Results tagged ‘ joe adcock ’
Today we announced that former Milwaukee Braves first baseman, the late Joe Adcock, will be honored as the newest member of the Miller Park Walk of Fame in 2016.
A total of 34 votes were cast through media and panel voting, with Adcock receiving 23 votes (67.6%), exceeding the threshold of 65% needed for election. Adcock fell just one vote shy of election last year.
Adock spent 17 seasons in the Major Leagues, including 10 with the Braves. His tenure in Milwaukee spanned from 1953 to 1962, as he batted .285 with 239 HR and 760 RBI in 1207 games. Adcock notched a number of memorable feats while playing for the Braves. On April 14, 1953, he recorded the first base hit and scored the first run in County Stadium history. The following year, on July 31, 1954, he belted four home runs with a double at Brooklyn’s Ebbets Field, setting a single-game record of 18 total bases, which lasted 48 years.
“Joe always said that there was nowhere better to be a Major League ballplayer than the city of Milwaukee, and he had great ties to the area and even better memories of his time there,” said Joan Adcock, a Wisconsin native who met and married Joe while he was playing for the Braves. “This is a tremendous honor, and I know Joe would be humbled and thrilled to be remembered in this way.”
Adcock was also a member of the Braves 1957 World Championship team. He drove in the lone run in a 1-0 Game 5 World Series win vs. the New York Yankees. The Braves went on to defeat the Yankees, four games to three. On May 26, 1959, Adcock broke up Harvey Haddix’s 12-inning no-hitter with a walk-off double at County Stadium. Adcock ranks third in Milwaukee Braves history in hits (1206), home runs, RBI and total bases (2164).
“Joe Adcock was a key contributor to the great success enjoyed by the Braves during their storied tenure in Milwaukee, and we are very pleased to secure his legacy with a place on the Miller Park Walk of Fame,” said Brewers Chief Operating Officer Rick Schlesinger. “Joe’s contributions to the Braves were numerous, and he was responsible for some of the most memorable moments in Milwaukee baseball history. We look forward to remembering Joe with a ceremony this summer and a permanent marker at Miller Park.”
The induction of Adcock, who passed away in 1999, will take place prior to a game at Miller Park this summer, with the specific date to be determined later. Family members including his widow, Joan, are expected to participate.
There were a total of 23 Brewers players and seven Braves players on the ballot. The ballot included on-field personnel who wore a Brewers or Braves uniform for a minimum of three seasons but have been retired from playing/managing roles for at least three seasons. All players and managers receiving votes on at least 5% of the ballots will remain eligible in 2017.
Past inductees include Hank Aaron, Rollie Fingers, Paul Molitor, Robin Yount in 2001; Commissioner Bud Selig and Cecil Cooper in 2002; Bob Uecker and Harry Dalton in 2003; Jim Gantner and Gorman Thomas in 2004; Don Money and Harvey Kuenn in 2005; Eddie Mathews, Warren Spahn and John Quinn in 2007 (the first year that former Braves players appeared on the ballot); Lew Burdette in 2010, Johnny Logan in 2013, and Teddy Higuera in 2015.
Each inductee is honored with a granite plaque that is placed into the terrace area walkway that surrounds Miller Park.
The 9th Annual “Evening With Hank Aaron,” presented by Brewers Community Foundation and the Forest County Potawatomi Foundation, was held last night in the NYCE Stadium Club at Miller Park.
The exclusive event with the Hall-of-Famer, husband, philanthropist and businessman included a dinner with notables Hank’s former teammates Felix Mantilla and Johnny Logan, as well as former Brewers player Craig Counsell, now Special Assistant to the General Manager; a silent auction and a Q&A session with Hank hosted by Bob Costas, broadcaster with NBC Sports and the Major League Baseball Network. Each guest also received a professional photo with Hank, and a special gift autographed by him.
“My week goes from the sublime to the ridiculous,” Bob said in his introduction, referencing the fact that not only did he have the opportunity to interview Hank Aaron during the event, but that he will also be the emcee for Bob Uecker’s statue dedication on Friday.
The riveting interview touched on some of the adversity that Hank experienced en route to becoming the Home Run King.
Growing up in Mobile, Ala. Hank was told by his own father that he couldn’t be a pilot, something that he aspired to do as a young boy. “Forget about it boy, because there ain’t no colored pilots,” Hank recalled his father saying. When Hank told his father he would focus on baseball instead, his father told him, “You can forget about that too. Your only options are to become a school teacher or blow a saxophone.”
Hank didn’t let that stop him, though. And, when, as an 18-year-old, he attended a baseball camp with the Dodgers in Mobile and he was told, “Listen son, you’re too little, go home. You can’t play baseball,” he didn’t let that stop him either.
Coming up in the Negro and Minor Leagues, Hank started out as second baseman—batting cross-handed nonetheless—before he grew into the powerful home run hitter we remember him as.
And, even as his professional career flourished and he was chasing Babe Ruth’s home run record, there were a lot of people who wanted to see him break it, but there were also a lot of people who didn’t.
“The two years that I spent chasing Babe Ruth’s record were two years that I don’t talk about much because I have mixed feelings about it, really,” Hank said. During that time, he received a lot of hate mail and his family had to be protected.
In spite of those barriers, Hank prospered and is, as Bob noted, one of the two greatest players living today, along with Willie Mays.
“So, which one of you was better?” Bob asked.
Without missing a beat, Hank said, “I was! I say that jokingly. We played in many All-Star Games together and he truly was a great ballplayer, no question about that. But when I had a bat in my hand, I didn’t fear anybody. I didn’t think that anybody could get me out. I felt like I was in complete command of everything. I wasn’t worried about playing the outfield. I could steal a base when I wanted to; I felt like I had enough knowledge of how to run the bases. I didn’t have the strongest arm in the world, but I didn’t make too many mistakes throwing from right field. I felt like my baseball career was second to none and I didn’t take a backseat to anybody. I just played baseball. “
Hank talked about his two stints in Milwaukee, the city that bookended his career. He hit his first home run as a Milwaukee Braves player and his last as a Milwaukee Brewers player.
“This is the greatest city in the world. I loved playing here in Milwaukee… I don’t remember ever being boo’ed here….I always felt like I was treated fairly in Milwaukee. I was one of the first players to come through the system from Eau Claire to Jacksonville and I felt like I belonged in the city. I felt like people appreciated what I was doing.”
Throughout the night, fans were treated to a walk down memory lane as names like Joe Adcock, Wes Covington, Warren Spahn, Don Drysdale and more were bought up in a conversation that spanned a wide range of topics like pitchers Hank enjoyed facing, his greatest rivals and regrets, and how Hank and Bob each initially fell in love with the game.
And, while Hank’s statistical record speaks for itself, when Bob closed by asking him how he wishes to be remembered, Hank said,
“Not for whatever I did in baseball, but as someone who cared about other people. Baseball came easy to me, but I felt like there were other players who were capable of doing the things that I did. The most important thing is how I tried to treat other people. I’ve tried to live my life that way.”
And indeed, Hank is already living this legacy with the Hank Aaron Chasing the Dream Foundation, created by Hank and his wife, Billye. The foundation’s goal is to help children with limited opportunities and financial barriers develop their special talents and pursue their dreams.
All proceeds from the event benefit the fund and are administered locally to help children in the Milwaukee area.
A slideshow from the event is below. I hope you will join me in 2013!
To learn more about Brewers Community Foundation’s Evening with Hank Aaron and how you can support both BCF and the Hank Aaron Chasing the Dream Foundation, click here or contact Meredith Malone at firstname.lastname@example.org.