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Eddie Mathews

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Eddie Mathews
Third Baseman
Batted: Left Threw: Right
MLB Debut
April 15, 1952 for the Boston Braves
Final game
September 27, 1968 for the Detroit Tigers
Career Statistics
HR     512
AVG     .271
Hits     2315
Teams

As Player

As Manager

Career Highlights and Awards
  • All Star: 1953, 1955-1962
  • Led league in home runs: 1953 (47) & 1959 (46)

Edwin Lee "Eddie" Mathews (October 13 1931February 18 2001) was a Hall of Fame third baseman in Major League Baseball and is widely regarded as one of the greatest, if not the greatest, third baseman to play the game.[citation needed]

Born in Texarkana, Texas, Eddie Mathews was six years old when his family moved to Santa Barbara, California where he developed into a star high school player. Signed by the Boston Braves in 1949, he continued to shine in their farm system as a left-handed hitting third baseman who hit towering home runs.

Brought up to the major leagues in 1952, Eddie Mathews hit 25 home runs, including three in one game, breaking the record for rookies. In 1953 the Braves moved to Milwaukee, Wisconsin where he batted .302, hit 47 home runs, and drove in 135 runs. For nine straight seasons he hit at least 30 home runs, including leading the National League twice (1953, 1959).

As one of 1954's superstars in American sports, Mathews was chosen for the cover of the first-ever issue of Sports Illustrated magazine. Around this time, Hall of Famer Ty Cobb said of Mathews: "I've only known three or four perfect swings in my time. This lad has one of them."

The Braves won the 1957 National League championship. In the World Series Mathews hit a game-winning home run in the tenth inning of game four. The Braves went on to defeat the New York Yankees to win the World Series.

Mathews was traded to the Houston Astros before the 1967 season. That year, he became only the seventh player to hit 500 career home runs, becoming a member of the 500 home run club. During the 1968 season, Mathews was traded from the Astros to the Detroit Tigers. In that year's World Series, he made his final appearances in two post-season games as the Tigers triumphed over the St. Louis Cardinals. Upon his retirement, he was seventh in all-time home runs with 512. Over his seventeen-year major league career, he was named to the All-Star team nine times, played in three World Series, and drove in 100 or more runs five times.

Between 1954 and 1966 he and Braves teammate Hank Aaron hit 863 home runs (Aaron 442, Mathews 421), moving ahead of the Yankees duo of Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig as the all-time leaders in major league history.

He managed the Atlanta Braves from 1972 to 1974. He was the manager when Hank Aaron hit his 715th home run.

In 1978 Eddie Mathews was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame and today still ranks second all-time among third basemen in home runs, RBI, slugging percentage and total bases.

In 1999, he ranked Number 63 on The Sporting News list of Baseball's Greatest Players, and was nominated as a finalist for the Major League Baseball All-Century Team.

In poor health during his final years, Mathews died from complications of pneumonia at age 69 in La Jolla, California. In 2001, the year of Mathews' death, the Braves honored his memory with the placement of patches bearing his retired uniform number, 41, on their jerseys.

TriviaEdit

He is the only player to play for the Braves in Boston, Milwaukee, and Atlanta.

He is also one of the few players to play, coach, and manage for the same baseball team.

Mathews appeared on the cover of the first issue of Sports Illustrated, dated August 16, 1954.

While a member of the Houston Astros, Mathews hit his 500th home run on July 14, 1967, off future Hall of Fame pitcher Juan Marichal of the San Francisco Giants.

See alsoEdit

External linksEdit

Template:500 home run club Template:Atlanta Braves managers Template:Atlanta Bravesde:Eddie Mathews

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