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INSIDE:

CLUBHOUSE
CRONICLES

Jimmy Palermo, during a historic 7-day span in May, 1939, saw the meteoric rise of Williams and tragic decline of Gehrig.

THE GAME'S
GOLDEN ERA

An exclusive WIWAG ongoing feature.


MEMORIES
The field seemed vast to a 7-year old who had looked forward to this day for two months.

BREAKING THE COLOR LINE
The year marks the 60th anniversary of the first major league tryout for black players.

SPECIAL COLOR
LINE TIMELINE

Bud Fowler is the first know black players on an integrated team.

BOOMING BATS
of the '50s

Qualify as Grade A10.


AMERICA'S ORIGINAL
SPORTS BAR
First sports bar featured 12-inch Farnsworth TV.

BASEBALL
HISTORIANS

Two unsuspecting vintage baseball fans rediscover a "National Treasure."
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THIS BAT is an Adirondack (model 11SA) with "MATHEWS" block stamped on the barrel.
































EDDIE MATHEWS used this bat in the final Braves-Cardinals series of 1955.  In the first game, a 4-2 Braves win, he planted his 40th home run of the year off of the Busch Stadium pavilion roof onto Grand Avenue. The next day he dropped a long fly into the right field pavilion seats, taking advantage of Auggie Busch's decision to remove the pavilion screen after the 1954 season, for his 41st round-tripper in a loss to the Redbirds in the second game. The all-star third baseman drove home 101 runs with a total of 69 extra base hits and an average of .289 in 1955.

HALL OF FAME third-baseman, Eddie Mathews hit over 30 home runs nine years in a row from 1953 to 1961.

WHERE DID THIS BAT COME FROM?


EDDIE MATHEWS

HALL OF FAME: 1978

ALL-STAR: 1953, 1955, 1956, 1957, 1958, 1959, 1960, 1961, 1962

Mathews cracked more than 30 home runs nine years in a row

In 1953, his 47 homers for the Milwaukee Braves led the National League and established a new single-season record for third basemen

HALL OF FAMER

EDDIE MATHEWS and Hank Aaron were the most feared 1-2 punch in baseball history.
EDDIE MATHEWS WEB LINKS

One of the most feared sluggers in the National League in the 1950s, Mathews began his Major League career on April 15, 1952 with the Boston Braves at age 21. The strong-armed and fiercely competitive slugger played for 17 seasons for the Boston Braves, Milwaukee Braves, Atlanta Braves, Houston Astros and Detroit Tigers — and ended his big league playing career in 1968.

Mathews became the seventh player in major league history to hit 500 home runs, finishing his career with 512. He walloped more than 30 home runs nine years in a row. In 1953, his 47 homers for the Milwaukee Braves led the National League and established a single-season record for third basemen, since broken by fellow Hall of Famer, Mike Schmidt. Eddie had a league leading 109 RBI in 1955, when he hit 41 home runs.

Mathews was also a good fielding third baseman with a rifle arm and hit 40 or more home runs each of the team's first three seasons in Milwaukee. The Braves won pennants in 1957 and 1958, with Mathews and Hank Aaron forming the most feared 1-2 punch in baseball. During their years as teammates, Mathews and Aaron combined for a record 1,267 home runs — 60 more than Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig hit together.

EDDIE MATHEWS became the seventh player in major league history to hit 500 home runs.


In 1959, Mathews won his second and last home run title, with 46. He also hit .306, scored 118 runs, and had 114 RBIs that year. He hit 23 or more home runs each of the next six seasons and had 32 or more three times.

In 2,391 games, Mathews had 2,315 hits — including 354 doubles, 72 triples and 512 home runs. He had 1,453 RBIs, scored 1,509 runs and was a nine-time National League all-star third baseman.

After playing with the Braves for one season after they moved to Atlanta in 1966, Mathews was with the Houston Astros and Detroit Tigers in 1967. He ended his major league career with the Tigers in 1968.

As a testament to his stellar career, Mathews was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1978 with 80 percent of the vote.

EDDIE MATHEWS: Did you know...

...Mathews combined with Henry Aaron to hit the most homers as teammates (863) - more than Ruth and Gehrig. Further, Mathews and Aaron are the only teammates to hit 400 homers each as teammates (442 for Hank, 421 for Eddie).

...Mathews and Aaron homered in the same game 75 times. That total is two more than Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig, and ranks as the all-time record.

Mathews played 2,181 games at the hot corner, 112 at first base, and 52 in the outfield (most of them in 1963, when the Braves wanted to get Denis Menke some playing time at third base!)


MATHEWS on the cover of SPORT magazine.

From 1954 to 1966, Mathews and Aaron led the Braves attack. During those 13 seasons they ranked No. 2 (Aaron) and No. 4 (Mathews) in baseball in games played. They were first and third in hits (Aaron leading), second and fourth (Mathews) in runs and runs created, first and third (Mathews) in RBI, and their combined 863 homers were the most by teammates ever. Aaron clubbed 442, Mathews 421, good for second and fourth in baseball over that stretch. Perhaps no team in history has had two such great sluggers over that long of a period. Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig teamed for ten seasons, while Willie Mays and Willie McCovey were paired for 13 1⁄2 seasons, but didn't enjoy the same success, relative to their league, as Aaron and Eddie.

...Mathews, Hank Aaron, Joe Adcock and Frank Thomas become the first four players ever to hit successive home runs in a game on June 8, 1961. They did it in the seventh inning against Cincinnati.— Mathews was the first athlete featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated.


...Mathews was a National League all-star in 1953, 1955, 1956, 1957, 1958, 1959, 1960, 1961 and 1962.

THIS ISSUE of Sports Illustrated published in June 1956 extolled the "power of the Braves, " and featured Eddie on the cover.


...Mathews was signed by the Boston Braves before the 1949 season as an amateur free agent. On the evening of his high school graduation, Mathews signed his big-league contract with the Braves, while he was wearing his tuxedo for the dance.

...Mathews was traded by the Atlanta Braves in Dec. 1966 with a player to be named later and Arnold Umbach to the Houston Astros for Dave Nicholson and Bob Bruce. The Atlanta Braves sent Sandy Alomar Sr. (February 25, 1967) to the Houston Astros to complete the trade.

...Mathews was traded by the Houston Astros in Aug. 1967 to the Detroit Tigers for a player to be named later. The Detroit Tigers sent Fred Gladding (November 22, 1967) to the Houston Astros to complete the trade.

...Mathews was released by the Detroit Tigers in Oct. 1968.

...Mathews was the only man to play for the Boston Braves, Milwaukee Braves and Atlanta Braves.

...Mathews became a coach with the Braves after retiring. He took over as manager during the 1972 season and was fired during the 1974 season.

...Mathews was born October 13, 1931 in Texarkana, Texas. He died February 18, 2001 in La Jolla, California at age 69.

EDDIE MATHEWS, middle, was among this quintette of Braves who produced the biggest power show of the 1953 season. On Aug. 30 the group racked up eight home runs in the first game of a double-header in Pittsburg to set a new National League record. The Braves then added four more round-trippers in the nightcap for a day's total of 12 to smash the senior loop records for a double-header and the total for two successive games. The Braves' record-tying home run parade in the first game, above left to right, included Jack Dittmer, Johnny Logan, Mathews (who socked a pair), Jim Pendleton (who hit three) and Del Crandall. Mathews and Logan each hit one out in the nightcap also.

ONE OF THE MOST FEARED sluggers during the 1950s, Mathews played for 17 seasons for the Boston Braves, Milwaukee Braves, Atlanta Braves, Houston Astros and Detroit Tigers

 

EDDIE MATHEWS was a National League all-star in 1953, 1955, 1956, 1957, 1958, 1959, 1960, 1961 and 1962.


MATHEWS hits the dirt to score one of his career 1,509 runs.

 

EDDIE MATHEWS was featured on the cover of the premier issue of Sports Illustrated in August 1954.

EDDIE MATHEWS was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1978 with 80 percent of the vote.