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Milwaukee Braves Baseball Jersey

Road jersey worn by Milwaukee Braves first baseman Joe Adcock in 1957.
(Museum object #2006.68.1)

For most of the 1950s, the Milwaukee Braves were consistently one of the best teams in the National League. One reason was slugging first baseman Joseph Wilbur Adcock. The Braves won more games between 1953, when Adcock arrived via a trade with the Cincinnati Reds, and 1960 than any other National League team, averaging almost 89 victories per season. During that stretch, the team finished third once, second five times (twice by a single game) and won two National League pennants. They also won the World Series in 1957, the year Adcock wore this jersey.

Over the same eight year period (1953-1960), the six-foot four-inch tall, right-hand hitting Adcock batted .289 and hit 175 home runs, despite serious injuries in 1955 and 1957 and minor ones in other seasons. In 1954, Adcock smacked four home runs and a double against the Dodgers, setting the major league record for total bases in a single game with 18. (This record stood until 2002.) Adcock had his best season in 1956, when he batted .291, hit 38 home runs, and knocked in 103 runs. He was chosen for the National League All-Star team in 1960, a year he finished with 25 home runs and a .298 batting average.

Joe Adcock wore this size 44 grey flannel jersey for road games during the 1957 season. Made by the Wilson Sporting Goods Co. of Chicago, Illinois, it has Adcock's name and the year of use embroidered onto tags on its collar and tail. Adcock, who died in his home town of Coushatta, Louisiana in 1999, autographed the front of the jersey with a black marker.

Adcock broke his leg on June 23 of the Braves Championship season and missed 89 games. He rejoined the team on September 12, 1957 in time for the pennant run and the World Series. He played in five of the seven Series games against the New York Yankees, starting against left-handed pitchers. (Left-hander Frank Torre started against righties.) Although Adcock batted only .200 during the Series (3 for 15), one of those hits was crucial.

In the sixth inning of Game 5, with the Series tied at two games each, Adcock hit a two-out single to score Eddie Mathews from third base with the only run of the game. The Braves' 1-0 win in Game 5 was the margin of victory in their 4 games to 3 Series triumph over the Yankees.

When Adcock retired after the 1966 season, his 366 home runs ranked 20th on the all time list and 7th among right handers. This jersey is a memento of one of the Milwaukee Braves' premier players and of the season when the Braves won it all.

[Sources: Buege, Bob. The Milwaukee Braves: A Baseball Eulogy (Milwaukee: Douglas American Sports Publications, 1988); Joe Adcock's statistics can be accessed at Baseball Almanac or at Baseball Reference.]

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Posted on October 19, 2006

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