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Today In Brewer History: Happy birthday, Gene Oliver

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The former Milwaukee Braves catcher would've turned 78 today.

On this day in 1935 Gene Oliver was born in Moline, Illinois. He made his major league debut as a member of the 1959 Cardinals and played several seasons in St. Louis before being dealt to the Milwaukee Braves following the 1963 season in the deal that sent pitcher Lew Burdette to the Cardinals.

Oliver had a career year with the Braves in their final season in Milwaukee in 1965, playing primarily at catcher and hitting .270/.336/.482 with a career-high 21 home runs. Amazingly, those 21 homers were only the sixth highest total on the Braves:

Player Home Runs
Eddie Mathews 32
Hank Aaron 32
Mack Jones 31
Joe Torre 27
Felipe Alou 23
Gene Oliver 21

At the time this Braves team was one of just three in major league history to have six 20 HR hitters on the same team.

All told Oliver played 786 games in the majors as a member of five teams.

Oliver passed away in 2007, or he would have turned 78 today. With help from Brewerfan.net and the B-Ref Play Index, we'd also like to wish a happy birthday to: