Higuera to be inducted to Walk of Fame
Teddy Higuera, one of the best pitchers in Brewers history during his brief peak, is getting a star on the team’s Wall of Fame.
After finishing two votes shy last year, the Mexican-born left-hander garnered enough support this time from Wisconsin media and Brewers front office officials for induction, and will be honored on the plaza outside Miller Park on Aug. 14 before a Brewers-Phillies game.
Higuera, all 5-foot-10 of him, burst onto the Brewers’ scene as a rookie in 1985, going 15-8 with a 3.90 ERA and running second to the White Sox’s Ozzie Guillen in American League Rookie of the Year balloting. The next year, Higuera became only the third 20-game winner in Brewers history, going 20-11 with a 2.79 ERA and 207 strikeouts for a second-place finish in AL Cy Young Award balloting to Roger Clemens (who was also the league’s MVP). In 1987, Higuera won 18 more games and struck out 240, a club record that stood until Ben Sheets broke it in 2004. In 1988, Higuera’s 0.999 WHIP led the American League.
Injuries prevented Higueramania from taking hold. In 1989, Higuera underwent back surgery and was limited to 22 starts. In 1991, he tore his right rotator cuff underwent a series of surgeries that essentially ended his playing career. After missing all of 1992, Higuera made only 20 more Major League starts with an ERA that topped 7.00.
Nevertheless, he remains one of the most accomplished pitchers in franchise history. Higuera is the Brewers’ all-time leader in wins above replacement for a pitcher (30.6, according to the Baseball-Reference.com measure), and ranks third in ERA and victories, and fifth in WHIP.
“We are thrilled to honor Teddy Higuera with a plaque on the Miller Park Walk of Fame,” Brewers COO Rick Schlesinger said. “Teddy was a lifetime Brewer, and he still ranks among franchise leaders in many pitching statistics. Just as important, though, is that he’s always been an engaging personality and a terrific representative of those who have worn the Brewers uniform. We look forward to his return to Milwaukee and the opportunity to recognize his achievements with a permanent marker at Miller Park.”
A total of 32 votes were cast and Higuera received 25 votes (78.1%), exceeding the threshold of 65% needed for election. Former Milwaukee Braves first baseman Joe Adcock (20 votes) and Brewers pitcher Mike Caldwell (17) were the closest to qualifying among eligible former players and coaches.
The Walk of Fame already includes plaques honoring Hank Aaron, Rollie Fingers, Paul Molitor, and Robin Yount (inducted in 2001); Commissioner Bud Selig and Cecil Cooper (2002); broadcaster Bob Uecker and former Brewers GM Harry Dalton (2003); Jim Gantner and Gorman Thomas (20040; Don Money and manager Harvey Kuenn (2005). After balloting was opened to former Milwaukee Braves greats, Eddie Mathews, Warren Spahn and GM John Quinn (2007), Lew Burdette (2010) and Johnny Logan (2013) also gained induction.
Full balloting results: