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Eddie Mathews – 1973 Topps #237

Edwin Lee “Eddie” Mathews (October 13, 1931 – February 18, 2001) was an American professional baseball player. He played in Major League Baseball as a third baseman, most notably on the Milwaukee Braves. Mathews is regarded as one of the greatest third basemen ever to play the game. He was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1978. Between 1954 and 1966 he and Braves teammate Hank Aaron hit 863 home runs (Aaron 442, Mathews 421), moving ahead of the Yankees duo of Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig as the all-time leaders in major league history. He managed the Atlanta Braves from 1972 to 1974. He was the manager when Hank Aaron hit his 715th home run. He is also one of the few players to play, coach, and manage for the same baseball team.

Eddie Mathews was elected to the Wisconsin Athletic Hall of Fame in 1976. In 1978, Mathews was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1978. He ranks second among all-time third basemen in home runs, runs batted in, slugging percentage, and total bases. In 1999, the The Sporting News ranked Mathews 63 on their list of 100, “Baseball’s Greatest Players”. He also nominated that year as a finalist for the Major League Baseball All-Century Team. In 2001, Mathews passed away from complications of pneumonia in 2001 in La Jolla, California. He is buried in Santa Barbara Cemetery. Later that year, the Braves honored his memory with the placement of patches bearing his retired uniform number, 41, on their jerseys.

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