1972 Topps Tony LaRussa 451 - Braves Card of the Day ⚾

I want to be complimentary, even if LaRussa has always had the most punchable face in all of baseball. So, let’s see.

He was a better manager than he was a player.

That’s all I got.

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1978 Topps Jerry Royster 187 - Braves Card of the Day ⚾

For a lot of collector’s, a gum stain on the back of a card means the card needs to be replaced by a “better” version at some point. Personally, I like a gum stain on the back of the card, especially if it doesn’t obscure the stats. They will always remind me of the cards I pulled from packs in my youth.

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The time has come to bust this bad boy out of its protection.

1997 Topps Fred McGriff 352 - Braves Card of the Day ⚾

After the 1997 season, the Fred McGriff era came to and end for the Braves. I feel confident in saying that without the Crime Dog, the Braves don’t win the division in 1993 and don’t win the World Series in 1995. The trade with the Padres during the 1993 season was the kind of move a team makes when they want to win it all, and for the Braves, it worked.

In 1993, it was actually possible for the Atlanta Braves to make a huge free agent signing (Greg Maddux) and still pull off a mid-season trade for a true star. Well, possible is the wrong word. Willing. Willing would be the correct word.

Those were the days.

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1986 Topps Traded Dave Palmer 84 - Braves Card of the Day ⚾

So, I love David Palmer.

David was one of a number quality pitching prospects in the Montreal Expos system in the late 1970s along with Charlie Lea and Bill Gullickson. I grew up in Memphis and the Memphis Chicks were the AA affiliate for the Expos in the Southern League, so I got to see Palmer pitch a number of times as a kid.

My family would move to Columbus Georgia in 1981, and Columbus was the home of the Astros AA affiliate, the ingeniously named Columbus Astros. (They would later become the Mudcats for a single season and abandon Columbus for North Carolina.) My first Columbus Astros game was against the Memphis Chicks.

Despite having spent a number of years in Montreal already, Palmer was back in AA following injuries and was trying to fight his way back to the big leagues. That night in Columbus, Palmer was not pitching. I, however, stood by their bullpen all game in my Memphis Chicks hat trying to get their attention. Because I was a dork, I had my glove with me. At one point, Palmer threw me a baseball. I started to throw it back to him, but he told me it was mine. Something was drawn on the ball, but I have no idea what it was. Somewhere alone the way, I lost the baseball.

FYI, the best year of his career was with the Braves in 1986.

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1978 Topps Rowland Office 632 - Braves Card of the Day ⚾

I have nothing special to say about this card today except, if you’re ever feeling down, just remember that there are Rowland Office baseball cards in this world.

1978 Topps Office 632a1978 Topps Office 632b

1974 Topps All-Star First Basemen 332 - Braves Card of the Day ⚾

There’s no way to look at this card and not think BAD ASS. If you’re a Braves fan, you know Hank Aaron was a bad ass. You can just look at the great Dick Allen and immediately know he was a legit bad ass. Two of my favorite players of all-time on one great card.

1974 Topps AllStar1B 332a

1974 Topps AllStar1B 332b

1976 Topps Maximino León 576 - Braves Card of the Day ⚾

I don’t remember ever seeing him pitch, but from baseball cards alone, Maximino Leòn is one of my favorites from the mid 70s Braves. I love his name as it just rolls off the tongue. He spent most of his time in the bullpen, and like most career relievers, his numbers were up and down, but overall, he was a solid performer for the Braves.

He would also spend years and years and years in the Mexican League and was elected to the Mexican League Hall of Fame in 1997. Damned cool.

1976 Topps Leon 576a 1976 Topps Leon 576b

If the Braves don’t go all in and sign Greg Maddux in 1993 and make the Fred McGriff trade that June, the division title run doesn’t happen. 1991 and 1992 turn into little blips on the radar, kind of like 1982.

1972 Topps Steve Barber 333 - Braves Card of the Day ⚾

This picture should include a diathermy machine.

Ha ha ha ha. Get it? Get it? Do you get it?

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