Braves Card of the Day: 1953 Bowman Sam Jethroe #3

As I mentioned the other day, I think the 53 Bowman Spahn is one of the great baseball cards of all-time. I love this card almost as much. Jethroe is one of my favorite of the “old” Braves. He played for Montreal in the Dodgers system, but was traded to the Boston Braves where the “Jet” became the Braves first African-American player.

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In his first season with Boston, Jethroe won the rookie of the year award. He was 32 years old at the time. Looking back, the Dodgers keeping him at AAA for two full seasons was kind of ridiculous, but then, the whole system was horrible. Thankfully, unlike many African-American players before him, he at least got his shot in the big leagues.

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Braves Card of the Day: 1949 Bowman Alvin Dark #67

In his first full season with the Braves, Alvin Dark became the first Braves player to win the Rookie of the Year award. He was, along with Bob Elliott, one of the offensive stars of the improbable 1948 National League champions from Boston.

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Inexplicably, the Braves dealt Dark to the Giants after the 1949 season where he would help New York win the 1954 World Series. Dark was a legit star for the first decade of his career, and would go on to become a successful manager where he led the 74 A’s to a World Series championship.

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Braves Card of the Day: 1965 Topps Joe Torre #200

From Ball Four: “This joke can only be explained with a picture of Joe Torre. But I’m not sure any exist. He dissolves camera lenses.”

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If you want to see the joke itself, google around, or, better yet, get the book. Great book.

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If anyone has any 65 Topps they are looking to shed, I’ve just put my 65 want list up. www.madduxglavinesmoltz.com/topps-wan…

One of my two favorite hockey players.

Braves Card of the Day: 1957 Ernie Johnson #333

It’s remarkable to me that to so very many young people around here, the Braves are the team that won all those division titles under Bobby Cox. To a great many of us, the Braves were a perpetually awful team that weren’t underachievers as much as they were just really awful. The Braves were this awful team that we loved and watched every single night on WTBS. They were Skip Caray, Peter Van Weiren and Ernie Johnson.

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Whenever I look at an Ernie Johnson card, I feel an odd sensation. It’s hard to connect the kindly old man in the broadcasting booth to the man who won a World Series ring with the Milwaukee Braves. I’m glad that I have so many vintage cards, specifically so I can see cards of guys like Ernie.

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Bob Gibson to Tim McCarver one time when McCarver went to the mound to speak to Gibson: “The only thing you know about pitching is how hard it is to hit.”

Love Bob Gibson. Kind of hate McCarver.

As my brother said in a text to me, Vasy could’t have stopped a beachball tonight. Even the good ones have bad nights. You’ll get ‘em next time Vasy!

Braves Card of the Day: 1953 Bowman Color Warren Spahn #99

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For a number of reasons, this is one of my 10 favorite baseball cards. Easy.

  1. The 1953 Bowman Color baseball set is one of the top 3 or 4 sets ever made. By the standards of the time, the photography is amazing. Remarkably, the photography holds up today. It had to be stunning to see these cards coming out of packs, especially when compared with the standard Topps painted over photographs.
  2. This photograph in particular is amazing. It does a phenomenal job of not just capturing the look of Spahn, but also provides just a hint of his personality. There’s a look of total confidence with slight evidence of a smirk betraying his mischievous personality.
  3. It’s the best card of the Braves best pitcher and one of the greatest to ever play the game.

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If you’re a fan today and you follow stats at all, you know that a pitcher’s Win/Loss record is a useless stat. Spahn was, by any reasonable measure, every bit as good as ever in 1952. He led the National League in strikeouts. His ERA was 2.98 and his FIP was a career best 2.80. All of his rate stats were right in line with his career norms. Yet, his Win/Loss record was a miserable 14 wins to 19 losses.

The regular season cannot get here soon enough. Acuña’s arrival cannot get here soon enough. Go Braves.

Braves Card of the Day: 1949 Bowman Sibby Sisti #201 (Back)

I know little of Sisti’s time as a Brave, but I’m drawn to his cards because he was a coach on the 69 Seattle Pilots and Ball Four is my fave book.

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Braves Card of the Day: 1949 Bowman Sibby Sisti #201 (Front)

I acquired most of my 49 Bowman’s from a single source and it appears that they were all taped down in an album at some point.

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Braves Card of the Day: 1948 Bowman Bob Elliott #1 (Back)

When the Braves made their run to the 1948 World Series, Elliott was the offensive leader. In fact, he had a better year than his MVP year.

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Braves Card of the Day: 1948 Bowman Bob Elliott #1 (Front)

Elliott is a largely forgotten Brave great. He was the 1957 National League MVP in his first year in a Braves uniform.

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The myth of Jackie is justified, but sometimes it overwhelms consideration of just how good a player he was. During his decade in the majors, only Musial and Williams were as good.

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Another new 1955 rookie, without a plastic case. I don’t have to worry about destroying this card.

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So yeah, I own this card now. I can’t stand that it’s trapped in this unholy plastic case though. I’ll have to release it soon.

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Mr. Buhl has seen better days. Much better days.

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Am I missing something, or does the 2018 Donruss Baseball sell sheet not include a picture from the base set???