Chapter 5 1955
Hey!! How’s it going? Have you called Fireman Mike Fuss yet? I’ve heard that at least a couple of you have been to see his museum/shrine already – pretty cool, huh?
There’s really no way to sugar-coat this: The BIG news in Bravesland at the dawning of 1955 was sad news. On December 17, 1954, Frederick C. Miller, President of Miller Brewing Company was killed in a plane crash. Fred Miller was a 1929 Notre Dame graduate, where, among other achievements, he’d been a football star, playing for the celebrated Knute Rockne. After working in other family businesses, he began working at the brewery in 1936. His innovation and modernization improved substantially the brewery’s status in the national and international market. He was a major force in the building of two “Major League” sports facilities – the Arena (the Milwaukee Hawks) and Milwaukee County Stadium. He was also (as noted earlier) a significant, visible force in bringing the Braves to Milwaukee. His was an obvious and hands-on interest.
Fred Miller batting at spring training…probably 1954
In his book with Bob Buege, Eddie Mathews cites numerous examples of warm, personal, even insightful comments, actions and interactions with Mr. Miller. The reader comes away with the impression that Fred Miller, while a powerful businessman, was also a sensitive, understanding individual. Eddie tells the story of having had a little scrape with the law over a traffic citation; a number of people immediately blew it all out of proportion – dirt sells…shortly thereafter, while the team was on the road, Eddie received a personal letter of great encouragement from Fred Miller that put the whole situation in a realistic perspective. Eddie noted that he was not a saver of souvenirs, but he “treasured” Fred Miller’s letter and kept it in his safe deposit box.
Mr. Miller’s letter to Eddie Mathews
When we talked to Andy Pafko last summer, we talked about some of the things that significantly changed his life-like standing at the left field wall watching Bobby Thomson’s “Shot heard around the world” leave the park – the trades to Brooklyn and, later, to Milwaukee. Andy remembered Fred Miller coming up to him and suggesting that since he (Andy) was a Wisconsin home boy, Miller Brewing Company would like him to consider heading up a Miller franchise/distributorship whenever he decided to retire… “And then he died…and that was the end of that. I sometimes wonder how my life would have gone if that would have happened.” Many of the still – stalwart Milwaukee Braves fans believe that the Braves would still be in Milwaukee were it not for Fred Miller’s untimely death. Periodically John Greenleaf Whittier’s words break in to remind us, “For of all sad words of tongue or pen, the saddest are these: “It might have been”. And, of course, it was not to be; but, for Braves fans everywhere, Fred Miller’s memory is still fond and warm in our hearts.
1955 Team Picture
The 1955 roster changes were minimal: Seven “Old Friends” moved on; Eight “New Friends” were welcomed aboard. On April 13, 1955, Jim “No-hit” Wilson was sold to the Baltimore Orioles for cash. On April 30, Roy Smalley was sold to the Philadelphia Phillies for cash. Sammy Calderone and George Metkovich both retired from Major League Baseball after the 1954 season. Billy Queen returned to Toledo in the American Association. Mel Roach spent most of ’54 in school and the Navy and we won’t get him back until late in the 1957 season. Our old friend, and some-time movie star, Sibby Sisti, begins a long and successful managing career in the minors in 1955. In 1984 he will play the role of the Pittsburgh manager in the award-winning, Robert Redford baseball film The Natural. The script gave him four lines; he only got to say three of them in the movie. We’ll get more detail on all that one day down the road.
The eight new Milwaukee Braves friends: On June 3, 1955, the Braves got 10-year veteran catcher, Del Rice, from the St. Louis Cardinals for outfielder Pete Whisenant. This was one of the better trades…No rap whatsoever on Whisenant, but, we got a terrific veteran signal-caller and handler of pitchers – so what if he ran slower than molasses in January. George Crowe, large, intelligent first baseman was back on the big league roster in 1955. If you recall, he’d been “sent down” to Toledo (A.A.) where he “tore ‘em up” in ’54. Chuck Tanner joined the parent club after an impressive season at Atlanta in the Southern League. He hit .353 with 20 homers and 101 RBI’s. On April 11th he will hit a home run on the very first ML pitch he sees. The Braves bought 1st baseman Ben Taylor’s contract from Beaumont in the Texas League after he hit .270 with 22 home runs in 110 games in 1954. After four relatively successful seasons in the minors, Bob Roselli served a year in Uncle Sam’s Navy and was called up to the Bigs in 1955. Three pitchers were new on the ’55 Braves team. John Edelman was brought in from West Chester State Teachers College – he was 19 years old and he could bring HEAT! Humberto Robinson, a native of Panama, was a unanimous A.S. selection in the Sally League with 243 strikeouts in 276 innings and a 2.41 ERA. Roberto Vargas, a lefty from Puerto Rico was drafted at the ’54 ML draft meetings. In 1954 he struck out 87 in 154 innings and had a 2.92 ERA.
So – key signatures on your 1955 Braves team ball…if it’s a spring training ball, Wilson and Smalley might be on it; but, probably not…and Del Rice won’t be on it since he didn’t get here ‘til June. Calderone, Metkovich, Queen, Roach and Sisti are gone. Keys in terms of who was only here in 1955: George Crowe, Ben Taylor, John Edelman and Roberto Vargas. In other words, if any or all of these four guys are on your team ball, you can be 99 and 44/100% sure it’s a ’55.
The ’55 Team Ball
Braves fans…and the Braves…are still engaged in a mad, mad, mad, mad love affair. A dentist is inundated with new patients after advertising his use of “Eddie Mathews fillings”. No “fair weather” friends, fans show up at games in raincoats, overcoats, ear muffs as necessary. A crowd of 13,000 plus, caught in an early season snow delay, sings “Jingle Bells” until the game resumes. The soap in the rooms of a major downtown hotel has “Take me out to the Braves games” on the wrapper.
The soap, a similar sugar packet, popular team buttons
Pitcher Warren Spahn remarks at the train station as the team arrives home from a road trip, “These are bigger crowds than we got in Boston”. After a couple complaints, concessionaires at the stadium start stocking milk for Moms with new babies. A stranger in a neighborhood bar remarks at large that the Braves don’t deserve to be in the first division. A guy wearing factory clothes says. “Cut that out or I’ll punch you one”. The stranger says, “It’s a free country; I can say whatever I want”. The factory guy says, “Yeah…(Pause)…But not about the Braves”. A lady regularly bakes cookies and brings them to the games, making sure all the players get one; even players from the opposing team—IF they used to play for the Braves. Andy Pafko (’53) and Joe Adcock (’54) get new cars for being fan favorites. There’s a ballot in the newspaper—you could vote!! Jim Wilson gets a car for pitching a no-hitter. Warren Spahn gets a new tractor for his Oklahoma ranch.
Max Margolis, popular Milwaukee merchant, delivering weekly rewards
Weekly, retailers give jewelry, appliances, suits, watches as awards for outstanding play. An entire family, soaked to the skin and sad because of rain delays, finally leaves the stadium around 9:00PM and goes home to bed. Listening to their bedside radio just after 10:PM, they hear the game has resumed. They get up again, get dressed and, with at least one in pin curls, they go back to the stadium in time to catch the last couple innings. A prominent New York newsman is dispatched to the 13th largest city in the U.S. to come up with some explanation for this frenzied, passionate devotion to a baseball team. His one-line, non-politically-correct conclusion: “Milwaukee is an insane asylum with bases”.
Many people rode the trolley to the games-Note the sign to the stadium
Jim Bird, a retired businessman, organized a group trip to Brooklyn in 1953 to root for the Braves against the Dodgers. That trip evolved into The Milwaukee Braves Boosters with upwards of 23,000 dues-paying (25 cents per year) members. They boast members in every state and 12 foreign countries. They’re loud, they’re raucous, they bring cow bells, sirens, whistles and very healthy lungs to all the games. For their 25 cents they get a lapel pin or button, a subscription to The Tomahawk (a four-page newsletter published four times each year) and road trips. In 1954 The Boosters made four road trips: Spring Training, New York/Philadelphia, Chicago and St. Louis. A devoted 450 fans made the 3-day trip to St. Louis.
Just a few of the Braves Boosters souvenirs
Braves Boosters received 4 issues of The Tomahawk as part of their 25 cent memberships
In terms of highlights of the year, you need to first remember: 1955 was the year of the Dodgers. They won 22 of their first 24 games and nobody ever came close after that. And…after five prior clashes (’41, ’47, ’49, ’52 and ’53), they finally managed to beat the Yankees in the World Series. Da Dahjahs went 98-55 and when they clinched the pennant on September 8th (against the Braves…Bleeaahh!) it was the earliest clinching in the 79 year history of the National League. Anything remotely resembling a paean to the Dodgers stops here!!!
1955 Opening Day Line-Up: Bruton, O’Connell, Mathews, Pafko, Aaron, Adcock, Logan, Crandall, Spahn
Notwithstanding all of the above, the Braves had a pretty good year, finishing in second place at 85-69. As already noted, the love affair with the fans was way beyond alive and well. A number of injuries, that probably would not have changed the standings, very likely affected the won-loss record. Eddie Mathews had an emergency appendectomy in May and missed two weeks of the season. However, his medical-miracle comeback in only 14 days resulted in some terrific numbers – he hit 41 homers for the season, had an on-base percentage of .417, a slugging average of .601 – all in spite of being walked some 109 times. Bobby Thomson started out like a house afire until injuring his shoulder in May. He came back later but, whether from pain or rusty timing, wasn’t the same. Joe Adcock was hit by a pitch that broke his arm late in July and was out for the season. Boston Celtic/Milwaukee Brave Gene Conley, in spite of arm problems, had 11 wins by the All-Star Break: What a great start. Unfortunately Big Gene really hurt his shoulder shortly after the break and didn’t win a game in the second half of the season.
Hank Aaron had a really good year. He hit .314 with 189 hits and 22 home runs. He and Johnny Logan tied as league leaders in doubles with 37…(Never forget that both those guys were a lot faster than either got credit for). Billy Bruton once again led the league in stolen bases – 25l. He also led the league in total at bats with 636 – now there’s a great lead-off hitter. Defensively, Bruton led the league in put-outs with 412. Logan led all short stops in assists with 511, Mathews led all third basemen with 280. The pitchers, while less spectacular than in ’53 and ’54, were still adjusting to their roles. Spahn was third in the league in wins – 17, innings pitched – 245.2 and complete games – 16. He was fourth in ERA at 3.26. Bob Buhl went 13-11 with 201.2 innings pitched, 11 complete games and was third in the league with a 3.21 ERA. Lou Burdette was 13-8, 230 IP, 11 complete games and a 4.03 ERA. Gene Conley ended up 11-7; Chet Nichols 9-8 and Ray Crone 10-9. A definitely “plus” stat: The Braves pitching staff led the league with 61 complete games, Phillie pitchers had 58, Giants pitchers had 52 and the vaunted pitching staff of the juggernaut Dodgers had only 46. Things are still looking up!!
They went all-out to make the Stadium look good for the All-Star Game
The 1955 All-Star game was held in Milwaukee County Stadium on July 12th; it was a gorgeous day!! The Braves organization and the city prepared for a gala celebration – the stadium itself was resplendent in red, white and blue banners and bunting!! The standing-room-only crowd of 45,314 was loud and enthusiastic; especially for their hometown heroes chosen to the All-Star aggregation: Hank Aaron, Eddie Mathews, Del Crandall, Johnny Logan and Gene Conley. The game started with a bang (for the wrong team) as the American League scored four runs in the first inning off Robin Roberts highlighted by Mickey Mantle’s three-run homer. The White Sox’ Billy Pierce held the NL”ers to zilch. Neither he nor Roberts allowed any more scoring through three innings. Early Wynn and Harvey Haddix pitched scoreless ball the fourth and fifth. The American League scored again in the sixth to make it 5-0. In the seventh, Willie Mays got a single off Whitey Ford, Aaron walked and Johnny Logan’s single scored Mays…then Aaron scored on an error and it was 5-2. No AL scoring in the top of the eighth; the National League scored three including an RBI by Aaron making it 5-5. So it stayed at 5-5 through the ninth, tenth and eleventh.
Gene Conley being his friendly, smiley self before the game
NL manager, Leo Durocher, called Big Gene Conley out of the bullpen to pitch the twelfth-and the crowd went wild!!! Maybe the roar of the crowd, maybe the adrenaline, maybe the ability of great athletes to reach deep inside for strength in crucial situations-somehow Gene Conley got past the pain in his shoulder and… without much outward ado…struck out Al Kaline, Mickey Vernon and Al Rosen…and walked off the mound to a monster ovation. The story is told that as they’re running in toward the dugout at the end of the inning, Stan Musial turns and asks Hank Aaron, “Hank, do we get paid overtime for extra innings?” Hank says, “No, Stan, we don’t.” As it happens Musial is the NL lead-off hitter in the bottom of the 12th. Somebody says, “Stan, why don’t you hit one out so we can go home.” Musial says, “I think I will”… and hits 6’-7” Frank Sullivan’s first pitch into the right field bleachers!! The National League wins, Gene Conley wins (making up some for that lousy ’54 All-Star loss) and the tallest player in the Major Leagues is the winning pitcher and the second tallest player in the Major Leagues is the losing pitcher.
The proliferation of Milwaukee Braves collectibles continued abroad in 1955…very cool memorabilia was available from far-reaching sources-in Milwaukee-in Wisconsin-and beyond…Hooray for all us crazies who STILL continue to seek it out!!!
The fabulous Spic and Span Die-cuts…well, a few of them…
To this day an all-time fave collectible, the 1955 Spic and Span Braves Die-cut set has been called the rarest of the Spic and Span sets by The SCD Standard Catalog of Baseball Cards. Hardly ever seen at shows, on ebay, in ads-practically NEVER as a set-SCD editor, Bob Lemke’s assessment is on the money. There are 17 items/cards/statues/die-cuts in the set; all are action shots. Widths are fairly uniform at about eight inches if you count the tab. Heights vary from about seven inches to almost 10 inches tall. Oddly enough, Conley’s isn’t the tallest; Aaron’s is…with Spahnie’s high kick a close second. The base has a tab that can be inserted into a punch-out slot to make it circular so the player stands up. The front of the base has the S&S logo, a facsimile signature, a small box noting The Olsen Publishing Co. and a second small box with ’55 Spic and Span Dry Cleaning. The value of these beauties varies widely based pretty much on condition and how badly someone wants them. Unfortunately, too often they’re found with bent, broken or missing appendages-and sometimes those go for big dollars. Intact slot tabs and precise die-cutting add to the value. This is one of MY all-time fave sets!!
Some of the more common colors of Armour Coins
Another really cool, easy collectible had its inception in 1955: Armour coins. The Armour Meat Packing Company put these brightly-colored 1 ½” plastic coins in packages of hot dogs. In those days practically everyone ate hot dogs-they were a real treat when I was a kid!! The coins came in various colors-some colors turned out to be common-some colors were harder to find. In this inaugural year, the only Braves in the set of 24 were Warren Spahn and Delmar ‘Del’ Crandall. This would be the only year the name of the city-Milwaukee-would normally accompany the team name-Braves-on the front of the coin. The reverse had some minimal info on the player and a couple of last year’s stats. We’ll not see the second series of these until 1959.
Note the terrific detail on the Robert Gould statues
The Robert Gould All Star Cards and Statues premiered in 1955. The cards were about
2 ½” x 3 ½” with a white border and a mostly green background-there’s a little circle of white stars on a black background in the upper left corner. There’s a little info and a few stats next to a line-drawing of the player. There’s a notch on each side of the card to hold the rubber band in place that held the statue to the card. Statues are white with the player’s name on a round base. I only own the two Braves from the series (Billy Bruton and Bobby Thomson); however, the detail is surprisingly intricate. The uniform shows the team name on the front and the player’s correct number on the back. Per the Standard Catalog, an album for cards was issued and apparently it was possible to purchase statues in boxes of seven. All the Gould stuff, in my opinion, is mighty hard to find!
1955 was also the first appearance of the 1955-1960 Bill and Bob Braves Postcard Series. This is another seldom-seen set shrouded in mystery. Little is known of Bill and Bob although there is an ad for their studio in Bradenton in an old spring training scorecard, I think…I’ve looked through a bunch of stuff and haven’t located it yet…I’ll keep at it. These post cards are 3 ½” x 5 ½” in absolutely gorgeous color. The Standard Catalog lists 20 cards in the series. My friend, Jerry, is planning a winter trip to Florida to get to the bottom of at least some of the mystery…film at 10. The backs don’t follow a pattern as near as I can tell. Information on the back may (or may not) include the player’s name, a “K” over a diamond, photographer credit (Niels Lauritzen-well known Milwaukee Journal photog…did HE take these? Some of these?) and some have a number.
Some of the Bill and Bob variations…just got one with a plain back…
Again, which piece or pieces of info appear don’t seem to have rhyme or reason. The Frank-Torre-with-a-Pepsi card may or may not be a part of the set…most collectors I know have it or want it as though it is part of the set. I’m told some players used these cards to satisfy autograph requests…remember Fireman Mike’s story re Joe Adcock last month…I’m hoping my friend, Jerry will come back from Florida with a lot more information…Yo…Jerry…Go!!!
The Golden Stamp Book of The Milwaukee Braves by Lou Chapman with line-drawings by Robert Riger was another-still popular-1955 issue. It originally came with two pages of stamps that you could paste into the appropriate places in the book. Of the 32 stamps, one was a team picture, one was a picture of the stadium, one was manager Charlie Grimm, two were coaches-Bucky Walters and Johnny Cooney, one was team doctor Charles Lacks and 26 were players. Photo quality is varied…some pictures are bright, brilliant color-others are a little “washed out.”
These show up regularly on eBay…reasonably priced…
I really like Robert Riger’s line drawings and am sure I should know him from something else but can’t remember what-can you?? Simon and Schuster list other stamp books inside the back cover; the only other sport-related is the Giants. However, I have seen both the Indians and Dodgers at shows. One of the best things about this as a collectible-besides the stamps, the line drawings and the mini-bio’s-is the price. You can find these fairly readily at shows or on ebay for immanently affordable prices.
Given the incredible popularity of the Braves with the fairer sex, I will probably try to cover Ladies Days more completely at some future date. In 1955, one of the easier-to-come-by gifts given to each lady in attendance was a broad-brimmed, conical, woven-straw hat with “Braves” stamped on it…Just wonderful for sitting in the hot sun at the old ball yard. A little metal piece at the apex of the cone seems to have aided in holding everything together. There’s another (pink) version that I THINK came a bit later. You can still find these in pretty good condition 50+ years later. You can see the ladies wearing these hats in the stadium picture.
See the ladies wearing the hats in the picture…?
I’ve fudged a smidge with regard to the Ladies Day pamphlet-it wasn’t (at least to the best of my knowledge) actually a Ladies Day gift. It was published by The Milwaukee Junior Chamber of Commerce and is chock full of very interesting little informational tidbits about the Braves players, staff, administrators and includes techniques of play and much more. It is aimed at the person (lady or man) who has just recently become interested in the Braves or the game of baseball. It is also interesting to the avid fan-the pictures are terrific and the explanations clear and concise. It was available through social/service clubs and various retail outlets. My guess is that it added to the roster of committed, informed Braves fans everywhere.
In at least a couple of ways 1955 was a momentous year for baseball card collectors. At minimum, it was a year of change!! For openers, this was the year of Bowman’s memorable “television set” cards…we’d never seen anything quite like them!! In our neighborhood they brought almost instant division: Either you liked them…or you didn’t…I liked ‘em…got a bunch in trades!! The ’55 Topps-another all-time fave-were all in landscape design. I loved (still love) this set and my only serious complaints were that it was way too small-only 206 cards, only 12 Braves-AND I think they used some of the same pictures (Aaron, Conley, Roach) as last year (’54). C’mon…!!!
’55 Bowman, Topps and Johnston Cookies cards
Sadly, this was the last year Johnston Cookies issued a set. However, it was a most interesting set…it came in folding panels of six cards per panel. It was still in the bright, gorgeous colors of its two predecessors. One panel came in a package of cookies or you could order panels for a nickel apiece. These were bigger than most other cards-almost 3”x 4”. Many of the panels got cut (often badly) into single cards as individual cards were what most of us were accustomed to collecting and trading. I’m told this is a pretty rare issue today particularly in terms of finding the complete set. In spite of that, there are single cards to be had and, every once in awhile, a complete panel.
’55 Topps Double-headers and Red Man cards
The 1955 Topps Doubleheaders were also an interesting card-at least for this kid. I’ve since learned they have some resemblance to an earlier tobacco (?) issue-even before MY time…These feature seven Braves on six cards-Jim Pendleton and Gene Conley were on the same card-how cool is that?? On another sad note for collectors, 1955 marked the last year of issue for Red Man Tobacco cards. There were three Braves in that last year set: Crandall, Logan and Spahn. Was this the last tobacco card issue to date?
The absolutely gorgeous Gibbs-Connor Tom Tom Club Bank
I’m hoping, down the road, to do a major exposition of the Gibbs-Connor array of stunningly beautiful ceramic statuary. However, today I’m confining comments to this magnificent Braves Tom-Tom Club Bank. It’s about 6 ½” tall, about 5” wide and just a tad over 3” deep. These are believed to have been cast in the Midwest and were no longer being manufactured by the mid-1950’s.
The lovely-though-slightly-marred ’55 Coke Schedule
I probably ought to be ashamed of myself for even including one schedule in this chapter. However, as I hope you’ll soon see, I do it far more to titillate than to explicate…huh?? As I think I’ve mentioned elsewhere, I’m hoping to bring a wonderful interview next month with long-time Braves fan, Mike Rodell. Mike has more Braves schedules than I thought existed. So, if I’ve managed to pique your interest…my job here is finished…ON, King!! This Coke/Braves schedule has a burn/puncture right where any April Pittsburgh games might have been. What is unusual to me is that somewhere, sometime there must have been a small stack of these as I’ve seen others “injured” in exactly the same place…Hmmm…
Some time ago I found a note (2 ½ pages) from Braves concessions manager, Earl Yerxa, to Braves fans encouraging them (us) to remember the Braves mail order department. Per the missive they would be pleased to help us find the perfect Christmas gifts for the Braves fans on our Christmas list. He wishes us a Happy Holiday Season and encloses a price list for some 35-40 items. The list includes Apparel, Publications, Pictures, Jewelry, Ash Trays, Glassware, Writing Utensils, Pennants and all manner of neat stuff. It was obvious that a lot (most)of this stuff was the same stuff one could buy at the stadium during the season. One of the areas where MY ignorance is most profound has to do with dating exactly what year a particular piece of memorabilia came out. So—if you notice that I’m way off base on dating something, PLEASE let me know!!
Hopefully you got your Mom, Dad, Uncle Howie or Aunt Theresa to buy you all these
There were a variety of souvenir uniforms over the years-some one-piece, some two-piece, some more. They came in youth sizes-generally like 4-20. There were also a number of different caps available; some were sized, some were adjustable. I think this blue T-shirt was from 1955 or very close to that date. I have a couple different scarves but this one fit the description in the 1955 mail order list…The same is true for the belt.
The matching ring, cuff links and tie bar are described to a “T” in the m.o. list-these were also available at the stadium…same for the bracelets. I wasn’t sure which compact was from ’55 so here are two different.
If you call, email, snail mail me, I’ll send you a copy of the actual list from Earl
For me, the most surprising “news” on this list had to do with what was advertised as “Ash Trays”-“Authentic reproduction of glove worn by your favorite Brave. May double as a planter or plaque. A Lillian Grimm Ceramic” There has been on-going discussion between collectors of these gloves about whether or not the little “G” inside the circle on the back stood for Grimm (Lillian-Charlie’s wife)…
Case closed…or so ‘twould appear!!
The glasses that are usually referred to as “highball” glasses or “squaw” or “chief” glasses are called “Roly-Poly glasses” on the M.O. list. In 1955, the pen and pencil sets came in two versions: The regular and the All-Star. The brown-tone over-sized post cards still show up every so often. You could probably make a hobby of just collecting the mini-bats…there seem to be a lot of them…and not just the starters or the stars.
This bat is beat up very badly…also cracked and taped…it got lotsa wear…
Eddie Mathews credits veteran Sid Gordon with getting him involved with the “Eddie Mathews Bat-A-Way”. These were ‘50’s versions of what we now call batting cages or batting ranges-but were pretty much the same idea-you paid money-a quarter, I think-and a pitching machine pitched a number of balls for you to hit or try to hit. In 1955 Eddie still had two of these…one on the north side and one on the south side. Apparently the one on the north side closed sometime during the construction of I-43. The bat is 35” long, has a fairly ”fat” handle and is cracked and repaired with no distinguishable knob markings. The coupon or ticket is blank-backed.
Well, there you have it…1955…A couple of post-script-type comments: At the end of the season, Coach Bucky Walters left the Braves to take a position with the Giants; Charlie Root (who was the pitcher when Babe Ruth did or did not perform the famous/notorious “called shot”) was promoted from Toledo as the new pitching coach. Johnny Cooney also left after the ’55 season-ultimately joining the White Sox. He was replaced by…hold your breath…Fred Haney.
All in all 1955 was a good year for the Braves in spite of some injuries and in spite of the Dodgers runaway season. The team continued to adjust, re-adjust and put pieces in place to strengthen their overall game…It promises to get even more exciting in 1956.
Political/Philosophical thought for the day: Flag-pole sitting is a lost art!!
One last and somewhat humorous P.S.: On June 23, 1955, Bill Sherwood mounted a flag pole at Teutonia Avenue and Hadley Street on Milwaukee’s near north side. It was Mr. Sherwood’s goal to stay atop his perch until the Braves won seven games in a row (or until the season ended). Three different times in the following 89 days Our Heroes won six games in a row!! Finally, on September 19th, when it was mathematically impossible to achieve the seven game streak, Bill Sherwood climbed down.
Next month: Mike Rodell and his collection of a gazillion Milwaukee Braves schedules if he and I can figure out a time…if not…1956!!
Until then…Please stay tuned…
Go Get “Em, Braves!!!