Matthew Constantine Surkont
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 6' 0", Weight 205 lb.
- Debut April 19, 1949
- Final Game May 1, 1957
- Born June 16, 1922 in Central Falls, RI USA
- Died October 8, 1986 in Largo, FL USA
Max Surkont, a right-hander from Rhode Island shut out the Cincinnati Reds 2-0 on three hits on opening day in 1953 in the first game in the Milwaukee Braves' history. By mid-May, he was 5-0 taking the team into the league lead after a seventh-place finish the previous season in their last year in Boston.
Max struck out a big-league record eight in a row against the Reds on May 25th in a game nearly wiped out by rain. After striking out the last batter in the 2nd inning and setting down the sides on strikes in both the 3rd and 4th, the rains came, forcing a 33-minute delay. The modern-day major league mark of seven in a row held by Hooks Wiltse of the 1908 New York Giants and Dazzy Vance (1924) and Van Lingle Mungo (1936), both of the Brooklyn Dodgers, had been equaled. When play resumed, Surkont struck out Andy Seminick to establish a new record, but another 40-minute delay nearly wiped out the game and the record. Play eventually resumed and the game was completed, with Max finishing with 13 strikeouts in the 10-3 victory. The New York Mets' Tom Seaver broke the record in 1970 when he struck out ten straight San Diego Padres.
His 31st birthday on June 16, 1953, was designated as "Max Surkont Night" at Milwaukee County Stadium, and he ran his record to 9-1. But he would win just twice more in July and finished the year with a record of 11-5.
Max, who was just 15 when he began in pro ball in 1938, first came up to the majors with the Chicago White Sox in 1949. He had missed the 1943-1945 seasons due to military service. He was acquired by the Boston Braves after going 18-5 with the Sacramento Solons of the Pacific Coast League in 1950 and won a dozen games in both 1951 and 1952. He was also with the Pittsburgh Pirates, St. Louis Cardinals, and the New York Giants through 1957, finishing 61-76.
- 200 Innings Pitched Seasons: 3 (1951, 1952 & 1954)