When the Braves moved to Milwaukee in 1953 they became the first major league team in over 50 years to relocate to a new city. That journey was officially complete on this day that year, when the new Milwaukee Braves opened their inaugural season in Cincinnati.
The Braves had won just 64 games in their final campaign in Boston the year earlier, so expectations could not have been too high for this team. They jumped off to a 1-0 start, though, shutting out the Reds 2-0 at Crosley Field. Bill Bruton was the offensive hero, leading the game off with a single, stealing a base and scoring a run. Max Surkont made the lead hold up, pitching a complete game three-hitter with no walks and two strikeouts.
All told the Braves finished the 1953 season with 92 wins, 28 games better than their previous season but still only good enough for second place in the National League. They sold over 1.8 million tickets that season to lead the league.
With help from the B-Ref Play Index, happy birthday today to:
- 2010 Brewer Lorenzo Cain, who turns 26.
- 2001 Brewer Mark Leiter, who turns 49.
Today is also the 27th anniversary of Rollie Fingers' 217th American League save in 1985, setting a new record. We covered that event in this space last year.