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Sunday Notes: Chuck Cottier’s Memorable Pro Debut Was 65 Years Ago

Chuck Cottier made his MLB debut in a star-studded environment. Playing second base, he was in the Milwaukee Braves lineup alongside the likes of Hank AaronDel Crandall and Eddie Mathews. The first ground ball he fielded on that April 1959 afternoon came off the bat of Roberto Clemente, on a pitch thrown by Warren SpahnHarvey Haddix, who a month later would take a a perfect game into the 13th inning against the Braves, was on the mound for Pittsburgh.

Cottier’s first professional game was also memorable. Just 18 years old at the time — he’d signed at 17 out of a Grand Junction, Colorado high school — Cottier was playing for the Americus-Cordele Orioles in the Georgia-Florida League. It was 1954, and the minor league landscape was different than it is today.

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