Mired in fifth place with a 23-24 record on June 1, 1982, the Milwaukee Brewers appointed Harvey Kuenn their new manager. The Brewers, noted for their hitting, responded by winning 21 of their next 29 games, averaging 6.5 runs per/game. Thereafter, they became Harvey's Wallbangers. Paul Molitor and Robin Yount, probably the most productive lead-off and No 2 hitter in baseball history, were on base so often, that they helped set the stage for the Wallbangers' heavy artillery.
First baseman Cecil Cooper, with his menacing bat dangling freely, whacked 32 homers with 121 RBI's, was Kuenn pick as the best hitter in the American League. "Coop" was the only player to rank among the top three hitters in batting average, hits, and RBI's for four years running. Catcher Ted Simmons batted clean-up, 23 HR's, 97 RBI's. Simmons was acquired from the St. Louis Cardinals after carrying a lifetime .298 batting average while playing over 13 years in St. Louis.
Outfielders, Ben Oglivie, 34 HR's, 102 RBI's, 'Stormin Gorman' Thomas, 39 HR's, 112 RBI's and DH Don Money, 16 HR's supplied plenty of long ball power. Jim Gantner was outstanding at second base with his hustling and key hitting. RF, Charlie Moore and 3rd baseman, Roy Howell anchored their positions and played winning baseball through the 1982 season. As a team, the Wallbangers pounded 277 doubles, 41 triples, 216 home runs, scored 891 runs, for a 5.5 run per/game average.
The 1982 pitching staff was led by Pete Vuckovich, 18-6 and Hall of Fame reliever, Rollie Fingers. Mike Caldwell 17-13, Bob McClure 12-7, Moose Hass 11-8 and Jim Slaton 10-6. Kuenn's team with its' 95-67 record went on to take the AL pennant. However they were bested by the St. Louis Cardinals in the World Series, 4 games to 3. The speedy Cardinals out slugged the Brewers and won their 10th World Title. Baseballhistorian.com
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