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Brewer Player Retrospective - Richie Sexson

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Offline  Brewer Player Retrospective - Richie Sexson
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Posted: January 07, 2019, 2:05 PM Post
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In part 40 of our 1,120 part series on former Brewers, we take a look at slugger Richie Sexson.

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Born in 1974 in Portland, Oregon, Richmond "Richie" Sexson was a celebrated high school athlete standing 6'7". He earned all-state honors in baseball, basketball and football. But it was baseball that would be Sexson's ticket to fame as he set his school's record for home runs and RBI.

The right handed-hitting Sexson would be selected by the Cleveland Indians in the 24th round of the 1993 MLB draft. Playing primarily 1B, he would rise steadily in the Indians' minor league ranks, showing good power and a solid batting average. He was limited defensively. In 1997, at AA Buffalo, he would breakout by slugging 31 HR - and earning a five game cup of coffee in the bigs.

The following season, Sexson would tear up AAA, and continue to do so at the major league level - hitting .310 with 11 HR in only 49 games.

With Jim Thome entrenched at 1B, Sexson would bounce between 1B and OF the next couple of years - the latter of which he was pretty bad at playing.

In his sophomore season, Sexson would slug 31 HR in only 134 games, but the next season he would slump, his strikeouts spiking and his power and batting average falling. The Indians - in desperate need for pitching - traded Sexson to Milwaukee at the deadline for pitchers Bob Wickman, Steve Woodard and Jason Bere. Wickman had been an all-star for the Brewers. The Crew also got pitchers Kane Davis and Paul Rigdon, plus infielder Marco Scutaro (yes, that Marco Scutaro).

The deal would provide huge dividends for the Brewers. Sexson would be installed at 1B - his best defensive position - and put into the lineup everyday. He would respond by hitting .296 and slugging 14 HR over the final 57 games of the 2000 season.

From 2001-2003, Sexson would smash 45, 29 and 45 HRs, respectively, while hitting between .271 and .279. He also showed a keen eye at the plate, walking as many as 98 times in a season. On the flip side, he would strike out, on average, over 150 times a year with Milwaukee (before it was okay to strikeout that often).

Sexson would be named to two all-star teams. In 2003, he would place 12th in the NL MVP voting.

Despite Sexson's success, these were bad Milwaukee Brewer teams - never winning more than 68 games during his tenure. With free agency a year away, the Brewers knew that Sexson was not long for Milwaukee. So rather than lose him, the team traded him to Arizona on Dec. 1, 2003.

In exchange for Sexson and minor leaguers Shane Nance and Noochie Varner, the Diamondbacks sent Chris Capuano, Craig Counsell, Chad Moeller, Lyle Overbay, Jorge De La Rosa and Junior Spivey. The deal would help transform the Brewers.

Sexson would spend one injury-plagued season in Arizona - playing only 23 games. Despite struggling in 2004, he would sign a four-year, $50M free agent contract with the Seattle Mariners. He would have two good seasons in Seattle, but in 2007, at age 32, his production waned. He would be released the following year during the season, then spend 22 games with the Yankees, before being released again. His baseball career was over.

Richie Sexson was a big man with a big bat. He was a true, middle-of-the-order slugger. He had his finest years in Milwaukee. In 3 1/3 seasons, he slugged 133 HR, while hitting a respectable .276 with a .902 OPS. His booming HRs were one of the few reasons to go to a Brewer game in the early 2000s.

In acquiring, and then trading away, Sexson, the Brewers maximized their resources on both ends of his tenure. The trade with Arizona would be an important one for the franchise - adding a key pitcher (Capuano) and a good bat (Overbay) as well as some spare parts (including future Brewer Manager Craig Counsell).

Despite playing less than 3 1/2 years in Milwaukee, Sexson's name is in the team record books. His career .902 OPS is second best in team history. His 45 HRs in 2001 and 2003 are third most in a season. His 98 walks in 2003 are fifth most. His 125 RBI in 2001 is third highest. In his 12-year career, Sexson hit 306 HRs

Former Brewer slugger Richie Sexson retired to Bend, Oregon, and took up coaching at the high school level. He lives in Bend with his family, and is currently the head baseball coach of Summit High School.

Please share your memories of Richie Sexson and his time in Milwaukee.

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Offline  Re: Brewer Player Retrospective - Richie Sexson
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Posted: January 07, 2019, 2:12 PM Post
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Gotta love BIG SEXY!

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Offline  Re: Brewer Player Retrospective - Richie Sexson
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Posted: January 07, 2019, 2:16 PM Post
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A few great memories come to mind:

1) HR to win opening night at Miller Park: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=860gskwGZrU
2) The game at Arizona where Sexson and Burnitz both went deep 3 times: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sTbMnum99jk
3) The 450+ foot triple in Houston: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8uFSAzTld3Y


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Offline  Re: Brewer Player Retrospective - Richie Sexson
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Posted: January 07, 2019, 2:18 PM Post
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I was at the HR derby in '02 when he made it to the semis. The home crowd was really behind him, probably the most relevant thing for a Brewer fan to cheer for in a while. Side note, I clearly remember Sammy Sosa hitting a ball over the Miller Park scoreboard, I had a perfect view from the outfield upper deck. https://youtu.be/MvHatx1fREA?t=92.

Of course who can forget the Enron Field triple off the center field flag pole mentioned by every Brewer telecast afterwards until the pole was removed.


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Offline  Re: Brewer Player Retrospective - Richie Sexson
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Posted: January 07, 2019, 2:33 PM Post
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Richie is tied for 2nd in Brewers History with 2 3-HR games. Can you name the franchise leader with 3 3-HR games?

3-HR games
1 (3) ____
2 (2) Sexson
2 (2) Burnitz
2 (2) Braun
2 (2) Jenkins


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Offline  Re: Brewer Player Retrospective - Richie Sexson
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Posted: January 07, 2019, 2:47 PM Post
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Ben Oglivie?


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Offline  Re: Brewer Player Retrospective - Richie Sexson
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Posted: January 07, 2019, 2:51 PM Post
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Most of the Brewer teams in that era were starving for pitching depth. When the trade with the Indians went down, I was amazed that we had three pitchers that another team wanted. If I remember correctly, the Brewers had printed up a Bob Wickman poster for a promotional giveaway that took place after he was with the Indians.

First base had been a black hole for the Brewers before the Sexson trade and we had been putting journeymen like Charlie Hayes into the lineup. I was at one of Sexson's first games as a Brewer and he seemed fairly agile around the bag for his size. With guys like Sexson, Jenkins, Burnitz and Tyler Houston in the lineup, we really racked up the strikeouts. Paul Rigdon looked like a steal too. He mowed down hitters in spring training but was derailed by arm trouble.

I remember the Brewerfan dissection of the trade with the Diamondbacks. There was limitless discussion on the merits of Overbay, Spivey, Moeller, Capuano, Counsell and JDLR. The roster received an influx of decent talent with one move. Was that really fifteen years ago?


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Offline  Re: Brewer Player Retrospective - Richie Sexson
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Posted: January 07, 2019, 2:53 PM Post
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ougiqbxy said:
Ben Oglivie?


Yes nice, ok now back to Big Sexy. I was trying to find something he was a franchise leader in. If you think he has enough PA to qualify he has the 2nd highest SLG% in Brewer history, .536 to Fielder's .540. Same with OPS, he is 2nd to Prince

Richie does have the best AB/HR ratio in Brewer history at 14.9. Also probably the best sideburns for any post 2000 player


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Offline  Re: Brewer Player Retrospective - Richie Sexson
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Posted: January 07, 2019, 2:58 PM Post
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brewers4eric said:

First base had been a black hole for the Brewers before the Sexson trade and we had been putting journeymen like Charlie Hayes into the lineup.


Yeah Richie started a long string of very consistent 1B play for the Brewers. From 2001 - 2011 you could just pencil in Sexson, Overbay and Fielder into the 1B slot. The fewest games played by any of them in that time span was 157.


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Offline  Re: Brewer Player Retrospective - Richie Sexson
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Posted: January 07, 2019, 3:05 PM Post
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Those were some bad Brewers teams.... I won't miss people calling him Sexton.


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Offline  Re: Brewer Player Retrospective - Richie Sexson
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Posted: January 07, 2019, 5:45 PM Post
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My second all time favorite Brewer. Look at that tooth pick body. No way roids got anywhere near him.


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Offline  Re: Brewer Player Retrospective - Richie Sexson
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Posted: January 07, 2019, 6:16 PM Post
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owbc said:
A few great memories come to mind:

1) HR to win opening night at Miller Park: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=860gskwGZrU
2) The game at Arizona where Sexson and Burnitz both went deep 3 times: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sTbMnum99jk
3) The 450+ foot triple in Houston: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8uFSAzTld3Y

I remember that Houston shot. Is he the only player ever to hit that pole?


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Offline  Re: Brewer Player Retrospective - Richie Sexson
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Posted: January 07, 2019, 6:17 PM Post
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Always liked him. The Crew traded him away at the right time, and put together a core that sort of bridged the way until the big wave of Fielder, Weeks, Hardy, Braun, etc.

The Paul Molitor Statue at Miller Park: http://www.facebook.com/paulmolitorstatue


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Offline  Re: Brewer Player Retrospective - Richie Sexson
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Posted: January 07, 2019, 6:57 PM Post
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LouisEly said:
owbc said:
A few great memories come to mind:

1) HR to win opening night at Miller Park: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=860gskwGZrU
2) The game at Arizona where Sexson and Burnitz both went deep 3 times: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sTbMnum99jk
3) The 450+ foot triple in Houston: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8uFSAzTld3Y

I remember that Houston shot. Is he the only player ever to hit that pole?

IIRC, others have hit the pole but I'm pretty sure he has the highest mark.


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Offline  Re: Brewer Player Retrospective - Richie Sexson
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Posted: January 09, 2019, 12:48 AM Post
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Looking back, Richie Sexson's tenure with the Brewers would mark the beginning of my rabid following of the team. I didn't realize that we were still so bad as a team back then. I must have watched almost every game. I remember how excited we were to simply not have a losing season and go 82 and 82 that one year. I feel old..


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Offline  Re: Brewer Player Retrospective - Richie Sexson
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Posted: January 09, 2019, 9:04 AM Post
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2002 was when I first really started following the Brewers in depth, after growing up commonly hearing Brewer games on the radio with the Ueck. Sexson, Jenkins and Sheets were pretty much all that was worth watching that year.


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Offline  Re: Brewer Player Retrospective - Richie Sexson
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Posted: January 09, 2019, 11:33 AM Post
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Man, those were some lean years. Sexson appeared to have a high baseball IQ, knowing how to get the most out of his talent. Brewers were smart to get the most out of his trade value.

I wonder if he could have gotten the section of the pole his ball struck.


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Online  Re: Brewer Player Retrospective - Richie Sexson
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Posted: January 09, 2019, 4:22 PM Post
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Sexson was a lot bigger than he looked. I saw him at McGillicuddy's downtown right after spring training one year and the dude was jacked. I also met an ump at Rosie's that hated Sexson. Rung him up three times the night I met him and said he wanted to ring him up a fourth.

"Dustin Pedroia doesn't have the strength or bat speed to hit major-league pitching consistently, and he has no power......He probably has a future as a backup infielder if he can stop rolling over to third base and shortstop." Keith Law, 2006


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Offline  Re: Brewer Player Retrospective - Richie Sexson
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Posted: January 09, 2019, 8:20 PM Post
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One of the best home run calls I can remember was “Ask me Sexson candy!” by Matt Vasgergian.


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Offline  Re: Brewer Player Retrospective - Richie Sexson
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Posted: January 09, 2019, 10:07 PM Post
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Little known fact, his last name is spelled Sexton.


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