On this day in 1972 one of the greatest Milwaukee Braves finally took his place in Cooperstown. Longtime third baseman Eddie Mathews had 512 career home runs, posted a .376 career OBP and appeared in twelve All Star games* but still didn't reach the Hall of Fame until his fifth ballot.
Matthews was a Brave for 15 seasons, bookending the team's years in Milwaukee with single seasons with the franchise in Boston and Atlanta. 452 of his 512 home runs came in Milwaukee where he led the National League in homers twice (1953 and 1959), walks four times (1955, 1961, 1962 and 1963) and OBP once (1963). He received MVP votes in nine of his 13 seasons as a Milwaukee Brave, including second place finishes in 1953 and 1959.
Less than a week after being inducted into the Hall, Mathews was named manager of the now-Atlanta Braves. He held that job for parts of three seasons.
With help from the B-Ref Play Index, happy birthday to:
- Seattle Pilot and 1970 Opening Day catcher Jerry McNertney, who turns 76.
- 1954-57 Milwaukee Brave Ray Crone, who turns 81.
* - two each in 1959, 1960 and 1961.