Month: December 2010

Braves Collection: Craig Skok

1979 Topps
Hey! He was once traded for the great Fergie Jenkins! I have nothing else to offer on the guy. I like his name though. You don’t see too many people named Skok running around.

Braves Collection: Jung Bong

2003 Topps
There’s this one guy at every Braves game who sits in the stands at Turner Field about half way up the foul line from first base wearing a Jung Bong jersey. I’m fairly certain that it isn’t Bong himself for several reasons:

  1. Bong is still playing professional baseball in his native South Korea.
  2. The guy is short and Bong was six foot three.
  3. The guy isn’t of Asian descent.

Why? Why a Bong jersey? Is it his last name?

Braves Collection: Ryan Langerhans

2006 Topps Heritage Chrome
I’ve always liked Ryan and I would love to see him put it all together and become even an average big league player, but it just doesn’t seem like it will ever happen. The big question I have is what exactly is the point where a guy like this stops getting a shot?

Braves Collection: Rich Mahler

1989 Topps
Rick Mahler was the anchor of the Braves pitching staff in the mid 80s and that shouldn’t be taken as quite the insult it sounds like it might be. Truth be told, Mahler would have been a solid middle of the rotation starter for any team actually capable of scoring runs. Seriously, Steve Carlton in his prime wouldn’t have done much better than 9 and 16 on the 1988 Braves.

Does anyone remember the Braves bringing Mahler back for a short time in the Summer of 1991 … and then releasing him less than a month later?

Braves Collection: Andy Messersmith

1978 Topps
Andy Messersmith’s role in bringing down the reserve clause via the Seitz decision would leave him notable enough in the annals of baseball history, but he and former Braves owner Ted Turner still get mentioned for the infamous “Channel 17” jersey. Yes, the jersey had Channel instead of Messersmith’s name in order to promote the upstart cable superstation, WTBS. The context in which this is usually mentioned is in the context of derision. Whenever someone wants to start a “Hall of Shame” about the stupid things owners have done, this gets mentioned.

Why? Personally, I think it was a cool idea. Then again, I like Ted.

Bad Dog!!!!!

Never leave an unopened pack of baseball cards within biting distance of my dog.
I can only assume the mini was ingested!

Braves Collection: Bob Watson

1983 Donruss
In so many ways, Bob Watson has had a fairly remarkable career in baseball. As a player, the Bull was a pretty good first baseman for a number of years, especially in the mid 70s with the Astros. About a decade after his playing career ended, the Astros made him the first ever African American General Manager. He would become the Yankees GM in 1995, and in his first year in that capacity, they would win the World Series. (By leading a Yankee organization to a defeat of the Braves in the World Series means that he IS a traitor to the Braves. Boo hiss Bob.)

Now, Bob Watson is retiring from his career as the ridiculous baseball executive in charge of discipline. Of all the stupid decisions he made in that capacity, the whole thing about stopping Terry Francona and Joe Maddon from wearing hoodies has to be the dumbest. At some point, MLB will need to sit back and realize how stupid old men in baseball uniforms look. Seriously.

Merry Christmas!!!!

Merry Christmas my internet friends.

May your stockings be filled with Jason Heyward cards.

Braves Collection: Jason Heyward

2010 Topps
I remember it well.

A few hours before the game, I went to the App Store on my iPhone and purchased the MLB At Bat application. I was travelling weekly to a client in Winter Haven, FL and thought it would be great to guarantee that I could, at the very least, listen to Jim Powell and Don Sutton call the Braves games while I was on the road. (I truly miss TBS during the baseball season.) 

Well, it was opening day and I had just found out that the Braves opener against the Cubs was being broadcast on ESPN. I tried to finish up in time to get back to my room to see the start of the game, but it wasn’t to be. The game started as I was in the process of finishing up. I got to hear Derek Lowe starting this season in similar fashion to the 2009 season, and the Braves were already in a 3 – 0 hole. As I left the office, the Cubs were finally retired and the Braves were coming to bat. I now knew there was no way I could see the start of the game on TV because I had to pick up my dry cleaning and carry it back to the hotel. I figured I’d listen to the Braves first at bat, grab the dry cleaning and race back to the hotel.

Well, the Braves started hitting almost immediately. By the time I made it into the parking lot of the dry cleaner, Heap was on first, Chipper was on second, Prado was on third, and Troy Glaus had just struck out swinging and the Bravos were only down 3 – 1 with just one out. Yunel Escobar then drilled a ball to center scoring Prado and Chipper. The Braves young phenom strolled to the plate. This is what I heard.

I was, quite literally, screaming in the car. People leaving the dry cleaner were staring at me like I had lost my mind. It stands as one of the most memorable and exciting moments I’ve ever experienced as a baseball fan.

Christmas Eve Gift!!!!!

From my incredible in-laws, two of the coolest people in the history of the human race …

It is creased, and pin-holed, and I couldn’t love it more if I had given birth to it.

Thank you Tony! Thank you Sheryl! Love you guys.