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Notes: "Walk of Fame" adds three names

Notes: Spahn, Mathews honored

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MILWAUKEE -- Former Milwaukee Braves players Eddie Mathews and Warren Spahn and former Braves general manager John Quinn will become the first non-Brewers inducted into the "Walk of Fame" at Miller Park, the Brewers announced Tuesday.

They will also be the first individuals inducted into the Walk of Fame since 2005, when former Brewers manager Harvey Kuenn and third baseman Don Money joined a group that began in 2001 with Hall of Famers Hank Aaron, Rollie Fingers, Paul Molitor and Robin Yount.

There are currently 12 honorees with homeplate-shaped plaques on the plaza outside Miller Park.

After Kuenn and Money were recognized in 2005, the Brewers changed the voting process to make it more difficult for new members to get in. This winter marked the first time that Milwaukee Braves players, coaches and executives were included.

"This year marks the 50th Anniversary of the Braves' World Series title, and we think it is a fitting tribute to open the Walk of Fame to the great contributors from that era," Brewers executive vice president Rick Schlesinger said. "We want this honor to be inclusive of all of the people who played extraordinary roles in the development of Major League Baseball in Milwaukee."

Both Mathews and Spahn are in the National Baseball Hall of Fame. Mathews hit 517 home runs during a 17-year Major League career and was with the Braves for all 13 of their seasons in Milwaukee. Spahn won more games in his 21 seasons (363) than any left-hander in Major League history, won the National League Cy Young Award in 1957 and completed 382 of the 665 games he started.

The Braves played in Milwaukee from 1953-1965, winning NL pennants in 1957 and 1958 and beating the Yankees in the 1957 World Series.

For the first time the Brewers sent out two separate ballots -- one for the Brewers and one for the Braves -- to members of the media and club executives. Mathews and Spahn each totaled more than the required 75 percent of the vote for election, while Quinn, the Braves' GM from 1945-58, was selected by an internal committee. Hall of Fame Braves pitcher Lou Burdette fell one vote shy of induction.

For the Brewers, former manager George Bamberger received the most votes for the second consecutive year but fell two votes shy of induction. Outfielder Ben Oglivie missed by three votes.

The families of Mathews, Quinn and Spahn will participate in an on-field ceremony at Miller Park on Aug. 31 and the plaques will be unveiled.

Nowhere man: Right-hander Elmer Dessens threw 20-25 pitches in the bullpen during Friday's loss to the Pirates and again during Monday's win over the Nationals. Anything to get a little work in.

Entering Tuesday's game against Washington, the 36-year-old Brewers long reliever had not appeared in a game since pitching two innings April 28. Either the situation has not called for Dessens, or Brewers manager Ned Yost has held off using him in case the team needs someone to eat up extra innings.

"I talked to Elmer about it [Monday] and he's fine," Yost said. "He understands where I'm coming from. He's a veteran guy."

Dessens has bounced between starting and relief for six different teams since 1996. He knows the drill, and on days like Monday when he wants to throw a bit, he calls down to the dugout to ask Yost and pitching coach Mike Maddux for the go-ahead.

"It's mainly to work on mechanics," Dessens said. "I know this is going to happen sometimes. The bottom line is we're winning, so I just have to be patient."

In his first nine appearances, Dessens posted a 4.91 ERA.

Sit still: Outfielder Corey Hart was barred from batting practice again Tuesday, while he continued to rest a sore right wrist. Hart has developed mild tendinitis in the joint, which was originally injured while stealing a pair of bases in a Brewers win April 21.

He missed a few games, but then retuned to the lineup. The injury has continued to bother Hart, though, while swinging, especially at high pitches, so a decision was made to shut it down for the series against Washington.

"It's been frustrating, because it's one of those things that keeps coming back," Hart said. "I was playing without a top hand, and that's hard to do. ... I don't want to sit out, but it's a 'get it out of the way' type of thing."

With Hart sidelined, Kevin Mench started in right field on Monday and Gabe Gross got the start Tuesday. Yost said Hart could be used as a pinch-runner or defensive replacement.

Getting better: Entering play Tuesday, the Brewers had committed just one error over their last eight games and had climbed to seventh in the National League with a .984 fielding percentage.

Particularly impressive to Yost has been center fielder Bill Hall, who has improved since a poor start in his new position, and second baseman Rickie Weeks, who had only one error through his first 30 games. Through 30 games in 2006, Weeks had already been charged with 10 errors.

Weeks made a highlight-worthy play on Monday night, ranging to the middle of the field for a Nook Logan grounder and throwing across his body to first base for the out. It was Weeks' second such play in less than a week, and one that he works on in afternoon fielding drills with bench coach Dale Sveum.

"What made the degree of difficulty so much more on that play is that Nook Logan flies down that line," Yost said. "He works on it. Dale calls them 'body control' plays."

On deck: The Brewers will try to make it 6-0 during Claudio Vargas starts, when the right-hander takes the mound Wednesday against right-hander Jason Bergmann and the Nationals in the series finale. Vargas pitched for the Expos and Nationals from 2003-2005.

Adam McCalvy is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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