Lew Krausse, who started Brewers’ inaugural game, dies at 77

Lew Krausse, who pitched 12 years in the major leagues and started the first game in Milwaukee Brewers history, has died. He was 77.

Chad Krausse, Lew’s youngest son, said his father died Tuesday of complications from cancer while in hospice care in Kansas City.

Krausse was 68-91 with 21 saves and a 4.00 ERA during a big league career that began in 1961 and ended in 1974. He pitched the first three innings and took the loss when the Brewers fell to the California Angels on April 7, 1970.

The expansion franchise originally known as the Seattle Pilots in 1969 moved to Milwaukee and became the Brewers the following year.

Krausse made his major league debut in 1961 at age 18 and went 2-5 with a 4.85 ERA for the Kansas City Athletics. He returned to the majors for good in 1964 with the A’s.

He pitched with the A’s through 1969, the final two seasons after the franchise moved to Oakland. He also pitched for Milwaukee (1970-71), the Boston Red Sox (1972), St. Louis Cardinals (1973) and Atlanta Braves (1974).

His best season came in 1966, when he went 14-9 with a 2.99 ERA.

Krausse’s father, also named Lew Krausse, pitched in the majors for the Philadelphia Athletics from 1931-32. The elder Krausse died in 1988 at the age of 76.

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