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In 2006, Davey Nelson became a Brewers broadcaster for FOX Sports Wisconsin. (PHOTO: Wiki Commons)

Brewers mourn passing of former coach and broadcaster Davey Nelson

Davey Nelson, a member of the Milwaukee Brewers family since 2001 and one of its most recognizable, smiling faces, died on Monday after battling a long illness. He was 73.

"Davey took every opportunity to turn a casual introduction into a lifelong relationship, and his legacy will live on in the positive impact he had on the lives of so many people," Brewers Chief Operating Officer Rick Schlesinger said in a statement. "Davey's love of life and commitment to helping those in need were second to none, and we are so grateful for the time that we had with him. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and all of those who loved him."

The 10-year Major League veteran played from 1968-77 as an infielder with the Indians, Senators, Rangers and Royals. In 1973, Nelson was an American League All-Star with Texas, as he hit .286 with 43 stolen bases in 142 games. After his playing career ended, he spent time in coaching roles with the White Sox, A's, Expos and Indians.

Nelson joined the Brewers in 2001 as a roving minor-league outfield instructor and became the team's big-league first base coach in 2003. In 2006, Nelson moved into a broadcasting and front office role for the organization, as a pregame analyst and the team's director of alumni relations. Many fans remember the avuncular Nelson from his television work for FOX Sports Wisconsin.

Born June 20, 1944, in Fort Sill, Oklahoma, Nelson graduated from Junípero Serra High School in California. He attended Compton Junior College for one year and Los Angeles State College for two years. He also served in the Army Reserve for six years.

Nelson was active in both the local community and broader charity efforts. He served on the board of directors for Open Arms Home for Children in South Africa, an organization that serves as a home to more than 50 children who are either orphaned or do not have a stable family situation. His annual golf tournament has helped raise significant funding for the organization.

In lieu of flowers, donations to Open Arms Home for Children are suggested for those looking to honor Nelson's memory, according to the Brewers. Contributions can be made online at openarmshome.com.

While there won't be a formal memorial service, a private celebration of Nelson's life will be held later this spring.


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