Corey Hart is officially gone, off to Seattle to play with Robinson Cano and Felix Hernandez in the Pacific Northwest.
But, really, it seems as if heâ€™s been gone for a while. There hasnâ€™t been much consternation about his departure on talk radio, or social media.
Perhaps itâ€™s out of sight, out of mind. He missed all of 2013 recovering from surgeries on both knees and last played for the Milwaukee Brewers on Oct. 1, 2012, going 0-for-3. He finished that season â€“ a disappointment, team-wise â€“ with a .270 batting average, .334 on base percentage and .841 OPS with 30 home runs and 83 RBI in 149 games played.
While Hart isnâ€™t truly the last piece that remains of the most successful stretch of Brewers baseball since the early 1980s (Rickie Weeks will be next, and Ryan Braun remains for the foreseeable future) his departure does feel like it marks the end of one era of homegrown talent that from 2005 through 2013 went 739-719 with one division championship, two playoff appearances and one trip to the National League Championship.
Think about it, those 2005 Brewers that finished 81-81 â€“ the first non-losing season in 12 years â€“ featured J.J. Hardy (22), Weeks (22) and the first appearances of Hart (23) and Prince Fielder (21).
It was a heck of a run for the Brewers, as they drafted a future All-Star every year from 2000 through 2005, and then used picks from 2006 through 2008 to land Cy Young winners CC Sabathia and Zack Greinke via trade.
Hart was the oldest of that core, drafted in 2000. Though he never played 162 games (his career high was 157 in 2008) he did make two All-Star teams and topped 30 home runs twice and drove in more than 100 once.
Hart ended his tenure in Milwaukee after nine years with 154 home runs, 508 RBI, a .276 average and 16.0 WAR. He hit .241 with 2 homers and 5 RBI in 60 postseason plate appearances well.
A "new era" began with the Brewers in 2013, with Weeks, Gallardo and Braun remaining in the transition.
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