Just in time for spring training, we have a Hall of Famer standing in front of palm trees! But what's this "Ed" Mathews business, anyhow? They got it right on the back of the card. Weird stuff.
-Hailing from Texarkana, TX, Eddie played high school ball in Santa Barbara, CA before signing with the Boston Braves in 1949.
-Led the National League with 47 home runs in his sophomore season, the first of nine straight years in which he topped 30 longballs. He also had "slash" stats of .302 AVG/.406 OBP/.627 SLG, and was runner-up to Roy Campanella in MVP voting. (He would add another second-place MVP finish in 1959.) His All-Star selection marked the first of nine years in which he'd receive the honor.
-Much more than a slugger, Mathews was known for his ability and willingness to take a walk (topping 90 BB nine times) and to slap the ball to the left side of the infield to confound the exaggerated defensive shift that teams employed against him. He was also a capable fielder at third base.
-Though he was overshadowed by teammate Hank Aaron for much of his career, the duo worked well together, hitting 863 home runs (Aaron 442 and Mathews 421) during their time together (1954-1966) to break a record set by Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig.
-Mathews returned to Atlanta to manage the Braves from 1972-1974. His record was 149-161, and the club finished fifth in his only full season at the helm. However, he was in the dugout when Aaron hit his 715th career homer to pass Ruth.