Braves Card of the Day: 1970 Topps Ron Reed #546

This is just a baseball card and 1970 Topps was just a baseball card set. The thing I really want to talk about is why doesn’t Ron Reed have a basketball card from his time with the Pistons. I want that damned basketball card, and it doesn’t appear to exist.

1970 Topps Reed 546a

1970 Topps Reed 546b

Since Acuña Jr is not starting the season in Atlanta, I’ll be going to Gwinnett’s opening day. I’ll pass on Atlanta’s this year.

Braves Card of the Day: 1974 Topps Hank Aaron #1

Topps went all-out in support of Hank Aaron with their 1974 flagship set. Still, he wouldn’t get a true base set card. Since Topps was confident that the Babe’s home run record would fall, they honored Aaron’s achievement with the first card of the 1974 set. This is the base Topps card for the Hammer, even though it doesn’t feature the same design as the rest of the 74 set. I’m sure I’m not the only Braves fan that wishes Topps had included an Aaron card with the standard base set design in addition to this card.

1974 Topps Aaron 1a

What if Aaron had decided to retire during spring training in 1974? What if he was injured and out for the season? Well, Topps would have had egg on their face. The set was released before the record was broken.

1974 Topps Aaron 1b

Braves Card of the Day: 1974 Topps Ralph Garr #570

I love Garr and I’ll have more to say about him some other day. Today, I just want to rave about this card. This is objectively a great photo and a great baseball card. Every little detail is just perfect, especially the tumbling helmet and Garr’s upturned head as he follows the path of the ball. If this card were made today, the shot would be tighter and you’d lose context and detail. I love that you can see the dirt, and the grass, and the crowd. It looks like a shot from a baseball game rather than looking like a photographer was standing two feet from a guy hitting a baseball.

1974 Topps Garr 570a

Yes, they don’t make them like this anymore.

1974 Topps Garr 570b

Braves Card of the Day: 1972 Topps Darrell Evans in Action #172

If this card were released today, it would be zoomed in so close that you wouldn’t be able to see that Evans is in the air.

1972 Topps Evans 172a

On the other hand, the back has nothing to do with the player. Useless.

1972 Topps Evans 172b

I understand leaving Acuña Jr. in the minors is the right thing to do for financial reasons. However, I kind of feel like the best players should make the team when they’re ready. This is a team intentionally not fielding the best possible team. I get why, but I don’t like it.

Minor League President Pat O’Conner is a piece of shit.…

I’m curious about something. What’s the most expensive baseball card that you own? For me, it’s a 52 Topps Eddie Mathews.

Braves Card of the Day: 1971 Topps Rookie Stars #52

Sometimes Topps got the multi-rookie cards right, and other times they got them all wrong. In 1971, they got them half right. Oscar Brown hit nearly .400 in a cup of coffee in 1970 and then led the Arizona fall league in batting coming into the 1971 season. He would never hit well in the majors as a regular and was was out of baseball just a few years later.


Coming into the 1971 season, Earl Williams was penciled in as the starting third baseman. Not long after, he lost the job to Darrel Evans and spent time at first base. Despite never catching professionally, the Braves gave him a shot behind the plate. Even though his defense was awful, and would never improve, he was a decent power hitter his entire career. In 1971, he would become the third player for the Braves to win the Rookie of the Year award.


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.

53 Bowman Jethroe 3a

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.

53 Bowman Jethroe 3b

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.


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.


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.”

65 Topps Torre 200a

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

65 Topps Torre 200b

If anyone has any 65 Topps they are looking to shed, I’ve just put my 65 want list up.…

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.


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.


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


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.


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.