Monday, April 8, 2013

The Only Player to Play For The Boston Milwaukee AND Atlanta Braves

This question from Pete proved to be quite the tricky question to answer. For those of you who don't know, the Atlanta Braves started out in the city of Boston. After a number of monikers, the name of the team settled on The Braves from 1912-1935 and 1941-1952. They were called the Boston Bees from 1936-1940. Why? I haven't been able to find out as of yet. But for an interesting history on the Boston Braves check out Home of the Braves? 50 years after the Boston Braves' departure, it’s worth asking: did the wrong team leave town? by Mike Miliard. Back to the trivia question. So the Braves left Boston for Milwaukee for a period of 12 years before moving to Atlanta for the 1966 season. The player would have had to have played for the team for a window of at least 14 years from 1952 to 1966 to have played for the team in all three cities.

At first my mind gravitated to Hall of Famer Warren Spahn, which was the incorrect answer. Spahn played for Boston in 1942 before losing three seasons to military service. Spahn rejoined the team in 1946 and continued with the franchise through their move to Milwaukee. His contract was purchased by the New York Mets in 1964 and would become a free agent after being released during the 1965. Spahn would sign with the San Francisco Giants during the same season and be released at season's end.

Though Hall of Famer Hank Aaron signed as a free agent with the Boston Braves in 1952, he never played in Boston coming up with the Milwaukee Braves in 1954. He would play with the Braves in Atlanta until 1974. Aaron would play for two more seasons with the Milwaukee Brewers. After Aaron, the next logical choice for me was Hall of Famer Eddie Mathews which was indeed the correct answer.

Eddie Mathews' rookie season was 1952 with the Boston Braves and came into his own with the Milwaukee Braves as a potent tandem with Hank Aaron. While in Milwaukee, Mathews hit 452 of his 512 home runs. He would combine with Aaron to hit a total of 850 home runs while playing in Milwaukee. That is one crazy number considering that in 12 years, Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig would combine for a total of 859 home runs.

Mathews would play the 1966 season in Atlanta before he was traded to the Houston Astros on December 31, 1966 with a player to be named later and Arnold Umbach for Bob Bruce and Dave Nicholson. Sandy Alomar Sr. was the player to be named later. He would later be traded to the Detroit Tigers during the 1967 season and play with them until the end of the 1968 season. He would be released and retire after the 1968 season.

Thanks to Pete for that one.

For Further Reading
- Click Here to read Guest Article: Looking Back at Aaron and Mathews by Andrew Godfrey from the Los Angeles Times blog page Bleacher Report: Los Angeles dated October 7, 2009
- Click Here to Access Eddie Mathews' Career Statistics from Baseball
- Click Here to Access Hank Aaron's Career Statistics from Baseball
- Click Here to Access Warren Spahn's Career Statistics from Baseball

Sisco Kid