Great Braves Through The Ages: Joe Adcock

In Dan Pace's latest "Great Braves Through The Ages" he profiles one of the Braves greats in Firstbaseman Joe Adcock, often overlooked by the likes of Hank Aaron and Eddie Mathews in the 1950's.

One of the most successful eras in the Braves franchise was the mid to late 1950's. The Boston Braves beat the St.Louis Browns to Milwaukee and they city embraced them from the moment they arrived. The Braves had a poweful lineup that included superstars Hank Aaron and Eddie Mathews. Another powerful bat in the Braves lineup was that of first baseman Joe Adcock.

Joe began his major league career in 1950 with the Reds where he stayed throughout the 1952 season. On Febuary 16th 1953 the Braves traded first baseman Earl Torgenson to the Phillies for pitcher Russ Meyer. Next they sent Meyer to the Dodgers for Rocky Bridges and Jim Pendleton. To complete the days trading frenzy the Braves then shipped Rocky Bridges to the Reds in exchange for Joe Adcock.

In his first season with the Braves Adcock hit .285 with 18 home runs, 33 doubles, 6 triples, 80 rbi with 71 runs scored. In 1954 Joe hit .308 with 23 home runs, 27 doubles, 5 triples, 87 rbi and scored 73 runs while finishing 8th in the NL MVP voting. On July 31st 1954 Joe hit 4 home runs against the Brooklyn Dodgers in Ebbets field becoming only the second player in franchise history to do so. The next day Joe was beaned by Dodger pitcher Clem Labine. Braves pitcher Gene Conley gets revenge by beaning Jackie Robinson and the benches cleared. Joe would be ok and return to the lineup the next day.

1955 Joe's arm was broke when hit by a pitch by Jim Hearn of the Giants. Playing in only 84 games that year he hit .264 with 15 home runs, 14 doubles, 45 rbi and scored 40 runs. 1956 would be a career year for Joe. He hit .291 with a career high 38 home runs. He also had 23 doubles, 1 triple, 76 runs scored and came in second in the NL with 103 rbi.

1957 saw the Braves win the NL pennant for the first time since 1948. Joe only got into 65 games but made the most of it. Joe hit .287 with 12 home runs, 13 doubles, 2 triples, 38 rbi and scored 31 runs. That year the Braves upset the mighty Yankees in a seven game World Series. In the series Joe struggled hitting only .200 with 2 rbi and one run scored.

The Braves would reapeat as NL champs in 1958. Joe however played in only 105 games but hit .275 with 19 home runs, 15 doubles with 1 triple while driving in 54 rbi and scoring 40 times. Joe had a better World Series this time around by hitting .308 but had no rbi and once again scored only once while the Braves lost the series in seven games to the Yankees.

Joe would go on to hit 25 home runs in 1959 and 1960 while driving in 76 rbi in 1959 and 91 in 1960. The season of 1961 Joe had a season to rival his awesome 1956 campaign. Joe connected for 35 home runs and drove in a career high 108 rbi. He would also have 20 doubles and score 77 times. 1962 would be Joe's last season with the Braves. That year Joe had 29 home runs, 12 doubles, 1 triple, 78 rbi and score 48 times.

On November 27th 1962 Joe is traded to the Indians along with pitcher Jack Curtis in exchange for pitcher Frank Funk and outfielders Don Dillard and Ty Cline. Adcock would go on to play for the Indians and Angels before retiring after the 1966 season.

In 1967 Joe returned to baseball as the manager of the Cleveland Indians where he led them to a 75 and 87 record. On October 1st of that year Joe is fired and retires once again. Joe passed away on May 3rd 1999 in his hometown of Coushatta Louisiana.

Joe Adcock career Braves hitting stats:
Games: 1,207
At bats: 4,232
Hits: 1,206
Doubles: 197
Triples: 22
Home Runs: 239
Rbi: 760
Runs: 564
Average: .285

Joe Adcock career hitting stats:
Games: 1,959
At Bats: 6,606
Hits: 1,832
Doubles: 295
Triples: 35
Home Runs: 336
Rbi: 1,122
Runs: 823
Average: .277

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