Monday, December 29, 2014

December Braves 1969

The 1969 design is far from my favorite Topps design but I gotta fill in those Braves cards.

196 - Lum Harris
1968 was Lum's first with the Braves.  He had previously managed with Baltimore and Houston.

282 - Pat Jarvis
Sheriff  Jarvis went 16 and 12 with a 2.60 ERA in 1968.

300 - Felipe Alou
Felipe rebounded from a sub-par 1967 season to post a .317 batting average with 210 hits in 1968.

385 - Orlando Cepeda
Orlando struggled with the Cardinals in 1968 with a .248 batting average and only 16 homers after an MVP season in 1967.

One more post to go from the December show.

Saturday, December 27, 2014

December Braves 1968

I picked up six 1968 Topps Braves cards that I needed.

30 - Joe Torre
Joe had a decent season in 1967 with 20 home runs, 68 RBI and a .277 batting average but this was after a season of 36, 101 and .315.

55 - Felipe Alou
Felipe hit 15 home runs with a .274 average but like Joe Torre his 1966 season was much better with 31 homers and a .327 average.

76 - Jim Britton/Ron Reed
Jim Britton pitched 2 games in 1967 and spent 1968 and 1969 with the Braves.  His only other major league season was with the Expos in 1971.
Ron Reed played 19 seasons in the majors and was with the Braves until 1975.  From 1965 to 1967 he also played for the Detroit Pistons in the NBA.  He average 8 points a game over his 2 seasons.

134 - Pat Jarvis
Pat had a fine season in 1967 with 15 wins and a 3.66 ERA.  He later became the Sheriff of DeKalb County, Georgia for several years before corruption charges ended that career.

286 - Cecil Upshaw
A rookie in 1967, Cecil finished with 6 saves.  He spent several years as the Braves closer.

578 - Orlando Martinez
Orlando hit .288 in 73 at bats in 1967 as a utility infielder.  In 1964 Orlando played on the minor league Atlanta Crackers.

Two more December card show posts to go.

Friday, December 26, 2014

December Braves 1960 - 1962

I picked up a few 1960 to 1962 Topps Braves cards at the December show.


312 - Charlie Lau
Charlie was a back-up catcher most of his career.  He is more famous for becoming a hitting coach.  He worked with several stars on their stances, most notably George Brett.

515 - Stan Lopata
Another back-up catcher, in 1959 Stan only hit only .104 in 48 at bats.

534 - Ken McKenzie
Pitched in the minors in 1959 before being called up to the Braves in 1960.


105 - Carl Willey
Pitched out of the bullpen in 1960 with a 6 and 7 record.


100 - Warren Spahn
Warren had an average season in 1961.  Average for him, that is.  He went 21 and 13 with a 3.01 ERA and won his 300th game.

265 - Joe Adcock
Joe had a great season in 1961 with 35 homeruns and 108 RBI.  1962 would prove to be Joe's last season with the Braves.

443 - Del Crandall
Del only played 15 games because of injury in 1961.

Next up will be a bunch of 1967 cards I picked up.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

December Braves 1959 - Part 3

The last 5 1959 Topps cards I got at the card show all feature the "normal" yellow background for a Braves card from that year.

347 - Bob Buhl
After 2 straight 18 win season Bob was injured in 1958 and only started 11 games.

366 - Humberto Robinson
Humberto pitched  19 games in relief in 1958 with a 3.00 ERA.

396 - Bob Rush
After coming over from the Cubs Bob went 10 and 6 for the Braves in 1958 with 2 shutouts.

425 -  Del Crandall
I technically have this card already but the other one has a 50th Anniversary stamp on it from the 2008 Topps Heritage set.

499 - Johnny O'Brien
Johnny came over in a trade after the 1958 season.  While playing for the Pirates in 1956 and 1957 he pitched some games before switching back to the infield.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

December Braves 1959 - Part 2

165 - Bill Bruton
Bill had a knee injury in 1958 that limited him to 100 games in the regular season.  He recovered in time to hit .412 in the World Series.

188 - Juan Pizzaro
Juan split the season between Milwaukee and Wichita in 1958.  He finished with a sub-3 ERA at both levels.

204 - Casey Wise
The back of this card proclaims that "Casey gets on base plenty via walks."  This must have been his main method of getting on base considering his .197 batting average in 1958.  This DID raise his lifetime average to .186.

259 - Jim Pisoni
A power hitting minor league outfielder, Jim did not play in the majors in 1958.  He only played in 9 games for the Braves before moving on.

315 - Joe Adcock
Joe was the right-handed complement to Frank Torre at first base.  He smacked 19 home runs in only 320 at bats.

322 - Harry Hanebrink
Yet another back-up infielder.  Hit a weak .188 in 1958 before being traded to the Phillies in the off season.

I have 5 more 1959's to feature in the next post.

Monday, December 22, 2014

December Braves 1959 - Part 1

I picked up a BUNCH of 1959 Topps Braves at the last show so I'll break them into three posts.

The defending champion Braves reached the World Series again in 1958 but lost to the Yankees.  It would be 1991 before the franchise reached the series again.

Like the 1958 Topps the 1959 feature a "normal" design for the Braves cards, yellow background with red name.

54 - Mel Roach
As a backup middle infielder in 1958 Mel hit a nifty .309 in 136 at bats.  This is the only green example of a Braves card I have from 1959.

65 - Frank Torre
The brother of Joe, Frank was the left handed part of the Braves first base platoon with Joe Adcock.  Like Mel Roach, Frank hit .309 in 1959 but in 372 at bats.

95 - Carl Willey
It's pink!  A rookie in 1959, Carl had a nice 2.70 ERA in 140 innings.

104 - Del Rice
A nice example of the "normal" Braves card from this set.  Del served as the Braves backup catcher.

128 - Bob Hartman
Bob pitched for the Atlanta Crackers in 1958 and went 20-10 with  2.94 ERA.  These great stats got him recognition from the Sporting News as a top prospect.

157 - Felix Mantilla
Milwaukee's main infield utility player, Felix was more know for his fielding than his hitting.  According to the card back he once scored 2 runs in 1 inning after coming in as a pinch runner.

There will be mostly yellow cards in the next post from 1959.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

December Braves - Part 2 - 1958

I already have a good number of 1958 Topps Braves, including Spahn and Mathews, but I found 4 more cards I needed at the last show.

223 - Andy Pafko
Andy provided a veteran presence on the 1957 World Champions.  The light blue background is not normal for a 1958 Topps Braves card.

247 - Casey Wise
Played for the Cubs in 1957.  Once again this is not the "normal" design for a 1958 Topps Braves card.

313 - Bob Rush.
Also played for the Cubs in 1957.  19 of the 26 1958 Topps Braves cards that I have feature a green background and a red bar at the bottom, making this the "normal" design for the year.

472 - Joe Jay
More commonly known as "Joey".  Spent all but 1 game in the minors during the 1957 season.  Won 21 games twice for the Cubs in the early 60's.

Next up will be the 17 1959 Topps Braves cards I picked up at the show.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

December Braves - Part 1

I picked up a bunch of Braves a couple of weeks ago at a card show and also got a needed card in a trade.

My 9th 1951 Bowman Braves card is #228 Bob Chipman.  It has a significant crease but was very cheap at the show.

This is the card I got from Dennis over at Too Many Verlanders.  1953 Topps 217 Murray Wall.  The top of the card is actually very good.  The bad edge is actually scanner glare.

I'll be highlighting my other show pickups over the next few days.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Braves A - Z: Joe Adcock

Joe Adcock was the Braves mainstay at First Base from 1953 to 1962.  After 3 years in Cincinnati he came over from the Reds in a four team trade that also involved the Dodgers and the Phillies.

On July 31, 1954 Joe hit 4 home runs and a double.  His record for total bases (18) in a game stood until 2002.  He ended his career with 336 home runs and still stands at 99th place all-time in that category.

He got the game winning hit during the game in which Harvey Haddix, of the Pirates, pitched 11 perfect innings but lost in the 12th.

Joe was also a very good fielder and led National League first sackers in fielding 4 times.

He played one year with Cleveland and then closed out his career with 3 seasons on the Los Angelas/California Angels.

I received the 1960 card at the bottom of the scan as a Topps Home Team Advantage Giveaway.  You got one card in a plain silver pack for buying a certain amount of Topps products.  It was an incredible surprise to pull a card I needed for my Braves collection.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Braves A to Z - Bill the Cat's Favorite Player

 (For those of you who have no idea who Bill the Cat is please search for Bloom County.)

Jim Acker


Jim Acker was originally drafted by the Braves as a First Round pick in 1980 out of the University of Texas.  He was selected by Toronto in the 1982 Rule 5 draft.  I'm speculating that Bobby Cox may have had something to do with that since Cox went to the Blue Jays as manager in 1982.

Jim was traded to the Braves in mid-season 1986 for pitcher Joe Johnson.  He spent parts of 4 seasons with the Braves and had a decent 3.71 ERA; however, in a reflection of how bad the Braves were in the late 1980's, he had a 7 and 27 record.  He started 15 games for Atlanta but was mainly a relief pitcher and led the team in Saves in 1987 with 14.

In a fortuitous move, Atlanta sent him back to Toronto during the 1989 season.  The Braves got reliever Tony Castilla and some catcher named Francisco Cabrera.  If you don't know about Cabrera watch this.

I always thought of Jim as a decent pitcher on those bad teams.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Braves Disappointing Season

The Braves are currently 75 and 75 and are 4.5 games out of the last Wild Card position.  The true Braves fan in me says they could get into the Wild Card game and then make it to the World Series and upset the American League champ.  The realist in me says this will not happen.

The Braves just cannot score runs with any consistency.  The lack of clutch hitting over this season has been extremely frustrating.  I like Justin Upton a lot but with just ever so slightly better clutch numbers he would probably have 20 more RBI and be leading the league.  A big stat I just found is that Atlanta only has 26 Sacrifice Flies this year.  That is 6 less than any other team in the National League.

A stat I heard on Friday's TV broadcast was that the Braves had scored 1 or 0 runs in 37 games this year.  That is basically a quarter of the season.  Add in the games that the Braves scored 2 runs and is must be a third of the season, at least.

Best example of the team weakness is when the Phillies no-hit them on Labor Day the Braves had  runners on second and third with nobody out in the first inning and could not get a run in.

The only reason the Braves aren't last in the majors in runs scored is that the San Diego Padres are absolutely pathetic this year.

The pitching has been good.  I don't think that anyone can be mad at Julio Teheran, Alex Wood, Aaron Harang and Ervin Santana but Mike Minor has been too inconsistent for my liking.  They have, arguably, the best closer in baseball in Craig Kimbrel and an overall team ERA of 3.35 so nothing wrong with the pitching overall.

I think a complete clean out of the coaching staff is in order (that means you Terry Pendleton), if not the manager, and Frank Wren is not making the offensive deals that need to be made.  Dan Uggla was a total bust in the end and it looks like BJ Upton could follow in his footsteps. Wouldn't any Braves fan still like to have Michael Bourn in center field instead of BJ?  Ryan Doumit has not brought the big bat we thought we were getting and Chris Johnson has become useless against right-handed pitching, although I am hoping that he can bounce back next year.

This season has done nothing to change my plan to stop rooting for the Braves when they leave us every day, public transportation riding fans behind and move to Cobb County in a few years. They're moving away from Hank Aaron Drive!

See you in the sports pages,


Saturday, September 13, 2014

Fun From The $3 Box - The Final Cut

Wow!  5 page views on the last post.  My readership went up 67%!

And now, for your listening pleasure:

The Beatles!

The last 5 cards I got from the non-sport boxes that the vendor had.  I wanted to buy more out of these boxes but talked myself out of many cards from various sets even though they were really cool. I got card from 4 different Topps Beatles sets.

1964 Topps Beatles Black and White Series 2

Card 69 - The classic mirro pose from Paul and George.

Not a lot going on here on the back.

Card 98 - Ringo!

1964 Topps Beatles Color

Card 55 - The whole Fab Four in one shot.  Obviously taken from the Ed Sullivan show appearance hi-lighted above.

Great card backs - by far the best of the 4 series I have cards from.

1964 Topps Beatles Diary

Card 9A - John Lennon singing lead.  Again, from the Ed Sullivan show.

Paul goes on a diatribe about British deejays.

1964 Topps A Hard Days Night

Card 37 - Paul chatting with someone off camera.

The card back definitely gets the point across that this set is from a movie.

I hope everyone enjoyed the $3 box.

I hope this vendor comes back to Atlanta sometime soon.

Cards I Ain't Got No More - Non-Sport Autographs

Back in 2010 there were repacks of Donruss Americana and Popcardz that came with one guaranteed hit per repack.  They were pretty cheap and ...