March 6, 2021

The Baseball 100: No. 46, Eddie Mathews (The Athletic)

Starting in December and ending on Opening Day, Joe Posnanski will count down the 100 greatest baseball players by publishing an essay on a player every day for 100 days. In all, this project will contain roughly as many words as “Moby Dick.” Yes, we know it’s nutty. We hope you enjoy. 

In 1969, with 3,000 fewer baseball fans in attendance per game than at the beginning of the decade, commissioner Bowie Kuhn did what baseball commissioners tend to do when faced with such crises: He ordered up a celebration of baseball’s past.

That is baseball: Looking backward to look forward.

Here’s what Kuhn did: He announced that since 1969 was baseball’s centennial*, it was the perfect time for fans and sportswriters to choose baseball’s all-time team!

*What exactly made 1969 baseball’s centennial? Well, in 1869, the Cincinnati Red Stockings became the sport’s first openly professional team. The Red Stockings were surely not the…

Read “The Baseball 100: No. 46, Eddie Mathews” at The Athletic