- Eddie Mathews
Infobox MLB retired
deathdate=death date and age|2001|2|18|1931|10|13
La Jolla, California
Runs batted in
* Boston / Milwaukee / Atlanta Braves (by|1952-by|1966)
Detroit Tigers(by|1967-by|1968)As Manager
* 9x All-Star selection (1953, 1955, 1956, 1957, 1958, 1959, 1960, 1961, 1962)
World Serieschampion (1957, 1968)
* Atlanta Braves #41 retired
Edwin Lee "Eddie" Mathews (
October 13 1931– February 18 2001) was a Hall of Fame third basemanin Major League Baseballand is widely regarded as one of the greatest third basemen to play the game. (cite book |author=James, Bill |title=The New Bill James Historical Baseball Abstract |publisher=Free Press |location=New York |year=2001 |pages= 539 |isbn=0-684-80697-5)
Texarkana, Texas, Eddie Mathews was six years old when his family moved to Santa Barbara, Californiawhere 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, Wisconsinwhere 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 Leaguetwice (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 Cobbsaid of Mathews: "I've only known three or four perfect swings in my time. This lad has one of them."
Mathews was a powerful pull-hitter, and for many years of his career teams would implement the "Mathews shift" when he came to bat. The second baseman would shift well to his left, toward first base, and the shortstop would come to the second base side of the bag, leaving a gaping hole between second and third base. Mathews delighted in occasionally punching the ball through that hole.
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 Yankeesto win the Series. Mathews made the final out of the Series, a forceout of Gil McDougaldon Moose Skowron's hard-hit grounder.
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 Aaronhit 863 home runs (Aaron 442, Mathews 421), moving ahead of the Yankees duo of Babe Ruthand Lou Gehrigas the all-time leaders in major league history.
He managed the Atlanta Braves from 1972 to 1974. He was the manager when
Hank Aaronhit his 715th home run.
In 1978 Eddie Mathews was elected to the
Baseball Hall of Fameand today still ranks second all-time among third basemen in home runs, RBI, slugging percentage and total bases.
In by|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.
*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 Marichalof the San Francisco Giants.
List of Major League Baseball Home Run Records
Top 500 home run hitters of all time
500 home run club
List of major league players with 2,000 hits
List of Major League Baseball players with 1000 runs
List of Major League Baseball players with 1000 RBI
List of Major League Baseball home run champions
Major League Baseball hitters with three home runs in one game
* [http://www.astrosdaily.com/audio/67mathews.mp3 Audio: Matthews' 500th career home run] as called by
Harry Kalasin 1967
* [http://www.dugoutcentral.com/blog/?p=1892 Profile of Mathews in 1989]
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Look at other dictionaries:
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