Former Milw. Braves honored at Miller Park

Hall of Famer Eddie Mathews and former Milwaukee Braves outfielder Felix Mantilla were added to the Braves Honor Roll on Tuesday afternoon at Miller Park during an afternoon ceremony. Mathews’ son, Eddie Jr., were on hand for an event organized by the Brewers and the Milwaukee Braves Historical Association. 

Next time you’re at Miller Park, stop by the exhibit on the ballpark’s field level, to the third base side of home plate. It’s worth the time. 
Some photos follow, but I also wanted to pass along this clipping from the April 14, 1953 edition of the Chicago Daily Tribune, from one of my colleagues here at Miller Park. It arrived in doorsteps the morning after baseball’s ’54 Opening Day, when Mathews hit a pair of home runs in a loss to the Reds in Cincinnati. 
Irving Vaughan’s game story is tremendous. Here’s a taste:

Cincinnati, O., April 13 — Milwaukee’s Braves, surprising second place finishers in last year’s race, didn’t get away from the post suitably in their 1954 opener at Crosley field today.

In a daffy free-for-all, marked by 13 doubles because the crowd of 33,185 overflowed the playing arena, the Redlegs blew down Charlie Grimm’s lads, 9 to 8, by blasting two of the four enemy pitchers granted employment. 

And, along with the beating, the Braves’ Andy Pafko was beaned but, wearing a batter’s helmet, was not seriously injured, according to first reports.

Mathews Hits 2 Homers
The one thing that can be said in defense of the Braves was that they were the producers of seven of the 13 two baggers dropped among the field customers. Also that the day’s only homers were hit by Ed Mathews, the lad who padded 47 beyond reach last season. This afternoon, in his favorite shooting gallery where he registered seven bull’s eyes last year, he hit a pair, both after the Milwaukeeans had let an earlier 4 to 0 bulge escape.

The Braves started off as batting terrors by bouncing Starter Bud Podbielan into the discard inside of two innings, but Bob Buhl soon fell apart and was yanked in the fourth in favor of Chet Nichols. Mathews’ first homer put Nichols in a tie, but he was routed in a three-run sixth, Rookie Ray Crone and Lew Burdette keeping things orderly therafter.
 
For the rest, you’ll have to head to the Tribune archives. 
Here are some photos from the event, courtesy of Brewers photographer Scott Paulus:
Mantilla01.jpg
Felix Mantilla
Mantilla03.jpg
Mathews01.jpg
Eddie Mathews Jr.
Mathews03.jpg
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