy Young voting to Ron Guidry of the New York Yankees. Caldwell never put together another season quite like that for Milwaukee, but he did pitch serviceably for the team for six more seasons and should almost certainly hold a spot in the Brewers all-time starting rotation. In franchise history, Caldwell ranks second in wins, second in innings pitched, fourth in games started and eighth in ERA. [JB]

21. Jeromy Burnitz
It wasn’t the best of times. In fact, it was arguably the worst of times in Brewers history between the mid-’90s and the turn of the century, but Jeromy Burnitz made the most of it. After landing in Milwaukee as the Brewers’ return in the trade that sent Kevin Seitzer to Cleveland, the all-or-nothing lefty became a household name among Milwaukee’s dwindling fan base and was an undeniable sweet spot during a particularly unsavory epoch of baseball. With the potent pop provided by his trademark uppercut swing, Burnitz sent 165 homers into the bleachers at County Stadium (and the first Brewers home run into the seats at Miller Park) between 1996 and 2001. Along the way, the outfielder walloped 525 RBI, hit at least 20 home runs in five consecutive seasons (and over 30 homers in three of those seasons), had a 20/20 season in 1997, was an All-Star in 1999, and was part of formidable tandems alongside the likes of Richie Sexson and Geoff Jenkins. Close to 20 years after his departure, Burnitz still has the 9th most home runs in team history and the 4th best OPS among all qualifying Brewers batters. [TM]

20. Yovani Gallardo
While Yovani Gallardo never quite met the expectations that were thrust upon him when the second round pick was declared to be Milwaukee’s future ace in the early aughts, he was still the franchise’s best pitching prospect since Ben Sheets. Hell, he’s also the best homegrown Brewers starter since Sheets. Between 2007 and 2014, Gallardo helped hold down the front end of Milwaukee’s rotation and etched his name into Brewers history with a team record 1,226 strikeouts. Yo’s 89 wins and 3.69 ERA with Milwaukee are both top-five franchise marks, and the pitcher’s 211 starts and 1,289 1/3 innings pitched land in the top 10 among Brewers pitchers. Along the way, he appeared in an All-Star Game in 2010 and won a Silver Slugger Award that same season. Oh, and for what it’s worth, he also hit 12 home runs during his time with Milwaukee. [TM]

19. Chris Bosio
When thinking of the best pitchers in Brewers history, Chris Bosio probably doesn’t come to to mind immediately. However, the starter—who spent his first seven professional seasons with Milwaukee—had a sneakily solid career on the mound in Cream City. From 1986 through 1992, Bosio started 163 games (the 9th most in team history), tallied 67 wins (8th most), pitched 1,190 innings (8th most), 749 strikeouts (6th most), and a 1.238 WHIP (7th best). The unheralded hurler’s 3.76 ERA during his borderline spectacular stint in Milwaukee is also the 10th best among all qualifying Brewers starters. Though he’ll be remembered as a sturdy starter for Milwaukee, Bosio’s greatest accomplishment came a few months after his Brewers tenure ended when he threw a no-hitter as a member of the Seattle Mariners in April of 1993. [TM]

18. Sixto Lezcano
Lezcano, a strong-armed Puerto Rican, was a centerpiece of some of the early Brewers squads, and he peaked in 1979 at just 25 years old. In his sixth season manning right field for the Brewers, the burgeoning star hit .321 with 28 home runs and 101 RBI, posting a .987 OPS. He finished 15th in the MVP voting and earned his only Gold Glove. But injuries plagued Lezcano’s 1980 season, and prior to the 1981 season he was dealt to the St. Louis Cardinals in a package for closer Rollie Fingers, catcher Ted Simmons and starting pitcher Pete Vuckovich. [JB]

17. Gorman Thomas
Today, many Brewers fans—especially those who weren’t around during his career—see Gorman Thomas as a mustachioed mascot and a Brewers ambassador of sorts with an affable personality and a line of sauces that are available at area grocery stores. That warm and welcoming modern day perception might make you forget that Stormin’ Gorman was one of the most feared hitters of the late 1970s and early ’80s. Thomas started his career with Milwaukee in 1973, but really found his stroke in 1978, when he smacked 32 home runs. The following season, he hit an MLB-best 45 four-baggers and he tied Reggie Jackson for the home run title during the fabled 1982 season when he hit 39 more. His 175 home runs from 1978-82 was an unparalleled feat of the time, and Thomas remains one of the premier power-hitting figures in Milwaukee to this day. All of his post-baseball endeavors are just a nice bonus. [TM]

16. Carlos Gomez
A gifted defensive center fielder, Gomez spent much of his 13-year MLB career as an offensive enigma, with the exception of a couple of huge years in Milwaukee. Gomez was an All-Star as a Brewer in both 2013 and 2014, when he batted a combined .284 with a .347 on-base percentage and .491 slugging in addition to his elite defense. Baseball Reference estimates he was worth 7.6 Wins Above Replacement in 2013, a mark only Robin Yount and Ryan Braun have passed in Brewers franchise history. Both of Gomez’s counterparts in that club won MVP awards in their respective seasons. [KL]

15. Jonathan Lucroy
Lucroy is easily the greatest catcher in Brewers franchise history, but weighing his contributions against other positions is a bit more challenging. Baseball Reference, which leaves out some catcher defense in their calculations, has Lucroy’s value at 17.7 wins and ranks him 19th among Brewers. FanGraphs has him at 36.9, which would make him the fifth-best Brewer of all time. He holds the franchise record for doubles in a season with 53. His above average hitting and his outstanding defense helped Lucroy make a pair of National League All Star appearances. [KL]

14. Christian Yelich
Yelich has only been on the Brewers for two seasons, but what a pair of seasons they’ve been! The outfielder won the MVP in 2018, of course, behind a September for the ages that helped the Brewers secure the division crown. Somehow, 2019 was even better for Yelich, despite being cut short by a freak broken kneecap injury in the stretch run. In 2018, his OPS was 1.0. In 2019, it was a franchise-record 1.1. Having inked a long-term extension this offseason, Yelich has a chance to join Robin Yount, Paul Molitor, and Ryan Braun on the Milwaukee Brewers’ Mount Rushmore. [JB]

13. Ben Oglivie
A key part of some of the first competitive teams in Brewers franchise history, Oglivie hit the ground running after coming over from Detroit before the 1978 season, and he posted an above average on base-plus-slugging in each of his first eight seasons in Milwaukee. He led the American League with 41 home runs in 1980, made three All-Star teams, won a Silver Slugger Award, and played in 16 postseason contests as a Brewer. [KL]

12. Prince Fielder
Fielder is the greatest slugger in team history. He holds the team records for career OBP (.390), slugging percentage (.540) and, logically, OPS (.929). He also has the top two season home run totals in team history (50 in 2007 and 46 in 2009). With a violent swing, a stocky frame, and a flare for the dramatic, Fielder was an immediate fan favorite and he remains so today despite leaving the team for the Detroit Tigers in free agency after the 2011 season. Sadly, injuries derailed many of the first baseman’s post-Brewers years and forced him into early retirement, but he did manage to end his career with the exact same number of home runs (319) as his father, Cecil. [JB]

11. Jim Ganter
As the pride of Fond du Lac and a UW-Oshkosh baseball standout, it’s no wonder Jim Gantner is a Brewers legend. Though his Wisconsin roots didn’t exactly hurt his reputation, Gumby also deserves acclaim on account of the longevity and steady production he displayed in the duration of his 17-year career in Milwaukee. Spending parts of three decades with one team is impressive on its own, but over the course of his lengthy Milwaukee tenure (spanning 1976-92), Gantner also did enough to land in the top five in Brewers hits, runs, plate appearance, at bats, triples, and stolen bases. The infielder’s 9.9 defensive WAR is also the highest in team history by a fairly wide margin. Gantner was never an amazing player, but he was a good player for a very long time. [TM]

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