Monday, February 14, 2011
20,000 days since a nice doubleheader for MilwaukeePosted by Chris Jaffe
20,000 days ago was a memorable doubleheader for the Milwaukee Braves, specifically for some of their future Hall of Famers. The games themselves weren’t spectacular, as the Braves demolished the Cincinnati Reds 15-0 and 6-1 in Crosley Field, but there were some interesting moments.
The first memorable detail occurred before the games began. According to The Last Hero: Henry Aaron by Howard Bryant, Eddie Mathews came to the stadium looking rather worse for the wear—he had some deep cuts on both sides of his face.
It turns out he’d been out and about the night before and a woman had thrown a glass at his head and it shattered in his face. He still had some shards of glass lodged in his face.
Eh, no matter. Mathews took his problems out on Cincinnati’s pitching, going 4-for-8 with a trio of walks in the doubleheader.
As impressive as Mathews was, he was overshadowed by a fellow future Cooperstown inductee, Warren Spahn. As the starting pitcher in the first game, Spahn didn’t need Mathews. In fact, he didn’t need anyone. Not only did Spahn pitch a complete-game shutout, but he considerably helped his own cause by blasting a solo home run.
That ain’t bad, but it shouldn’t have been too surprising, as Spahn was a very good-hitting pitcher. In fact, this was the third time in his career he combined a home run with a complete game shutout.
Oh, as for the most famous of the Milwaukee Brave Hall of Famers, Hank Aaron also enjoyed a fine afternoon, going 2-for-7 with a walk, three runs, and three RBI. But he didn’t do anything as showy as Mathews or Spahn.
History instructor by day, statnerd by night, Chris Jaffe leads one of the most exciting double lives imaginable; with the exception of every other double life possible to imagine. Despite his lack of comic-book-hero-worthiness, Chris enjoys farting around with this stuff. His new book, Evaluating Baseball's Managers is available for order. Chris welcomes responses to his articles via e-mail. Oh, and now he's on twitter.