Last week, we opened the ’14 ballot for the DoU Hall of Greatness. Many of you submitted ballots and voiced your opinion for which Milwaukee baseball icons should be enshrined on the site. (You can see the current Hall of Greatness members here.) The votes have been calculated, and we’re proud to announce that four more individuals have been inducted into the Hall.
The four individuals are: Teddy Higuera, Ben Oglivie, Jim Gantner and Bud Selig.
Left-hander Teddy Higuera often is overlooked in Brewers history because he didn’t pitch for the beloved early-80s teams and didn’t enjoy prolonged success in Milwaukee. In fact, he only had five big-league seasons in which he threw at least 150 innings. What’s often forgotten is Higuera had a crazy peak — however short — between 1986 and 1988. He had two sub-3.00 ERA seasons in that stretch and was at least a five-win pitcher in each season. Between ’86 and ’88, only Roger Clemens accumulated a higher WAR than Higuera’s +18.6. He owned a 3.06 ERA, 3.16 FIP and struck out 7.80 batters per nine innings. He ended his career with a 3.61 ERA over nine years, and he never pitched with another team than the Milwaukee Brewers.
Ben Oglivie was a three-time All Star with the Brewers and finished as high as 13th in the AL MVP voting in 1980. Most people remember Gorman Thomas as the home-run threat for Milwaukee in the early-80s, but Oglivie could launch a few over the fence. Between 1978 and 1982, Olgivie hit 136 home run and hit .276/.343/.492. Only seven major-league hitters had more home runs in that time frame. He was a bit of a late-bloomer, but was an offensive force for the Brewers. He walked almost as much as he struck out, yet he still managed to hit 41 homers in 1980. Oglivie has the seventh-most home runs in club history.
One of the most beloved players in Brewers history is Jim Gantner. He played 17 seasons for the Brew Crew, finishing with a career .274/.319/.351 slash line. Gantner was more known for his glove than his bat. No player in Brewers history has accumulated more defensive value, as measured by FanGraphs, than Jim Gantner’s +75.3. He earned the nickname Gumby due to his running style, and he ranks third in Brewers history with 137 stolen bases.
Bud Selig will forever be remembered as the ninth commissioner of baseball, but in Milwaukee, he’s remembered as the man who kept baseball in Milwaukee. Mired in bankruptcy, he purchased the Seattle Pilots and relocated them to Milwaukee. His tenure involved postseason appearances and extended fallow periods, but his ownership ultimately brought America’s game back to baseball-starved Milwaukee. That’s something worth remembering.
Here are the complete voting results:
Many players received votes — and that’s perhaps a product of our removal of the 10-vote maximum this year — but guys like Bob McClure, John Jaha and Pat Listach didn’t receive enough recognition to remain on the ballot next year. I was pleased to see Jamie Navarro hang on by a thread, though. I’m just kidding. I didn’t vote for Navarro and his two solid, but unspectacular seasons in the early ’90s. Kudos to those of you who did. That takes creativity and vision.
Thank you to everyone who voted, and a hearty congratulations to those four who received induction into the DoU Hall of Greatness this year.