Milwaukee’s Best, Part 3: The 50 Best To Play For Braves, Brewers: 30-21

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Aug 17, 2014; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Milwaukee Brewers catcher Jonathan Lucroy (20) celebrates his 2-run homer against the Los Angeles Dodgers with teammate center fielder Carlos Gomez (27) in the first inning at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

Dairyland Express’ look at the 50 best players for the Milwaukee Braves and Milwaukee Brewers continues. If you missed the first two parts, you can find them here.

Milwaukee’s Best, Part 1

Milwaukee’s Best, Part 2

Over the course of 13 seasons in Beer City, the Braves had five different managers.

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Charlie Grimm, who had won three pennants—two as a player/manager—while leading the Chicago Cubs, came with the team from Boston to Milwaukee after replacing Tommy Holmes early in the 1952 season.

Grimm led the Braves to 92 victories in their first season in Milwaukee—second behind the Brooklyn Dodgers in the National League—and followed that up with 89 wins and a third-place finish in 1954 and another runner-up finish after going 85-69 in 1955.

But the Braves were stumbling around the .500 mark in mid-June and after a 3-2 loss to the Dodgers at Ebbets Field, Grimm was fired.

His replacement, Fred Haney, did not have a resume that screamed he would be an instant success. In five full seasons as a big-league skipper with the St. Louis Browns and Pittsburgh Pirates, Haney had a career record of 288-526 and his teams had finished last four times—three seasons topping the 100-loss mark.

So of course it made sense that Haney guided the Braves to a 68-40 record the rest of the way as Milwaukee finished just a game behind Brooklyn in the National League.

It wasn’t a fluke—Haney guided the Braves to back-to-back National League pennants in 1957 and 1958, beating the New York Yankees in a seven-game World Series in 1957 before losing a Game 7 to the Yankees the following year.

In 1959, the Braves and the now-Los Angeles Dodgers finished in a tie atop the league, with the Dodgers sweeping the first two games of a best-of-three tiebreaker.

Two days after the Dodgers won the pennant, Haney was fired—tough gig—and replaced by former Chuck Dressen, who had first managed the Cincinnati Reds in the 1930s and most recently managed the Washington Senators but led the Dodgers to back-to-back pennants in 1952-53.

Milwaukee finished second again in 1960 with an 88-66 mark, seven games behind the Pirates.

With the Braves in fourth place after a 4-0 win over the Dodgers at Milwaukee County Stadium on Sept. 2, Dressen was shown the exit and replaced by coach and former Reds manager Birdie Tebbetts, who led the Braves to a 12-13 mark the rest of the way.

Tebbetts oversaw an 86-76 campaign in 1962 as Milwaukee finished fifth—its worst finish since the franchise moved to Wisconsin a decade earlier—and Tebbetts bolted to manage the Cleveland Indians at season’s end.

The Braves turned the reigns over to former Pirates and Indians manager Bobby Bragan for the 1963 season and the team won 84, 88 and 86 games, respectively, in its final three seasons in Milwaukee. That translated to a sixth-place finish in 1963 and back-to-back fifth-place seasons in 1964-65.

In all, the Braves never had a losing season in 13 years in Milwaukee, finishing with a record of 1,146-890 and with a 7-7 mark in the postseason.

The Milwaukee Braves boasted one MVP winner, Hank Aaron in 1957, and one Cy Young Award winner, Warren Spahn the same season.

Spahn threw two of the four no-hitters authored by Braves pitchers in those 13 years, on Sept. 16, 1960, and April 28, 1961. Jim Wilson threw one on June 12, 1954, and Lew Burdette turned the trick less than a month before Spahn’s first, on Aug. 18, 1960.

Joe Adcock, meanwhile, had the only four-homer game for the Milwaukee Braves on July 31, 1954.

Dairyland Express’ list of the top 50 players to play for the Braves or Brewers continues now with players 30 through 21.

Next: 30. Slugging Outfielder Acquired From Phillies