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Harvey Edward Kuenn
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 6' 2", Weight 190 lb.
- School Luther College, University of Wisconsin-Madison
- High School Milwaukee Lutheran High School
- Debut September 6, 1952
- Final Game October 2, 1966
- Born December 4, 1930 in West Allis, WI USA
- Died February 28, 1988 in Peoria, AZ USA
Harvey Kuenn was a regular .300 hitter, starting with his rookie season, coming from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He gradually became considered as one of the American League's elite batsmen with the Detroit Tigers, with whom he was a top-ten hitter six times. During eight of his ten first full seasons as a regular, Kuenn hit over .300.
He hit off his front foot, which reduced his power. A singles and doubles hitter, he possessed tremendous bat control, spraying the ball to all fields. As a great contact hitter, who neither walked nor struck out very much, fielders knew that Kuenn would usually put the ball in play. Though a capable shortstop, but not especially quick or flashy, he was later changed into an outfielder. He also did a few stints at third base. As a rookie in 1953, he led the A.L. in at bats, with 679.
In one of baseball's most controversial, daring and historical trades, after the 1959 season, Cleveland Indians General Manager and master trader "Frantic Frankie" Lane traded A.L. home-run champion Rocky Colavito to Detroit for popular Kuenn, who was the reigning batting champion. Indian fans were outraged, since Rocky was their "Bobby-Socks" hero. Later, Kuenn played with distinction for the San Francisco Giants. However, his sterling career was in a slow, gradual decline after leaving Detroit. Only twice more did this elite batsman hit .300, and he bottomed out at .223 in 1965.
After his playing career ended, Kuenn joined the Milwaukee Brewers coaching staff in 1971 and served as the club's interim manager briefly in 1975. He took over full-time as the Brewers' skipper in 1982, replacing Buck Rodgers, and led a team known as "Harvey's Wallbangers" for its hitting prowess to the World Series, where they were beaten in 7 games by the St. Louis Cardinals.
Kuenn was beset with a series of medical issues while serving as hitting instructor for the Brewers. He had quadruple bypass surgery in 1976 and, following a blood clot, had a leg amputated below the knee in 1980.
- 1953 AL Rookie of the Year Award
- 8-time AL All-Star (1953-1960)
- AL Batting Average Leader (1959)
- 2-time AL At Bats Leader (1953 & 1954)
- 4-time AL Hits Leader (1953, 1954, 1956 & 1959)
- AL Singles Leader (1953)
- 3-time AL Doubles Leader (1955, 1958 & 1959)
- 100 Runs Scored Seasons: 1 (1955)
- 200 Hits Seasons: 2 (1953 & 1954)
- Division Titles: 1 (1982)
- AL Pennants: 1 (1982)
|AL Rookie of the Year|
|Harry Byrd||Harvey Kuenn||Bob Grim|
|Milwaukee Brewers Manager
|Milwaukee Brewers Manager
Year-By-Year Managerial Record
|1975||Milwaukee Brewers||American League||1-0||5th||Milwaukee Brewers||replaced Del Crandall (68-93) on September 28|
|1982||Milwaukee Brewers||American League||72-43||1st||Milwaukee Brewers||Lost World Series||replaced Buck Rodgers (23-24) on June 2|
|1983||Milwaukee Brewers||American League||87-75||5th||Milwaukee Brewers|
- Harvey Kuenn (as told to George Vass): "The Game I'll Never Forget", Baseball Digest, July 1971, pp. 62-64.