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Top Five Career Leaders in Stolen Bases for the Milwaukee Brewers
The Milwaukee Brewers have been known throughout their history as more of a power hitting team than as one with a great deal of speed on the base paths. Despite that, there have been some Brewers who were base stealing threats, or combined both power and speed. Here is a look at the top five base stealers in the history of the Milwaukee Brewers.
5. Scott Podsednik 113
Although he played a handful of games in 2001 and 2002 with the Seattle Mariners, Podsednik was officially a rookie in 2003 with the Brewers. He had a great rookie season, batting .314 in 154 games, with 43 stolen bases. Podsednik finished second to the Florida Marlins' Dontrelle Willis in the National League Rookie of the Year voting. In 2004, Podsednik stole 70 bases to lead the National League. It was the second highest season total in Brewers history.
Milwaukee traded Podsednik to the Chicago White Sox after the 2004 season. He's also played for the Colorado Rockies, Kansas City Royals, and Los Angeles Dodgers. Podsednik spent the 2011 season in the minor leagues, and was invited to Spring Training in 2012 by the Philadelphia Phillies as a non roster player. He has 301 career stolen bases.
4. Tommy Harper 136
Tommy Harper broke into the Major Leagues in 1962 with the Cincinnati Reds, and played for them until he was traded to the Cleveland Indians after the 1967 season. He was with Cleveland for one year before being selected in the expansion draft by the Seattle Pilots, the forerunners of the Brewers. In 1969, the Pilots' only season, Harper stole 73 bases. That led the American League, and is still the franchise record. The club moved to Milwaukee in 1970, and that year Harper had his best overall season in the big leagues. He had career highs in home runs (31), RBIs (82), and batting average (.296) with 38 stolen bases. He was the only Brewer to have at least 30 home runs and 30 stolen bases in a season until Ryan Braun in 2011.
Harper stole 25 bases in 1971, his last year with the Brewers. He was traded to the Boston Red Sox, and led the American League in steals again in 1973 when he stole 54. He later spent time with the California Angels, Oakland Athletics and Baltimore Orioles before retiring after the 1976 season. He finished his career with 408 stolen bases.
3. Jim Gantner 137
The second baseman on the Brewers' 1982 American League champion team, Gantner played with Milwaukee his entire career, from 1976 through 1992. He stole 20 bases in both 1988 and 1989 for his career high. He also stole 18 in just 88 games in 1990. Those were his three best years for stolen bases, and they occurred when he was 35, 36, and 37 years old.
2. Robin Yount 271
Hall of Famer Robin Yount is at or near the top of most career offensive categories for the Brewers. In his 20 year career (1974-1993) all with Milwaukee, the two time American League Most Valuable Player reached double figures in steals 16 times. His career high was 22 in 1988.
1. Paul Molitor 412
Another Hall of Famer, Molitor is the best leadoff hitter in the franchise's history, combining speed, power, and a .300 plus lifetime batting average. Molitor made his debut with Milwaukee in 1978, and stole 30 bases. He stole 41 or more bases four times, and 30 or more four other times in his career with the Brewers. Molitor signed with the Toronto Blue Jays after the 1992 season, and played three years with the Minnesota Twins before retiring in 1998 with 504 career steals.
A Featured Contributor in Sports for the Yahoo! Contributor Network, Mark Hudziak has been a fan of the Brewers since they moved to Milwaukee in 1970. Yes, he remembers seeing Tommy Harper play.
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