Braves Card of the Day: 2018 Topps Series 2 Ronald Acuña Jr 1983 Topps Auto #83A-RA

Well, I missed getting the Braves for Series 2 in my usual group break so I bought into a different break to get my Braves, and this time, it worked out for me.

Braves Card of the Day: 2018 Topps Now Ozzie Albies #315

I mentioned on the last Albies Topps Now card that I have mixed feelings about these cards. In theory, I think the idea of a set that comes out throughout the year featuring the best moments from the season is great. On the other hand, $9.99 a card is price gouging.

As a tip, if you want Topps Now cards for specific players or teams, your best bet is to get them on eBay. Topps sells them at a discount if you buy in quantity so there are people who buy a lot and turn them over on eBay for less than the absurd 10 dollar price Topps charges for a single card.

Braves Card of the Day: 1983 Topps Traded Craig McMurtry #69T

Scab.

Braves Card of the Day: 2018 Topps Now Ronald Acuña Jr #125

Topps was well aware that Acuña was going by Ronald Acuña Jr when they decided to commemorate his debut with a Topps Now card. I guess they just didn’t care.

Braves Card of the Day: 2018 Topps Now Ozzie Albies #128

I have loads of mixed feelings about Topps Now in general, but since it has given me an Ozzie Albies card with Chipper Jones and Dale Murphy, I can’t hate it.

Braves Card of the Day: 2006 Topps Edgar Renteria #120

Edgar was terrific both years he played for the Braves. He was dealt to the Tigers at just the right time, as his career took a downhill turn from which it would only recover during the 2010 World Series where he won the MVP.

Braves Card of the Day: 2006 Topps Andruw Jones Gold Glove #257

I spent over a decade out of the hobby, but in late 2005, I picked up a few blasters of 2005 Bowman Heritage and 2005 Topps Total and I was hooked and in 2006 I went all in. Naturally, 2006 Topps was a mediocre Topps flagship set. If I had waited a couple of months and this had been the product I bought, I’m not sure I would have gotten back into collecting.

My biggest gripe about 2006 Topps is using foil for all text on the front of the cards. It’s an unreadable mess, and it’s really too bad because the backs were nice and clean. This is a foil fail.

Braves Card of the Day: 1984 Topps Traded Ken Oberkfell #85T

Ken Oberkfell was a mediocrity and a pointless baseball player. He is easily one of my 10 least favorite players to wear a Braves uniform. Be bad, be great, be OK, just don’t be pointless.

Braves Card of the Day: 2006 Topps Braves Team Set Lance Cormier #ATL8

Yesterday, I showed you the Lance Cormier card from the 2006 base set. When the Braves team sets were released, the same card was updated to use the Braves colors, and the same photo was airbrushed to put Cormier in a Braves uniform. This card is FAR superior to the 1/3 Braves version.

Braves Card of the Day: 2006 Topps Lance Cormier #92

Cormier was traded to the Braves from Arizona in December of 2005. His card came up in Series 1 and it should have been a Diamondbacks card. The picture has him in an Arizona uniform. The border around the picture uses the Arizona color scheme. The team name, however, says Braves. It seems to me if Topps had enough lead time to update the team name, they could have updated the border colors as well.

Braves Card of the Day: 1984 Topps Len Barker #614

The disaster from Cleveland! The man made rich by John Mullen and Ted Turner! The man who was never as good as Mullen and Turner thought!

RIP Red Schoendienst

The Braves checklist for Series 2 is an embarrassment. (Thanks to @JUnderwood9 for pointing this out!)

Scott Kazmir, who did not and will not make a single appearance as a Brave gets a card.

Danny Santana gets a card despite not playing in Atlanta at all this year. In fact, I think we can say for certain he will be a AAAA player his entire career.

Ronald Acuña is in Series 2, but Topps has decided that he gets to share a checklist number with another player and will be short-printed. Most likely super short-printed. This is, of course, the one card most Braves fans will want. Topps has decided that your basic set and team collector can go get fucked though.

Brandon McCarthy doesn’t get a card even though it was clear from the moment he arrived in camp that he was going to be in the rotation, unlike Kazmir.

Arodys Vizcaino was the closer last year and this year and he hasn’t had a card yet.

Topps is shit.

Braves Card of the Day: 1962 Topps Braves Backstops #351

This is such a ridiculously posed card. It’s designed to show the Braves great catcher of the 1950s, Del Crandall, giving some type of instruction to their next great catcher, Joe Torre. Torre is clearly considering his advice while staring at his mitt.

I have no doubt that Crandall had valuable knowledge ready to pass to the young Torre, but the idea that Torre was confused about something to do with his mitt is just absurd. He was, after all, the best rookie in baseball in 1961.

Of course, ridiculous or not, I love this card.

Braves Card of the Day: 1984 Topps Craig McMurtry #543

I always wonder whose job it was to write up the DATELINE copy on the back of the cards. Did they just keep a stack of the Sporting News on their desk and flip through box scores? Of course, it’s not like they were missing out on some great anecdote of future scab McMurtry.

Braves Card of the Day: 2001 Topps Kurt Abbott #172

As much Braves baseball as I have consumed over the years, I’m always surprised to find players that I don’t remember at all. Abbott was with the organization for the entirety of the 2001 season, but only appeared in 4 games for AAA Richmond, 2 games for AA Greenville, and 6 games in Atlanta. Perhaps he was injured, but here’s the thing, it’s hard to find that kind of information about little known players.

Braves Card of the Day: 1983 Topps Brett Butler #364

If you were a Braves fan in the early 1980s, you were a Brett Butler fan. He was plenty exciting already in 1983, but you also had the feeling that he was just starting to tap into his prodigious talent. He was a fan favorite from the start.

On August 28th, 1983, the Braves were a half game ahead of the Los Angeles Dodgers in the NL West. As the trade deadline approached, owner Ted Turner and GM John Mullen were looking for starting pitching. That evening, they closed a deal with the Cleveland Indians for starter Len Barker. The price was $150,000 and three players to be named later.

Did the uncertainty surrounding the players to be named later lead to the six game losing streak that followed? Maybe. It wasn’t long before rumors started that the popular Butler was one of the players to be named later. When it became official, Braves fans were incensed. It didn’t help that Barker was mediocre down the stretch and the team finished three games behind the Dodgers.

Even if Len Barker had pitched for the Braves as well as he had for the Indians, it was still a bum deal. Of course, he didn’t. The Braves signed Barker to an expensive long term deal over the off-season and he was bad when he was healthy, and that wasn’t often.

Meanwhile, only Rickey Henderson and Tim Raines were better lead off hitters than Brett Butler over the next decade. The Braves would see a lot of Butler after he left the Indians for the Giants and then the Dodgers.

There have been numerous bad deals made by the Braves, but this was one of the worse. Joe Torre had gotten the team to contention with a core largely built by late GM Bill Lucas, but Mullen and the ever meddling Ted Turner did little to nothing to help. 1984 would be a lost year for the Braves and Torre would get the blame and lose his job. Mullen peter-principled his way into a VP job in 1986 with the Braves as Bobby Cox returned as GM.

Better days were ahead, but who knows, maybe the Braves would’t have been historically bad if they hadn’t sent Brett Butler to the Indians. (Not to mention, they also sent Brook Jacoby who would be excellent through his first five seasons in Cleveland, including two All-Star appearances. Imagine Jacoby at third base instead of the pointless Ken Oberkfell.)

Laziness is having over 30 Braves Card of the Day posts completed in my drafts folder, and still forgetting to post one every day.

Braves Card of the Day: 2006 Topps Mike Hampton #369

In a stunning example of John Schuerholz’s expertise, he traded for Hampton from the Marlins, and agreed to take on 48.5 million of what was owed Hampton for the last six years of his contract. Hampton would make an amazing 89 starts for the Braves over his six years and he totally won’t be remembered as an often injured, overrated starter who was gifted one of the all-time bad contracts by the Rockies, who somehow got the Marlins and the Braves to take him off their hands.

Braves Card of the Day: 1984 Topps Terry Forster #791

David Letterman once called Terry Forster a “fat tub of goo”. Yes, in the early days of cable television, the Braves were so popular that Letterman not only joked about a Braves relief pitcher, he had him on his program.