Atlanta Braves: Power Ranking the Retired Numbers

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Jul 4, 2015; Atlanta, GA, USA; A detailed view of Atlanta Braves 4th of July hat and a glove in the dugout against the Philadelphia Phillies in the second inning at Turner Field. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

3B/1B. 1952-1966. Eddie Mathews. 41. player. 17.

Eddie Mathews is one of only a handful of third baseman in the National Baseball Hall of Fame.  The late Eddie Mathews earned enshrinement in 1978, in surprisingly his fifth year on the ballot!  How does a member of the 500 Home Run Club not get in on the first ballot back in the 1970’s?

Eddie Mathews is the only Brave to ever play for the team in all three hometowns of the franchise.  He played his rookie season in Boston, played with the club its entire duration in Milwaukee, and spent his last season with the club in 1966, the first year of the Atlanta Braves.

Mathews hit 493 of his 512 career home runs, recorded 2,201 of his 2,315 big league hits, and drove in 1,388 of his 1,458 RBI’s with the Braves during his 15 seasons with the team.  Eddie finished 3rd in Rookie of the Year in 1952, made 9 NL All-Star teams (1953, 1955-62), and finished 2nd twice in National League Most Valuable Player voting (1953 and 1959).

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He was part of the core that helped Milwaukee win the 1957 World Series title of the New York Yankees.  For a power hitter, Mathews’ career splits at the plate while with the Braves are very strong (.273/.379/.517).

What ends up hurting Eddie Mathews is that his career accomplishments have often been overshadowed by some other great third baseman over the years (George Brett, Brooks Robinson, Mike Schmidt, and another guy we’ll get to shortly) as well as some terrific teammates of his during his time with the club.  But when looking at the pantheon of the greatest third basemen of all time, Eddie Mathews without question makes any list in question.

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