One of the all-time great Milwaukee Braves passed away 12 years ago today.
On this day in 2001 Hall of Fame third baseman Eddie Mathews passed away in La Jolla, California. He was 69 years old.
Despite being just 21 at the time Mathews was a breakout star for the Braves in their first season in Milwaukee in 1953, leading all of baseball with 47 home runs and finishing second in the voting for the National League MVP. He made his first of nine All Star appearances that year.
If not for Hank Aaron, Mathews would easily be the Braves' best hitter from their time in Milwaukee. He was a Brave for all 13 of their seasons at County Stadium and hit .277/.385/.528 with 452 home runs, scoring 1300 runs and driving in 1277. He led the NL in walks four times and home runs twice.
Mathews was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1978, receiving 79.4% of the vote. He's still 21st all-time with 512 career home runs, 24th with 1444 walks and 54th with 4349 total bases.
Mathews is buried in Santa Barbara Cemetary in Santa Barbara, California.
With help from the B-Ref Play Index, happy birthday today to:
- 2004-06 Brewer Chad Moeller, who turns 38. We covered his birthday in this space last year.
- 1989 Brewer LaVel Freeman, who turns 50.
- 1972 Brewer Syd O'Brien, who turns 69.