1963 Eddie Matthews
- 3B, LF, OF, 1B
- October 13, 1931
- 6' 1"
- 190 lbs
- Major League Debut:
- 4-15-1952 with BSN
- Hall of Fame:
One of the most feared sluggers in the National League in the 1950s, Eddie Mathews is the only man to play for the Braves in all three cities they called home: Boston, Milwaukee and Atlanta. When he was traded to the Houston Astros prior to the 1967 season, he cried. Mathews returned to Atlanta after he retired, and managed longtime teammate Hank Aaron when Aaron broke Ruth’s home run record. Mathews and Aaron own the all-time record for most career homers as teammates.
#41 (1952-1966), #11 (1967 Astros), #7 (1967-1968 Tigers)
Clete Boyer, who was acquired from the New York Yankees in the 1966 off-season.
In just his second season, the muscular Mathews powered 47 balls out of the ballpark - leading the NL for the first time. He drove in 135 runners, scored 110 times, and played in every game. His SLG was .627 and he had a .406 OBP (the first of six times he topped .400). He batted .302 on the strength of 175 hits. Aaron had yet to come to the Braves, so Mathews was truly the power player for Milwaukee in '53.
Eddie Mathews may have been the first athlete stricken by the "Sports Illustrated Curse." After appearing on the magazine's first cover, the slugger injured his hand and missed seven games.
Signed as an amateur free agent by Boston Braves (1949); Traded by Atlanta Braves with Arnold Umbach and a player to be named later to Houston Astros in exchange for Dave Nicholson and Bob Bruce (December 31, 1966) - Houston Astros received Sandy Alomar (February 25, 1967; Traded by Houston Astros to Detroit Tigers in exchange for a player to be named later (August 17, 1967) - Houston Astros received Fred Gladding (November 22, 1967); Released by Detroit Tigers (October 28, 1968).
Mathews was runner-up in both the 1953 and 1959 MVP voting. In '53, Roy Campanella beat him out, and in '59 it was Ernie Banks.
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