1970 Milwaukee Brewers season

The 1970 Milwaukee Brewers season was the second season for the franchise. The team finished fourth in the American League West with a record of 65 wins and 97 losses, 33 games behind the Minnesota Twins. This was the team's inaugural season in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, after spending its first year of existence in Seattle, Washington as the Pilots.

1970 Milwaukee Brewers
Major League affiliations
Other information
Owner(s)Bud Selig
General manager(s)Marvin Milkes
Manager(s)Dave Bristol
Local televisionWTMJ-TV
Local radioWEMP
(Merle Harmon, Tom Collins)
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Relocation to Milwaukee

During the offseason, Dewey Soriano, president of the financially strapped Seattle Pilots, crossed paths with Bud Selig, a Milwaukee car dealer who had been working to bring baseball back to Milwaukee since the Braves (of which he'd been a minority owner) left for Atlanta after the 1965 season. They met in secret for over a month after the end of the season, and during Game 1 of the World Series, Soriano agreed to sell the Pilots to Selig for $10 to $13 million (depending on the source). Selig would then move the team to Milwaukee and rename it the Brewers. However, the owners turned it down in the face of pressure from Washington's two senators, Warren Magnuson and Henry (Scoop) Jackson, as well as state attorney general Slade Gorton. MLB asked Soriano and chairman William Daley to find a local buyer.

Local theater chain owner Fred Danz came forward in October 1969 with a $10 million deal, but it fizzled when the Bank of California called in a $4 million loan it had made to Soriano and Daley for startup costs. In January 1970, Westin Hotels owner Eddie Carlson put together a nonprofit group to buy the team. However, the owners rejected the idea almost out of hand since it would have devalued the other clubs' worth. A more traditional deal came one vote short of approval.

After a winter and spring full of court action, the Pilots reported for spring training under new manager Dave Bristol unsure of where they would play. The owners had given tentative approval to the Milwaukee group, but the state of Washington got an injunction on March 17 to stop the deal. Soriano immediately filed for bankruptcy — a move intended to forestall any post-sale legal action. At the bankruptcy hearing a week later, general manager Marvin Milkes testified there was not enough money to pay the coaches, players and office staff. Had Milkes been more than 10 days late in paying the players, they would have all become free agents and left Seattle without a team for the 1970 season. With this in mind, Federal Bankruptcy Referee Sidney C. Volinn declared the Pilots bankrupt on March 31 — seven days before Opening Day — clearing the way for them to move to Milwaukee. The team's equipment had been sitting in Provo, Utah, with the drivers awaiting word on whether to drive toward Seattle or Milwaukee. MLB returned to Seattle in 1977, when the Mariners began play at the Kingdome.

Coincidentally, Milwaukee had gained its previous team under circumstances similar to some of those surrounding this move. The Braves had moved from Boston to Milwaukee only a few weeks before the 1953 season.

Notable transactions

Regular season

Opening Day starters

Season standings

AL West W L Pct. GB Home Road
Minnesota Twins 9864 0.605 51–30 47–34
Oakland Athletics 8973 0.549 9 49–32 40–41
California Angels 8676 0.531 12 43–38 43–38
Kansas City Royals 6597 0.401 33 35–44 30–53
Milwaukee Brewers 6597 0.401 33 38–42 27–55
Chicago White Sox 56106 0.346 42 31–53 25–53

Record vs. opponents

Baltimore 13–57–59–314–411–712–07–55–711–77–512–6
Boston 5–135–78–412–69–97–55–77–510–87–512–6
California 5–77–512–66–66–610–812–68–105–78–107–5
Chicago 3–94–86–126–66–67–117–116–125–72–164–8
Cleveland 4–146–126–66–67–118–47–56–68–107–511–7
Detroit 7–119–96–66–611–76–68–44–87–116–69–9
Kansas City 0–125–78–1011–74–86–612–65–131–117–116–6
Milwaukee 5–77–56–1211–75–74–86–125–133–9–18–105–7
Minnesota 7–55–710–812–66–68–413–513–55–713–56–6
New York 7–118–107–57–510–811–711–19–3–17–56–610–8
Oakland 5–75–710–816–25–76–611–710–85–136–610–2
Washington 6–126–125–78–47–119–96–67–56–68–102–10

Notable transactions

  • April 1, 1970: Steve Barber was released by the Brewers.[5]
  • May 11, 1970: Wayne Comer was traded by the Brewers to the Washington Senators for Hank Allen and Ron Theobald.[6]
  • May 18, 1970: John Donaldson was traded by the Brewers to the Oakland Athletics for Roberto Peña.[7]
  • June 4, 1970: John Tamargo was drafted by the Brewers in the 4th round of the secondary phase of the 1970 Major League Baseball draft, but did not sign.[8]
  • June 11, 1970: Steve Hovley was traded by the Brewers to the Oakland Athletics for Al Downing and Tito Francona.[9]
  • June 15, 1970: John O'Donoghue was traded by the Brewers to the Montreal Expos for José Herrera.[10]
  • August 20, 1970: Floyd Wicker was purchased by the Brewers from the Montreal Expos.[11]


1970 Milwaukee Brewers
Pitchers Catchers


  • 44 Hank Allen
  • 19 Bob Burda
  • 20 Wayne Comer
  •  6 Mike Hershberger
  • 36 Steve Hovley
  • 17 Pete Koegel
  • 11 Dave May
  •  2 Ted Savage
  • 22 Bernie Smith
  •  7 Russ Snyder
  • 28 Sandy Valdespino
  • 12 Danny Walton
  • 40 Floyd Wicker
  •  4 Dave Bristol


  • 27 Cal Ermer (Third base)
  • 26 Roy McMillan (First base)
  • 30 Jackie Moore (Bullpen)
  • 18 Wes Stock (Pitching)

Player stats

Starters by position

Note: Pos = Position; G = Games played; AB = At bats; H = Hits; Avg. = Batting average; HR = Home runs; RBI = Runs batted in

Pos Player G AB H Avg. HR RBI
CPhil Roof11032173.2271337
1BMike Hegan148476116.2441152
2BTed Kubiak158540136.252441
3BTommy Harper154604179.2963182
SSRoberto Peña12141699.238342
LFDanny Walton117397102.2571766
CFDave May10034282.240731
RFBob Burda7822255.248420


Other batters

Note: G = Games played; AB = At bats; H = Hits; Avg. = Batting average; HR = Home runs; RBI = Runs batted in

Player G AB H Avg. HR RBI
Jerry McNertney11129672.243622
Ted Savage11427677.2791250
Russ Snyder12427664.232431
Steve Hovley4013538.281016
Gus Gil6411922.185112
Max Alvis6211521.183312
Mike Hershberger499823.23516
Bernie Smith447621.27616
Tito Francona526515.23104
Hank Allen286114.23004
John Kennedy255514.25526
Greg Goossen214712.25513
Floyd Wicker15418.19513
Rich Rollins14255.20005
Wayne Comer13171.05901
Sandy Valdespino890.00000
Pete Koegel782.25011
Fred Stanley600----00


Starting pitchers

Note: G = Games pitched; IP = Innings pitched; W = Wins; L = Losses; ERA = Earned run average; SO = Strikeouts

Player G IP W L ERA SO
Marty Pattin37233.114123.39161
Lew Krausse Jr.37216.113184.75130
Skip Lockwood27173.25124.3093
Gene Brabender29128.26156.0276
Al Downing1794.12103.3453
Ray Peters22.00231.501

Other pitchers

Note: G = Games pitched; IP = Innings pitched; W = Wins; L = Losses; ERA = Earned run average; SO = Strikeouts

Player G IP W L ERA SO
Bobby Bolin32132.05114.9181
John Morris2073.1433.9340
George Lauzerique1135.0126.9424

Relief pitchers

Note: G = Games pitched; W = Wins; L = Losses; SV = Saves; ERA = Earned run average; SO = Strikeouts

Player G W L SV ERA SO
Ken Sanders5052131.7564
John Gelnar534344.1948
Dave Baldwin282112.5526
Bob Locker280133.4119
John O'Donoghue252005.0113
Bob Humphreys232433.1532
Dick Ellsworth140011.729
Bob Meyer100106.3820
Wayne Twitchell200010.805
Bruce Brubaker10009.000

Farm system

The Brewers' farm system consisted of four minor league affiliates in 1970.[13][14] The Double-A Jacksonville Suns were shared with the Montreal Expos.[14]

Level Team League Manager
Triple-A Portland Beavers Pacific Coast League Al Federoff
Double-A Jacksonville Suns Southern League Gus Niarhos
Class A Clinton Pilots Midwest League Earl Torgeson
Class A Short Season Newark Co-Pilots New York–Penn League Sandy Johnson


  1. Mike Marshall at Baseball Reference
  2. Diego Seguí at Baseball Reference
  3. Phil Roof at Baseball Reference
  4. 1970 Milwaukee Brewers Roster by Baseball Almanac
  5. Steve Barber at Baseball Reference
  6. Hank Allen at Baseball Reference
  7. John Donaldson at Baseball Reference
  8. John Tamargo at Baseball Reference
  9. Steve Hovley at Baseball Reference
  10. José Herrera at Baseball Reference
  11. Floyd Wicker at Baseball Reference
  12. 1970 Milwaukee Brewers Statistics and Roster Baseball-Reference.com
  13. "1970 Milwaukee Brewers Minor League Affiliates". Baseball-Reference. Sports Reference. Retrieved December 30, 2020.
  14. "Niarhos to Manage Jacksonville Club". The Racine Journal-Times Sunday Bulletin. Racine, Wisconsin. January 18, 1970. p. 4C via Newspapers.com.


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