Maddux, Glavine and Smoltz

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1959 Topps Baseball Thrills 467 - Braves Card of the Day ⚾

It has always eaten at Hank Aaron that the Braves dropped the 1958 World Series, especially after leading 3 games to 1 over the Yankees. Aaron felt like a team that won two in a row would be regarded as a truly great team. That is all the great Big Red Machine won after all. It was a missed opportunity.

It is regrettable that the greatest of all the Braves had so few chances to showcase his talent in the postseason. In those few chances he got, the 1957 World Series, the 1958 World Series and the first NLCS in 1969, he raked. His slash line is a stunning .362/.407/.710 across 17 postseason games.

Milwaukee stayed competitive in the 1959 and 1960 seasons, but then started a fade that would last most of the decade, well into the team’s move to Atlanta. Sure, the team’s record wouldn’t dip below .500 until 1967, but they were never in any real contention for the NL pennant. The 1969 season was terrific, but they were far short of being a great baseball team and were eaten up and spit out by the Miracle Mets. Except for Hank Aaron. Hank Aaron raked.

The Hammer didn’t have nearly the post-season opportunities his talent deserved, but it was great that Topps was able to capture one of his best moments with this card. While I would prefer a great color photo of Hank watching his home run ball fly, the painted over photo works too. There aren’t any bad Hank Aaron cards anyway.