On this day in 1931, Edwin Lee "Eddie" Mathews was born in Texarkana, Texas. He was not yet 18 years old when the Boston Braves signed him as an amateur free agent in 1949, and he was a full time major leaguer at age 20 in 1952, appearing in 145 games at third base.
The next year the Braves moved to Milwaukee and Mathews became a star, batting .302/.406/.627 and leading the National League with 47 home runs while finishing second in the league's MVP voting.
Mathews was with the Braves for all 13 of their seasons in Milwaukee, collecting 1960 hits (including 452 home runs), scoring 1300 runs and driving in 1277. He also drew 1254 walks, leading the NL in that category four times.
Mathews was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1978, appearing on 301 of 379 ballots. He passed away in Feburary of 2001 at the age of 69.
Mathews would have turned 80 today. With help from the B-Ref Play Index, we'd like to wish a happy birthday to:
- La Crosse, WI native and 2005-07 Brewer Damian Miller, who turns 42.
- 2009-10 Brewer Trevor Hoffman, who turns 44.
- 1990 Brewer Mike Capel, who turns 50.
- 1983-84 Brewer Andy Beene, who turns 55.
And also a belated happy birthday to:
- Brewer first base coach Garth Iorg, who turned 57 Wednesday.
- Milwaukee native Tony Kubek, who turned 76 Wednesday. Kubek played nine major league seasons between 1957-65 as a Yankee, and was the 1957 AL Rookie of the Year.