Joe Adcock
Adcock in 1954 with the Milwaukee Braves
First baseman / Outfielder / Manager
Born: (1927-10-30)October 30, 1927
Coushatta, Louisiana, U.S.
Died: May 3, 1999(1999-05-03) (aged 71)
Coushatta, Louisiana, U.S.
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
As player
As manager
Career highlights and awards

Joseph Wilbur Adcock (October 30, 1927 – May 3, 1999) was an American professional baseball player and manager. He played in Major League Baseball as a first baseman from 1950 to 1966, most prominently as a member of the Milwaukee Braves teams that won two consecutive National League pennants and won the 1957 World Series.

A two-time All-Star player, Adcock was known for his long distance home runs, including hitting four in one game in 1954. Adcock ranks third in Milwaukee Braves history in hits, home runs, runs batted in and total bases.[1] A sure-handed defensive player, at the time of his retirement in 1966, he had the third-highest career fielding percentage by a major league first baseman (.994). During his major league tenure, he also played for the Cincinnati Reds, Cleveland Indians and the Los Angeles / California Angels.

His nickname "Billy Joe" was modeled after Vanderbilt University basketball star "Billy Joe Adcock" and was popularized by Vin Scully. Adcock was inducted into the Braves Hall of Fame in 2022.[2]

Early life

Born in Coushatta, 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.[3]

Playing career

He was signed by the Cincinnati Reds, however Ted Kluszewski had a 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 by a white player in an official MLB game 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 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)[4][5] which stood for 48 years, until broken by Shawn Green in 2002.[6] Of note, the four home runs were hit off four different Brooklyn Dodgers pitchers, becoming the seventh player in major league history to hit four home runs in one game.[7]

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.)[8]

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.

Pitcher Sal Maglie said of Adcock, "Pitch Adcock close and then low and away and he'll never hit."[9]

Managerial career

After concluding his playing career with the Cleveland Indians (1963) and Los Angeles/California Angels (1964–1966), Adcock managed the 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 ten-team league. Following the season he was replaced as Cleveland manager by Alvin Dark.[10] 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.

Managerial record

Team Year Regular season Postseason
Games Won Lost Win % Finish Won Lost Win % Result
CLE 1967 162 75 87 .463 8th in AL
Total 162 75 87 .463 0 0


He later died in Coushatta at age 71 in 1999 as a result of Alzheimer's disease.[4][11][12] He is buried in Social Springs cemetery in Red River parish, 15 miles (24 km) from Coushatta.[13]

See also


  1. ^ "Braves star Joe Adcock to be inducted into Miller Park Walk of Fame on July 29". Retrieved August 20, 2022.
  2. ^ "Braves Hall of Fame". Retrieved August 20, 2022.
  3. ^ Gregory H. Wolf. "Joe Adcock". SABR Baseball Biography Project. Society for American Baseball Research. Retrieved December 21, 2015.
  4. ^ a b Clines, Frank (May 4, 1999). "Braves slugger Adcock dies". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. p. 1C.
  5. ^ "Joe Adcock's 4 homers, double sets mark". Spokesman-Review. Associated Press. August 1, 1954. p. 1-sports.
  6. ^ DiGiovanna, Mike (May 24, 2002). "Green stops slump with historic performance". Eugene Register-Guard. (Los Angeles Times). p. 3C.
  7. ^ 100 Things Braves Fans Should Know and Do Before They Die: Revised and Updated, Jack Wilkinson, Triumph Books, Chicago, 2019, ISBN 978-1-62937-694-3, p.168
  8. ^ "Braves beat Haddix after 12 perfect innings". Victoria Advocate. Victoria, Texas. Associated Press. May 27, 1959. p. 8.
  9. ^ Maglie, Sal (October 14, 1957). "Braves' New World". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved August 7, 2020.
  10. ^ Adcock fired; Paul assigns Dark to post
  11. ^ Sayre, Alan (May 4, 1999). "Broke up baseball's longest no-hitter". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Associated Press. p. C-5.
  12. ^ "Joe Adcock famous for 'homer' in 1959 game". Toledo Blade. Associated Press. May 4, 1999. p. 17.
  13. ^ Resting Places: The Burial Sites of 14000 Famous Persons, by Scott Wilson

Awards and achievements Preceded byGil Hodges Batters with 4 home runs in one game July 31, 1954 Succeeded byRocky Colavito