An aggressive hitter with good power for a shortstop but a tendency to strike out, Sveum (pronounced “Swaim”) hit 25 home runs while batting ninth for the Milwaukee Brewers in 1987, including three in one game against the California Angels on July 17. He made the Topps All-Rookie Team as a third baseman in 1986, despite leading the American League in errors at the position in only 65 games there, and was made a full-time shortstop in 1987. In 1988, Sveum led AL shortstops in errors as well. A broken leg caused him to miss all of 1989.
Sveum was never the same after the injury. He served in a utility role for the Brewers in ’90 and ’91 before being traded to the Philadelphia Phillies for Bruce Ruffin on December 11, 1991. Sveum became a journeyman, bouncing from team to team and filling in around the infield and as a pinch-hitter. He enjoyed a mini-renaissance with the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1997, hitting twelve home runs and driving in 47 runs in 306 at-bats.