Saturday, March 27, 2010

1981 Atlanta Braves

Two 300-game winners
The Atlanta Braves of the 1990s were led mostly by their dominant pitching. But what about the staff they had in 1981? It was led by not one, but two pitchers who would end their career with 300+ wins. Unfortunately, both Phil Niekro and Gaylord Perry were 42 during the 1981 season. This was an odd pitching staff, Tommy Boggs was the only other pitcher I would consider a true starting pitcher.

Bobby Cox
29 years later and we see a card for a person still in the same position in 2010 as he was in 1981. Of course he left to manage the Blue Jays for a short period before returning to Atlanta to apparently become the Connie Mack of our time.

Best Player On This Team
Since I started this blog, I have attempted to put up the card in the first spot of who I thought the team MVP was for the year. I have to say, I am going to give that honor to Rick Camp. He was 4th in the league in saves and had a 1.78 ERA. N0 other batters or pitchers on this team seemed to stand out that much. I knew nothing about this player, so looking at his career on, it looked like he played for the Braves from 1976-1985. He had a pretty solid 1980 and 1981, posting two sub 2.00 ERA seasons back to back as the teams closer. It looks like he attempted to move into the starting rotation in 1982 and was roughly a .500 pitcher and fell into relative obscurity. This is why sometimes, maybe if it isn't broke don't fix it. Then again I don't know much else about why he was moved into the starting rotation other than looking at his stats.

New Uniforms
The Gaylord Perry card posted above is from the traded set. All the other cards are from the regular 1981 sets that feature photographs taken during the 1980 season. In 1981, the Braves must've moved from the uniforms with the lower case "a" on the hat I associate with Braves wearing when Hank Aaron took over the career home run record, to the scripted "A" that is similar to what they wear now. Although I don't remember them changing hues of blue, it looks like the blue is a slightly different shade than what they wear now.

__ TO 108 C Bruce Benedict ATL
__ TO 155 1B Chris Chambliss ATL
__ TO 247 2B Glenn Hubbard ATL
__ TO 355 3B Bob Horner ATL
__ FL 266 SS Rafael Ramirez ATL

LF Rufino Linares
__ TO 504 CF Dale Murphy ATL
__ TT 854 RF Claudell Washington ATL

Starting Pitchers
__ TO 387 SP Phil Niekro ATL
__ TT 812 SP Gaylord Perry ATL
__ TO 132 SP Tommy Boggs ATL

Relief Pitchers
__ TO 87 CL Rick Camp ATL

RP Rick Mahler
__ TO 307 RP Gene Garber ATL
__ TO 636 RP Al Hrabosky ATL
__ TT 804 RP John Montefusco ATL
__ TO 44 SP Larry McWilliams ATL
__ TT 853 SP Bob Walk ATL
__ TO 594 RP Preston Hanna ATL

Other Players

LF Eddie Miller

LF Brett Butler
__ TO 326 3B Biff Pocoroba ATL
__ TO 268 IF Jerry Royster ATL
__ TO 64 OF Brian Asselstine ATL

OF Terry Harper
__ TO 477 IF Luis Gomez ATL

C Matt Sinatro

SS Paul Runge

C Larry Owen

PH Bob Porter
__ TO 296 UT Bill Nahorodny ATL
__ TO 457 LF Mike Lum ATL

3B Brook Jacoby

OF Larry Whisenton

OF Albert Hall

1B Ken Smith
__ TO 542 RP Larry Bradford ATL

RP Steve Bedrosian
__ TO 611 RP Rick Matula ATL

RP Jose Alvarez

__ FL 247 MG Bobby Cox (or DO 426)

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