THE ATLANTA BRAVES - COLLECTION CIRCA 1973 WITH ROD GILBREATH, JOHNNY OATES, JIM BUSBY, KEN SILVESTRI, DUSTY BAKER, ANDRE THORNTON, LEW BURDETTE, CONNIE (CORNELIUS) RYAN, OSCAR LEE BROWN AND OTHERS - HFSID 291172
Three 5x3 cards, containing altogether 20 players and coaches. Included here are Eddie Mathews, Lew Burdette, Davey Johnson, Dusty Baker, and several colorful if less talented players.
Sale Price $288.00
ATLANTA BRAVES (1973) Three 5x3 cards, containing altogether 20 players and coaches. Included here are Eddie Mathews, Lew Burdette, Davey Johnson, Dusty Baker, and several colorful if less talented players. Collection, including: 1) Signatures: "Ed Mathews", "Lew Burdette", "Roy Hartsfield", "Connie Ryan", "Jim Busby" and "Ken Silvestri", 5x3 card. Fine condition. 2) Signatures: "Johnny Oates", "Andy Thornton", "Mike Lum", "Leo Foster", "Bob Didier", "Larvell Blanks" and "Bob Didier", 5x3 card.. Fine condition. 3) Signatures: "Dave Johnson", "Marty Perez", "Pat Dobson", "Oscar Brown", "Jack Pierce" and "Dusty Baker", 5x3 card. Lightly toned at edges. Otherwise, fine condition. All three cards contain an ink note (unknown hand): 1973 Braves. The signatures were probably gathered during Spring Training, since two of the signers (Thornton and Didier) were traded to other teams shortly afterward and do not appear on most team rosters for the season.) From 1963 to 1997, the Braves trained at Municipal Stadium on West Palm Beach, Florida. Since 1998 they hold Spring Training in Buena Vista, Florida. The signers on the first card are members of the Braves coaching staff, most former players for the team. EDDIE MATHEWS (1931-2001) was starting his second of three seasons as manager of the Braves in 1973. His 149-161 record as skipper, his only managing stint, was much less successful than his Hall of Fame playing career. While playing third base over 17 seasons (1952-1968), Mathews slammed 512 homers and established himself as the best hitter ever at his position until the arrival of Mike Schmidt. He played for the Braves in all 3 cities (Boston, Milwaukee and Atlanta), and was on two World Championship teams (1957 Braves and 1968 Tigers). He appeared on the cover of the first issue of Sports Illustrated (1954). A 12-time All-Star, he was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1978. LEW BURDETTE (1926-2007) was the MVP of the 1957 World Series, shutting out the Yankees twice and becoming the first pitcher since Christy Mathewson in 1905 to pitch three complete games in a World Series. Burdette, whose best seasons came with the Milwaukee Braves, won 18 or more games five times and gave up only one run in seven All-Star innings. He led the NL in wins in 1959 (21), and won 203 games in his Major League Career. He was a pitching coach for the Braves in 1972 and 1973. JIM BUSBY (1927-1996) was a speedy center fielder known for his strong defense. He played for 6 Major League teams, but not the Braves, over 13 seasons (1950-1962), making the All-Star team in 1951. Not known for his power, Busby became only the fourth AL player to hit grand slams in back to back games (1956). He coached for four Major League teams, including the Braves. Cornelius "CONNIE" RYAN (1920-1996) played 12 Major League seasons (with a year out for the Navy during World War II), from 1942 to 1954. He played all infield positions, but mostly 2B. An All-Star in 1944, he played for the Boston Braves in the 1948 World Series. He had three stints as a Braves coach (1957, 1971, 1973-1975), and managed two teams at the end of seasons in which their previously manager had just been fired: Atlanta in 1975, and Texas in 1977. KEN SILVESTRI (1916-1992) was a reserve catcher for 3 Major League teams between 1939 and 1951, interrupted by four full years in the Navy during World War II. He appeared in only 102 Major League games, but had a long career as a coach and minor league manager, including a long stint as a Braves coach (1963-1975). Like Ryan, he was interim Braves manager after a mid-season firing (1967). ROY HARTSFIELD (1925-2011) played for the Boston Braves for 3 seasons (1950-1952), leading all second basemen in errors in 1950 and coming in second in 1951. He was more successful as a minor league manager, and coached the Braves in 1973 (leaving to become manager of the Hawaii Islanders. In 1977, he became the first ever manager of the Toronto Blue Jays, probably not a pleasant experience, since the expansion Jays went 166-318 during his 3 years at the helm. Connie Ryan and Roy Hartsfield both played in Atlanta, with the Crackers of the Southern Association. The Crackers became the Richmond Braves after their Major League affiliate moved to Atlanta. The second and third cards are signed by Atlanta players, three of whom later became Manager of the Year. JOHNNY OATES (1946-2004) was the Braves' first string catcher in 1972 and 1973 before being traded to the Phillies early in 1974. Mainly a reserve catcher thereafter, he did appear for the Phils in the 1976 NLCS and for the Dodgers in the 1977 and 1978 World Series. He later managed the Baltimore Orioles (1991-1994) and Texas Rangers (1995-2001), compiling a respectable 797-746 record and being named Manager of the Year in 1996. Rookie first baseman ANDRE "ANDY" THORNTON (b. 1949) never played a game for the Atlanta. Early in the season he was traded to the Cubs for colorful first baseman Joe Pepitone. This was a major blunder by the Braves. Pepitone played 12 games for them and then retired. Thornton went on to a solid 14-year Major League career through 1987, making two All-Star appearances as a Cleveland Indian. BOB DIDIER (b. 1949) was also gone from the roster soon, sent to Detroit in a minor trade. Didier, the favorite catcher of Braves knuckleball pitcher Phil Niekro, had played in 114 games as a rookie in 1969, but in fewer games every successive year. After two more years riding the bench in the American League, Didier went on to become a successful minor league manager. Outfielder/first baseman/pinch hitter MIKE LUM (b. 1945) was the first Japanese-American in the Major Leagues and the first Hawaiian to play in the postseason (with Atlanta in 1969). He played twelve of his fifteen big league seasons (1957-1981) with the Braves, and became a hitting coach after his playing days. He was the only man ever to pinch hit for Hank Aaron. LEO FOSTER (b. 1951) played three years with the Braves and two with the Mets in the 1970s. A weak hitter and average fielder, his chief asset was versatility; he could play 2B, 3B and SS, and so made a useful reserve player. Infielder LARVELL BLANKS (b. 1950) reached the Majors with the Braves in 1972, but did not become a regular until 1975. He spent the next four seasons in the AL, before returning to Atlanta for his final season (1980). DAVEY JOHNSON (b. 1943) made 4-All-Star teams and won 3 Gold Gloves as second baseman for powerful Baltimore Orioles teams (1965-1972), appearing in four World Series. Just traded to the Braves when he signed this ball, Johnson was about to surprise everyone by socking 43 homers in 1973, breaking Rogers Hornsby's 50-year record for most home runs by a second baseman. The Braves thus became the first team ever with three 40+ home run hitters in the lineup (Johnson, Hank Aaron and Darrell Evans). Johnson later became a very successful Major League manager for 4 teams, winning a World Series with the 1986 Mets, and was fired by unpopular Baltimore owner Peter Angelos after leading the previously woeful Orioles to the playoffs and being named Manager of the Year in 1997. He managed Team USA to the 2007 World Baseball Cup, and also the 2008 US Olympic Team (to a bronze medal). MARTY PEREZ (b. 1946) spent six of his 10 Major League seasons as a Braves infielder, appearing in career high 141 games in 1972 and 1973. As a Brave he led the league in two categories, one positive (fielding percentage by a second baseman, 1974), and the other not so: grounding into the most double plays (1972). A curve ball specialist with six major league teams (1967-1977), PAT DOBSON was one of four 20-game winners on the 1971 Baltimore Orioles. While only a .500 pitcher lifetime (122-129), Dobson was a real workhorse, compiling the kinds of won-lost records seldom seen: 14-15 (1969 Padres), 16-18 (1972 Orioles) and 19-15 (1974 Yankees). The year 1973 was his only season in Atlanta, and he didn't stay long - traded to the Yankees in June for four players! Outfielder OSCAR BROWN (1946-2020) was about to start his fifth and final Major League season in 1973, all with the Braves. He played in only 160 total games over that stretch. Brown had a brother (Ollie) in Major League Baseball and another (Willie) in the National Football League. JACK PIERCE (b. 1948) was a feared slugger, but not in the Major Leagues. He hit under .100, without ever an extra base hit in 17 games for the 1973-1974 Braves. Traded to Detroit, he did a little better, but not enough to stay on the roster. Then he became a superstar in the Mexican League, setting that League's all-time home run record (54) in 1986. DUSTY BAKER played 19 Major League seasons (1968-1986), mostly with the Atlanta Braves and Los Angeles Dodgers. A Gold Glove-winning outfielder (1981) and two-time All-Star, Baker could hit for average and power and steal an occasional base. Since leaving the field he has managed the San Francisco Giants (1992-2002), Chicago Cubs (2003-2006) and Cincinnati Reds (2008 -). While with the Giants he earned NL Manager of the Year honors three times and fell only one game short of a World Championship in 2002. He was Cubs manager in the legendary "Steve Bartman" game, where fan interference prevented the final out which would have put the team in its first World Series since 1945. Three items.
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