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Eddie Mathews


mantleisthebest7

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Hey y'all!

I think that this is the best place to post this. I may be just 15 and a sophomore in high school, but aside from Ken Griffey Jr. and Matt Holliday (GO ROCKS!), I lean on the heroes of yesterday and look up to them. IDK why, im just that kinda guy, a throwback if you will. I As y'all can see from my user name and my avatar, Mickey Mantle is my most favorite player. But I have another favorite that I wanted to talk about in my post. That player is Eddie Mathews, the legendary Braves third baseman, who also took two pit stops in Houston and Detroit in his illustrious 17-year career (1952-1968).

Recently for my journalism class, my teacher asked us to write an article about anything we wanted and to really make a point out of it. I thought hard and Mathews, for whatever reason, came across my mind. It hit me after reading my hall of fame books that something wasnt right. Mathews, despite having a career (and swing) that were as stellar as any, is unkown by many. experts, and historians, of course, know him. But all the others, the followers, the dreamers, they seem to forget or not even know who Eddie was. I have Sports Illustrated's, "The Baseball Book", and in it they feature their all time first and second teams. For the first team, the 3B was Mike Schmidt. I figured, "Ok, Eddie will be on the second team. Nope. I believe it was Brooks Robinson. "Darn," I thought. Thats just another group of people who counted him out.

I personally believe that the reason no one knows who he is is because Mike Schmidt overshadowed him. But then, I think, "Who was it who sent a real standard for third basemen today? Schmidt had to surpass Mathews to get his third base records (HRs in a career, HRs in a season), so why isnt Mathews recognized? I believe Mathews set the real standard for guys like Schmidt to surpass, like Ruth set the standard for Aaron and Bonds to surpass. Though Bonds sits at the top, Ruth is still considered the greatest. Get these stats:

512 HR

2,315 H

.271 avg

1,509 R

1,453 RBIs

What's not to like there? Here's some more fast facts. When he retired in 1968, his homer total ranked 7th all time. It ranked 1st for most by a third baseman until Mike Schmidt surpassed him. He set the record for most homers by a third baseman in 1953 (only his second year in the majors) with 47, also until Schmidt broke that. He hit 30 or more homers nine seasons in a row from 1953-1961, hitting more than 40 four times within that span. He played in 10 all-star games. Basically, when he retired, he was the greatest third baseman ever. Then opinions faded throughout time, and now to the world today, Mathews is just a player who happens to have a plaque in Cooperstown (even his delayed HOF election is disturbing - despite holding many 3B records, Mathews didnt get in until 1978, an unusual four years after his first year of eligibilty). What i'm saying is, I believe that Eddie Mathews is THE most underrated player in baseball history. Why many don't know him, I'll never know. But Eddie deserves more respect than the very minimal that he gets. What are your opinions on him? Any stories? Pleast post anything youve got on (in my opinion) the greatest third baseman to ever play the game.

Here's a link to a highlight reel with commentary on Mathews I found on the HOF database:

http://mfile.akamai.com/31386/wmv/mlb.down...die_bio_400.wmv

Oh before I go, I found a quote that Ty Cobb made after seeing Mathews bat for the first time. Check this out:

"Iv'e only seen three or four perfect swings in my time. This lad has one of them."

-Ty Cobb

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My generation is very familiar with Eddie Matthews. In fact, the 41 in my screen name is a tribute to him. Matthews is one of the reasons I wore number 41 when I played baseball. Like you, I am really into baseball history. I liked Matthews because he batted left and threw right just like I do.

I don't think that people "don't know who he is" but when it comes to discussing the all-time greats at 3rd base most people think Schmidt or Robinson first and Matthews is almost an afterthought.

You make some great points. No argument here. Eddie Matthews was one of the best ever. When you're done with Matthews, take a look at Clete Boyer. He's another third baseman that probably doesn't get the credit he deserves. He was great with the glove but he played in the AL at the same time Brooks Robinson did. Who knows how many gold gloves Boyer would have won if he'd played his career in the NL.

I think it's great that someone your age is studying baseball history. Keep it up.

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My generation is very familiar with Eddie Matthews. In fact, the 41 in my screen name is a tribute to him. Matthews is one of the reasons I wore number 41 when I played baseball. Like you, I am really into baseball history. I liked Matthews because he batted left and threw right just like I do.

I don't think that people "don't know who he is" but when it comes to discussing the all-time greats at 3rd base most people think Schmidt or Robinson first and Matthews is almost an afterthought.

You make some great points. No argument here. Eddie Matthews was one of the best ever. When you're done with Matthews, take a look at Clete Boyer. He's another third baseman that probably doesn't get the credit he deserves. He was great with the glove but he played in the AL at the same time Brooks Robinson did. Who knows how many gold gloves Boyer would have won if he'd played his career in the NL.

I think it's great that someone your age is studying baseball history. Keep it up.

I must confess, I'm one of those people. I hear third baseman and Brooks Robinson jumps out. I don't suppose part of the reason he is underrated had to do with the franchise he played for? He probably was overshadowed by Hank Aaron as well. But, he will always be remembered as the person who was on the cover of the first issue of Sports Illustrated.

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Matthews is indeed one of those people that should be better know, but just isn't. One reason may be the fact that he played with the Braves for most of his career (including being the only Brave to play in Boston, Milwaukee, and Atlanta), and when he did move on to other teams, he was on the downside of his career. I respect Matthews, but still when I think 3rd Basemen, I still think Schmidt and Robinson.

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I agree that Eddie Mathews doesn't get the respect he should get.

Mathews was an afterthought even in the 1960s when I was a kid. It was big if you got a baseball card of Mantle, Mays, Aaron, Killebrew, Clemente, Frank Robinson, Brooks Robinson, Koufax, Gibson, etc. But no big deal if you got an Eddie Mathews card.

Granted, when you think of third basemen, the first two who pop into mind are Mike Schmidt and Brooks Robinson. And with good reason. Schmidt could do everything and Brooks might be the best defensive player ever to play the game.

Mathews wasn't a fantastic player, but he was a great player. Maybe that was the problem -- he was a great player in an age of fantastic players like the aforementioned bunch.

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Eddie Matthews is the Braves equivalent of Ron Santo, only with the HOF love.

You just said the magic acronym. I think that someone in the Hall can be underrated, but not necessarily the most underrated ever.

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Eddie Mathews is real close to me...my middle name is Mathew, with one "t" after him. He was a regular at my great grand parents bar just outside of Milwaukee. I actually got to meet him when I was like 3 but unfortunately the only memory I have from it is a picture and an autographed bat. But from all the stories I have heard about him, not only was Eddie Mathews a great talent on the field...but also a great guy off it.

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Josh Gibson is the most underrated and unknown player in baseball history.

I do agree that he is underrated. He is the greatest player of his era, even better than Ruth in my opinion. but he's got one REALLY bad knock on him....the negro leagues either never took stats, or lost the ones they took. So no onw will ever know just how good he was. I wholeheartedly believe it when people say he hit 900 home runs. I really do. But many dont believe it because there is nothing to fall back on but legend. I hear ya though.

I still think Eddie deserves alot more credit though.

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Josh Gibson is the most underrated and unknown player in baseball history.

Unknown? Yes. Underrated? Hardly. Those that know of Gibson refer to him as the Babe Ruth of the Negro Leagues. I think if they're comparing him to Ruth it's hard to make a case that he's being underrated.

In any case, it's nice to see these old timers popping up on the boards here.

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