Joe Adcock

Joseph Wilbur Adcock (October 30, 1927 – May 3, 1999) was a major league baseball player and manager in the Major and Minor Leagues. He was best known as a first baseman and right-handed slugger with the powerful Milwaukee Braves teams of the 1950s, whose career included numerous home run feats. A sure-handed defensive player, he later retired with the third highest career fielding percentage by a first baseman (.994). His nickname "Billy Joe" was modeled after Vanderbilt University basketball star "Billy Joe Adcock" and was popularized by Vin Scully.

Born in Coushatta, the seat of Red River Parish in northwestern Louisiana, Adcock attended Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, where he played on the baseball team; before attending college he had never played a game of baseball in his life.[1]

He was signed by the Cincinnati Reds, however Ted Kluszewski had firm hold on the team's first base slot. Adcock played in left field from 1950 to 1952, but was extremely unhappy, demanding a trade, which he received.

His first season with the Milwaukee Braves was capped by a mammoth home run into the center field bleachers at the Polo Grounds on April 29, 1953, a feat which had never been done before and would only be accomplished twice more, by Hank Aaron and Lou Brock.

On July 31, 1954, Adcock accomplished the rare feat of homering four times in a single game, against the Brooklyn Dodgers at Ebbets Field, also hitting a double off the top of the wall to set a record for most total bases in a game (18)[2][3] which stood for 48 years, until broken by Shawn Green in 2002.[4]

Another notable home run was the blast ending the epic duel between Lew Burdette and Harvey Haddix on May 26, 1959, in which Haddix took a perfect game into the 13th inning. Adcock did not get credit for a home run, however, because Aaron – who was on first base – saw Félix Mantilla, the runner ahead of him, score the winning run and thought the hit had only been a double and walked back to the dugout, causing Adcock to be called out for passing him on the base paths. (Eventually, the ruling was that instead of a 3-run home run for a 3–0 Braves victory, Adcock got a double and 1 RBI, and the Braves won 1–0.)[5]

Adcock was often overshadowed both by his own teammates Aaron and Eddie Mathews, and by the other slugging first basemen in the league, Kluszewski and Gil Hodges, although he did make one All-Star team (1960) and was regularly among the league leaders in home runs. In 1956, he finished second in the National League in home runs, runs batted in, and slugging average.

After concluding his playing career with the Cleveland Indians (1963) and Los Angeles/California Angels (1964–66), Adcock managed the Cleveland Indians for one year (1967), with the team registering its worst percentage finish in 21 years (.463, vs. .442 in 1946), finishing eighth in a 10-team league. Following the season he was replaced as Cleveland manager by Alvin Dark.[6] Adcock managed two more years in the minor leagues before settling down at his 288-acre (1.2 km2) ranch in Coushatta to raise horses.

He later died in Coushatta at age 71 in 1999 as a result of Alzheimer's Disease.[2][7][8]

Joe Adcock
Joe Adcock 1954
Adcock in 1954 with the Milwaukee Braves
First baseman / Outfielder / Manager
Born: October 30, 1927
Coushatta, Louisiana
Died: May 3, 1999 (aged 71)
Coushatta, Louisiana
Batted: Right Threw: Right
MLB debut
April 23, 1950, for the Cincinnati Reds
Last MLB appearance
October 1, 1966, for the California Angels
MLB statistics
Batting average.277
Home runs336
Runs batted in1,122
Managerial record75–87
Winning %.463
Teams
As player
As manager
Career highlights and awards

See also

References

  1. ^ Gregory H. Wolf. "Joe Adcock". SABR Baseball Biography Project. Society for American Baseball Research. Retrieved December 21, 2015.
  2. ^ a b Clines, Frank (May 4, 1999). "Braves slugger Adcock dies". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. p. 1C.
  3. ^ "Joe Adcock's 4 homers, double sets mark". Spokesman-Review. Associated Press. August 1, 1954. p. 1-sports.
  4. ^ DiGiovanna, Mike (May 24, 2002). "Green stops slump with historic performance". Eugene Register-Guard. (Los Angeles Times). p. 3C.
  5. ^ "Braves beat Haddix after 12 perfect innings". Victoria Advocate. Victoria, Texas. Associated Press. May 27, 1959. p. 8.
  6. ^ Adcock fired; Paul assigns Dark to post
  7. ^ Sayre, Alan (May 4, 1999). "Broke up baseball's longest no-hitter". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Associated Press. p. C-5.
  8. ^ "Joe Adcock famous for 'homer' in 1959 game". Toledo Blade. Associated Press. May 4, 1999. p. 17.

External links

Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Gil Hodges
Batters with 4 home runs in one game
July 31, 1954
Succeeded by
Rocky Colavito
1954 Milwaukee Braves season

The 1954 Milwaukee Braves season was the second in Milwaukee and the 84th overall season of the franchise.

1956 Milwaukee Braves season

The 1956 Milwaukee Braves season was the fourth in Milwaukee and the 86th overall season of the franchise. The Braves finished in second place in the National League, just one game behind the Brooklyn Dodgers in the league standings, and one game ahead of the Cincinnati Reds. All three teams posted wins on the final day of the season; the Braves had entered the final three games with a game advantage, but dropped the first two at St. Louis while the Dodgers swept the Pirates.

The Braves' led the major leagues in home attendance with 2,046,331; next closest was the New York Yankees of the American League at under 1.5 million. The runner-up in NL attendance was champion Brooklyn at under 1.22 million. The Braves averaged 30,093 for the 68 home dates.

1957 Milwaukee Braves season

The 1957 Milwaukee Braves season was the fifth in Milwaukee and the 87th overall season of the franchise. It was the year that the team won its first and only World Series championship while based in Milwaukee. The Braves won 95 games and lost 59 to win the National League pennant by eight games over the second-place St. Louis Cardinals.

The club went on to the 1957 World Series, where they faced the New York Yankees. Pitcher Lew Burdette was the star and Most Valuable Player, winning three games, including the crucial seventh game played in New York City.

1958 Milwaukee Braves season

The 1958 Milwaukee Braves season was the sixth in Milwaukee and the 88th overall season of the franchise. The Braves finished first in the National League with a 92–62 record and returned to the World Series for the second consecutive year, losing to the New York Yankees in seven games. The Braves set a Major League record which still stands for the fewest players caught stealing in a season, with 8.

1960 Major League Baseball All-Star Game (first game)

The 1960 Major League Baseball All-Star Game was the 28th playing of the midsummer classic between the all-stars of the American League (AL) and National League (NL), the two leagues comprising Major League Baseball. The game was held on July 11, 1960, at Municipal Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri the home of the Kansas City Athletics of the American League. The game resulted in the National League defeating the American League 5–3.

A second all-star game was played two days later on July 13 at Yankee Stadium in New York City.

1960 Major League Baseball All-Star Game (second game)

The second 1960 Major League Baseball All-Star Game was the 29th playing of Major League Baseball's annual midsummer exhibition game. The game took place at Yankee Stadium in New York City, home of the American League's New York Yankees. The National League won the game by a score of 6–0. The National League hit four home runs, tying an All-Star Game record.

1961 Milwaukee Braves season

The 1961 Milwaukee Braves season was the ninth in Milwaukee and the 91st overall season of the franchise.

The fourth-place Braves finished the season with a 83–71 (.539) record, ten games behind the National League champion Cincinnati Reds. The home attendance at County Stadium was 1,101,411, fifth in the eight-team National League. It was the Braves' lowest attendance to date in Milwaukee, and was the last season over one million.

1964 Los Angeles Angels season

The 1964 Los Angeles Angels season involved the Angels finishing fifth in the American League with a record of 82 wins and 80 losses, 17 games behind the AL Champion New York Yankees.

1967 Cleveland Indians season

The 1967 Cleveland Indians season was a season in American baseball. The team finished eighth in the American League with a record of 75–87, 17 games behind the Boston Red Sox.

2002 Los Angeles Dodgers season

The 2002 season saw Dan Evans take over as General Manager and in his first season the team won 92 games and was not eliminated from post season contention until the next-to-last day of the season, finishing third overall in the Western Division of the National League. Shawn Green hit 42 home runs to become the first L.A. Dodger to have back-to-back 40 or more homer seasons. He had four homers in one game on May 23 against the Milwaukee Brewers. He went 6 for 6 in that game and set a Major League mark for total bases with 19. The number broke the previous record of 18 total bases set by Joe Adcock. Éric Gagné who had been a starter previously became the closer in 2002 and set a club mark with 52 saves. This is also their first season to be broadcast on KCOP (13).

Adcock

Adcock is an English surname. Notable people with the surname include:

Alfred Adcock (1916–2005), English cricketer

Arthur St. John Adcock (1864–1930), English novelist, journalist and poet

Betty Adcock, American poet

C. C. Adcock (born 1971), American musician

Chris Adcock, English badminton player

Clarence Lionel Adcock (1895–1967), American Army Officer

Eddie Adcock, American bluegrass musician

Fleur Adcock (born 1934), New Zealand poet

Frank Adcock, British engineer, inventor of the Adcock antenna

Gabby Adcock, English badminton player

Sir Frank Adcock (1886–1968), English classical historian

Hugh Adcock (1903–1975), English footballer

Jamar Adcock (1917–1999), American politician and banker

Jed Adcock (born 1985), Australian rules footballer

Joe Adcock (1927–1999), Major League Baseball player

Joseph Adcock (1864–1914), English cricketer and clergyman

Levy Adcock, American football player

Nathan Adcock (baseball), Major League Baseball player

Neil Adcock (1931–2013), South African cricketer

William Adcock (1846–1931), Australian journalist

William Adcock (politician) (1850–1926), American politician and farmer

Willis Adcock (1922–2003), American chemist and electrical engineer

Billy Joe Adcock

Billy Joe Adcock was a basketball player for the Vanderbilt Commodores. A prominent forward, he was the first player to be awarded a basketball scholarship by the school. He was also the school's first All-American basketball selection, by the Sporting News in 1950. Adcock retired as Vanderbilt's all-time leading scorer. He attended West High School in Nashville, where he was a three-year letterman in football and baseball as well as basketball.

Frank Funk (baseball)

Franklin Ray Funk (born August 30, 1935) is an American former Major League Baseball pitcher. He played from 1960–63 for the Cleveland Indians and Milwaukee Braves. During a 4-year baseball career, he compiled 20 wins, 150 strikeouts, and a 3.01 ERA.

Born in Washington, D.C., he was signed by the New York Giants as an amateur free agent in 1954. Funk was acquired by Cleveland's AAA International League Toronto Maple Leafs team prior to the 1959 season. He made the most of his debut after a late season call-up from the Maple Leafs in September 1960, finishing with a 4–2 record, a 1.99 earned run average, and 1 save in just nine games for Cleveland.

His best season was 1961, when he posted a won-loss record of 11–11 and led Cleveland with 11 saves and an ERA of 3.31, appearing in 56 games. Two of his victories, both recorded in May, involved pitching over seven innings per game in relief during 15-inning games against the Baltimore Orioles and Minnesota Twins.After a 2–1 season with a 3.24 ERA and six saves in 1962 over 47 games, he was traded to the Milwaukee Braves along with outfielders Don Dillard and Ty Cline for first baseman Joe Adcock and pitcher Jack Curtis. He pitched one season for the Braves, posting a record of 3–3 over 25 games, with an ERA of 2.68 in 1963.

He served as a minor league manager and pitching coach, and also coached in the Major Leagues with the San Francisco Giants, Seattle Mariners, Kansas City Royals and Colorado Rockies.

Frank Torre

Frank Joseph Torre (; December 30, 1931 – September 13, 2014) was an American professional baseball player. He played in Major League Baseball as a first baseman. Torre, who batted and threw left-handed, played for the Milwaukee Braves (1956–60) and Philadelphia Phillies (1962–63). He was the older brother of Baseball Hall of Fame member Joe Torre, himself a former Major League Baseball player and longtime manager.

Félix Mantilla (baseball)

Félix Mantilla Lamela (born July 29, 1934 in Isabela, Puerto Rico) is a former Major League Baseball player. In his 11-year career, Mantilla played for the Milwaukee Braves (1956–61), New York Mets (1962), Boston Red Sox (1963–65) and Houston Astros (1966). An infielder and outfielder, he played second base the majority of his career (326 games). He also played shortstop (180 games), third base (143), the outfield (156) and, in the latter part of his career, first base (16). He batted and threw right-handed.

Mantilla and two other black players joined the Jacksonville Braves of the Class-A South Atlantic League in 1953. This was one of the first two integrated baseball teams in the Southern United States. During this time Mantilla was the roommate of Hank Aaron. Mantilla and Aaron were both called up to the major leagues, playing for the Milwaukee Braves. Both were on the team when they won the World Series title in 1957. He was selected by the New York Mets in the expansion draft and became their most regular third baseman in 1962, establishing career highs in batting average, home runs and RBI (.275, 11 and 59 respectively). At the end of the season he was traded to the Red Sox for three players, two of whom were Pumpsie Green and Tracy Stallard.

Mantilla's numbers improved dramatically in the hitter-friendly Fenway Park: he hit .315 in 66 games in 1963, hit .289 with 30 home runs in 1964 (five fewer than he had hit in his career prior to that season), and set a career high with 92 RBIs in 1965. During this latter year, he was also named to the American League All-Star team for the only time in his career.

Prior to the start of the 1966 season, the Red Sox traded Mantilla to the Houston Astros for Eddie Kasko. He spent that year as a utility player before being released on November 28. The Chicago Cubs signed Mantilla as a free agent before the start of the 1967 season; however, during spring training he suffered an Achilles tendon injury that required surgery. He never played a game for them and was released on July 6. He went to spring training with the Cubs in 1968 as a non-roster player; at the end of camp the Cubs signed him to a minor league contract, but he never appeared in another professional game.

A lifetime .261 hitter, Mantilla compiled 89 home runs with 330 runs batted in.

On May 26, 1959, in the 13th inning of a game against the Pittsburgh Pirates at Milwaukee County Stadium, Mantilla ruined Harvey Haddix's bid for a perfect game. Leading off the inning, he hit a ground ball to third baseman Don Hoak, whose throw to first pulled Rocky Nelson off the bag for an error. (Mantilla had not even been in the starting lineup; he entered the game in the 11th after Del Rice had pinch-hit for Johnny O'Brien.) Mantilla was sacrificed to second by Eddie Mathews, followed by an intentional walk to Hank Aaron. The following batter, Joe Adcock, hit one over the right-center field wall, just beyond the reach of right fielder Joe Christopher (who was making his Major League debut), for an apparent 3–0 victory. Mantilla scored the winning run, but Aaron, thinking the ball was still in play and that the game ended when Mantilla scored the winning run, rounded second and then headed for the dugout. Adcock, running out his home run, passed Aaron on the bases; as a result, the ruling from National League president Warren Giles was that Adcock's hit was a double (not a home run), only Mantilla's run counted and the final score was 1–0. Mantilla's Topps 1962 baseball card was featured in the 2000 film Skipped Parts as the top card in a stack being thrown into a fire as part of a right of passage/growing up event between a stern grandfather (R. Lee Ermey) and his grandson (Bug Hall).

Félix Torres

Félix Torres Sánchez (born May 1, 1932, in Ponce, Puerto Rico) is a retired professional baseball player who played 3 seasons for the Los Angeles Angels of Major League Baseball after spending time in the Cincinnati Redlegs and Philadelphia Phillies farm systems.The former 5 ft 11 in (1.80 m), 165 lb (75 kg) third baseman was initially signed by the Cincinnati Redlegs prior to the 1955 season. He played in their minor league system in 1955 and briefly in 1956, before leaving organized baseball—he returned to the Cincinnati farm system in 1960. Prior to the 1961 season, he was acquired by the Philadelphia Phillies, but was never called up to the major league level. After the season, on November 27, 1961, he was acquired by the Angels in the 1961 Rule 5 draft.Torres played three seasons in Major League Baseball, making his major league debut with the Los Angeles Angels in 1962. On April 10, 1962, Torres went 0-for-4 in his major league debut against the Chicago White Sox at Comiskey Park in Chicago, Illinois. In his third career game, a 5–0 loss to the Minnesota Twins at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, California, Torres earned his first career hit, a leadoff double off of Twins' pitcher Jim Kaat.In 1962, his rookie season, the career .254 hitter hit 11 home runs and batted in 74 runs, far more than the 51 he would knock in the next season. In 127 games, he batted .259 and scored a career-high 44 runs. During the 1963 season, Torres played in a career-high 138 games, but had his least-productive power-hitting season, launching only 4 home runs. Torres did, however, hit .261 on 121 hits, both career-high marks. Torres hit a career-high 12 home runs in 1964, the third highest total by an Angel that year, behind only teammates Joe Adcock (21) and Jim Fregosi (18). Although he reached a career high in 1964 in both home runs and slugging percentage, he set career-lows in games played, runs, hits, RBIs, and batting average before eventually settling into retirement following the season.Although he was mostly known for his playing time for the Angels, before his Major League Baseball career began, he participated in the 1960 Caribbean Series. Torres tied for the tournament lead in home runs, hitting three in the week-long competition. Torres shared the honors with fellow-Puerto Rican Herman Davis and Héctor López of Panama, who spent time in Major League Baseball during his career.

Harvey Haddix's near-perfect game

On May 26, 1959, at Milwaukee County Stadium, Harvey Haddix of the Pittsburgh Pirates pitched a perfect game for 12 innings against the Milwaukee Braves, but lost the game in the 13th. His perfect game bid was broken up in the bottom of the 13th by a throwing error; he would lose the no-hitter, and the game with it, on a Joe Adcock hit (a baserunning mistake caused it to be changed from a 3-run home run to a 1-run double) later in the inning.

Braves starter Lew Burdette, despite giving up eight hits through nine innings, was pitching a shutout of his own. Three times, the Pirates came close to scoring the winning run for Haddix. In the third inning, a baserunning blunder by Don Hoak negated three consecutive singles; in the ninth, Bill Virdon, after reaching base on a hit with one out, advanced to third on Rocky Nelson's single; however, Bob Skinner grounded back to Burdette the threat. In the 10th inning, with the Pirates still not having scored, pinch-hitter Dick Stuart flied out to center fielder Andy Pafko on a ball that came within a few feet of a two-run home run. The Pirates also recorded hits in the 11th, 12th and 13th innings, but left a runner on base in the latter two innings.

Félix Mantilla, who entered the game in the 11th after Del Rice had pinch-hit for Johnny O'Brien, was the Braves' first hitter in the 13th inning. He hit a ground ball to third baseman Hoak, who fielded the ball cleanly but threw wide to first, pulling Nelson off the base. Mantilla was then sacrificed to second by Eddie Mathews. Haddix, his perfect game bid gone but his no-hit bid still intact, then intentionally walked Hank Aaron to set up a double play situation for Adcock, who had already grounded out twice earlier in the game, striking out the other two times. Adcock hit a fly ball to deep right-center field, just beyond the reach of right fielder Joe Christopher, who was making his Major League debut (he replaced Román Mejías in right field after Stuart had pinch-hit for Mejías), for an apparent home run, the ball landing between the outfield fence and another fence behind it, in front of a line of pine trees. Mantilla rounded third and touched home plate for the winning run; however, in the confusion, Aaron saw the ball hit the second fence but did not realize it had carried over the first and, thinking that the game had ended when Mantilla scored the winning run, rounded second and headed for the dugout. Adcock rounded the bases, running out his home run. First base umpire Frank Dascoli ruled that the final score was 2-0; he was overruled by National League president Warren Giles, who changed Adcock's home run to a double and declared that only Mantilla's run counted for a final score of 1-0. In addition to Stuart being used as a pinch-hitter, two other Pirate regulars did not play in this game: Dick Groat, who would win the 1960 National League Most Valuable Player Award, was mired in a slump and had been benched, and Roberto Clemente was sidelined with a sore shoulder.

In 1989, during a banquet attended by players from both teams commemorating the game's 30th anniversary, Milwaukee pitcher Bob Buhl told Haddix that the Braves' bullpen had stolen Smoky Burgess' signs, the Pittsburgh catcher exposing them due to a high crouch. From their bullpen, the Braves pitchers repeatedly repositioned a towel to signal for a fastball or a breaking ball, the only two pitches Haddix used in the game. If a fastball was coming, the towel was made visible to the batter; if a breaking pitch was coming, the towel was out of sight. Despite this assistance, the usually solid Milwaukee offense managed only the one hit. All but one Milwaukee hitter, Aaron, took the signals. Haddix's 12 2/3-inning complete game, in which he struck out eight batters against the team that had just won the previous two National League pennants (including winning the 1957 World Series), and featured one of the top offensive lineups in the Major Leagues, is considered by many to be the best pitching performance in Major League history. Pirate second baseman Bill Mazeroski would say, "Usually you have one or two great or spectacular defensive plays in these no-hitters. Not that night. It was the easiest game I ever played in." In 1991, Major League Baseball changed the definition of a no-hitter to "a game in which a pitcher or pitchers complete a game of nine innings or more without allowing a hit." Under this new definition, Haddix's masterpiece was one of 12 extra-inning no-hitters to be struck from the record books. Haddix's response was, "It's O.K. I know what I did." Haddix's near-perfect game is immortalized by the Baseball Project, whose song, Harvey Haddix, appears on their debut album, 2008's Volume 1: Frozen Ropes and Dying Quails.

Maurice Fisher

Maurice Wayne Fisher (born February 16, 1931) is an American former professional baseball player. The right-handed pitcher had an eight-season (1949–56) career in pro baseball, but appeared in only one Major League game as a member of the 1955 Cincinnati Redlegs. The native of Uniondale, Indiana, was listed as 6 feet 5 inches (1.96 m) tall and 210 pounds (95 kg).

Fisher's lone big-league appearance came on April 16, 1955, against the Milwaukee Braves at Crosley Field. He relieved starting pitcher Jim Pearce in the third inning with one out, two runs in, and baserunners on first and second bases. He retired Joe Adcock on a fly ball, then gave up an RBI single to Johnny Logan, before getting Jack Dittmer for the third out. In the fourth inning, Fisher allowed the only two runs of his big-league career, on a home run to Del Crandall and an RBI single to Bobby Thomson, then held the Braves off the scoresheet in the fifth inning before his removal for a pinch hitter. Pearce was charged with the eventual 9–5 Cincinnati defeat. After his lone appearance for the Redlegs, Fisher was sent to the Pacific Coast League, where he spent the rest of the 1955 season.

In 2​2⁄3 innings pitched, Fisher allowed five hits, two earned runs and two bases on balls. He registered one strikeout (of Bill Bruton in the fifth inning). His career MLB earned run average was 6.75.

Willie Geny

Charles F. "Willie" Geny (November 14, 1913 – December 19, 1999) was a college football and basketball player for the Vanderbilt Commodores. He was football's Southeastern Conference player of the year in 1935. As captain of the Commodores, he led them to their first defeat of rival Tennessee in nine years. He was inducted into the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame in 1985. He later sold insurance. Geny persuaded Billy Joe Adcock to attend Vanderbilt.

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