Cecil Cooper was a five-time all star who didn't really come into his own until he went to the Milwaukee Brewers in 1977. Cecil started with the Boston Red Sox and was about a .280 hitter with a little bit of power for the first six years of his career. He was traded to the Brewers after the 1976 season for George Scott and Bernie Carbo.
Friday, May 15, 2009
1976 Topps #78 - Cecil Cooper
Cooper was given the job as starting 1B for Milwaukee and responded by batting .300 with 20 home runs. He fell off a bit in 1978, but bounced back in 1979. He led the AL in doubles, batted .312, hit 24 HR and had 102 RBI. He also won the first of two Gold Glove awards and was named to his first of five All Star teams.
In the ensuing few years he led the AL in RBI twice, led in doubles once more, and batted over .300 several more times. His great year in 1980 (.352, 25 HR, 110 RBI) was overshadowed by George Brett's chase of .400. He retired in 1987.
Those Milwaukee Brewer teams of the late 70s and early 80s were fun to watch. They used to train in Sun City, AZ. My father and I usually made it to 4-5 spring training games a year. That was before spring training became a big expense.
Cecil Cooper is now the manager of the Houston Astros.