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Wednesday, January 7, 2004
Updated: January 8, 12:16 PM ET
Molitor will enter Hall as Brewer


Paul Molitor has gotten over his bitter divorce with the Milwaukee Brewers, who allowed him to leave via free agency after the 1992 season.

Although Molitor won a World Series with Toronto in 1993 and later played for his hometown Minnesota Twins, he decided to go into the Hall of Fame with a Brewers cap on his plaque.

He'll join Robin Yount, who was inducted five years ago.

"The more I thought about it, it didn't take me long to realize that's the cap I would like to honor," Molitor said Wednesday during a telephone conference call.

He said he felt he owed a debt of gratitude to team owner Bud Selig, currently the commissioner of baseball, and "going in with Robin as the only other Brewer is something I'd like to do."

Selig decided to hold the line on escalating salaries in 1992. Molitor then joined the Blue Jays, and became World Series MVP the following season.

"The opportunity to play for a long time for only one organization like Robin is a rarity," Molitor said. "But I realized at that time in 1993 that baseball was coming to a crossroads where markets were beginning to separate because of revenue and unfortunately I was one of the first players affected.

"There were some ill feelings at the time on both sides, but no blame," Molitor said. "It was a very difficult decision and I spent a lot of time not being sure of what to do. But now 10½ years later I think I did the right thing, but it was painful at the time."

The Brewers have never had a winning season without Molitor, not prior to his arrival in 1978 nor since his departure in 1992.

Their 11th straight losing season was exacerbated by public infighting in the offseason that led to the departure of team president Ulice Payne Jr. in November.

"I've followed their seasons since my departure, and I know it's been difficult and for the most part unsuccessful," Molitor said. "And now the things that have happened in this offseason make it difficult to regroup and refocus. But you can never lose hope that eventually they'll get to .500 and then go on from there."

Molitor, a seven-time All-Star, said among his fondest memories were Cecil Cooper's game-winning hit in the 1983 playoffs, Yount's 3,000th hit and "then 1993 in Toronto was probably my No. 1, because it was the only time I was able to enter baseball's winner's circle."

Molitor, Seattle's hitting coach, became the first player elected to the Hall who spent more games at designated hitter than at any other position.