Braves Card of the Day: 1984 Topps Traded Ken Oberkfell #85T

Ken Oberkfell was a mediocrity and a pointless baseball player. He is easily one of my 10 least favorite players to wear a Braves uniform. Be bad, be great, be OK, just don’t be pointless.

Braves Card of the Day: 2006 Topps Braves Team Set Lance Cormier #ATL8

Yesterday, I showed you the Lance Cormier card from the 2006 base set. When the Braves team sets were released, the same card was updated to use the Braves colors, and the same photo was airbrushed to put Cormier in a Braves uniform. This card is FAR superior to the 1/3 Braves version.

Braves Card of the Day: 2006 Topps Lance Cormier #92

Cormier was traded to the Braves from Arizona in December of 2005. His card came up in Series 1 and it should have been a Diamondbacks card. The picture has him in an Arizona uniform. The border around the picture uses the Arizona color scheme. The team name, however, says Braves. It seems to me if Topps had enough lead time to update the team name, they could have updated the border colors as well.

Braves Card of the Day: 1984 Topps Len Barker #614

The disaster from Cleveland! The man made rich by John Mullen and Ted Turner! The man who was never as good as Mullen and Turner thought!

RIP Red Schoendienst

The Braves checklist for Series 2 is an embarrassment. (Thanks to @JUnderwood9 for pointing this out!)

Scott Kazmir, who did not and will not make a single appearance as a Brave gets a card.

Danny Santana gets a card despite not playing in Atlanta at all this year. In fact, I think we can say for certain he will be a AAAA player his entire career.

Ronald Acuña is in Series 2, but Topps has decided that he gets to share a checklist number with another player and will be short-printed. Most likely super short-printed. This is, of course, the one card most Braves fans will want. Topps has decided that your basic set and team collector can go get fucked though.

Brandon McCarthy doesn’t get a card even though it was clear from the moment he arrived in camp that he was going to be in the rotation, unlike Kazmir.

Arodys Vizcaino was the closer last year and this year and he hasn’t had a card yet.

Topps is shit.

Braves Card of the Day: 1962 Topps Braves Backstops #351

This is such a ridiculously posed card. It’s designed to show the Braves great catcher of the 1950s, Del Crandall, giving some type of instruction to their next great catcher, Joe Torre. Torre is clearly considering his advice while staring at his mitt.

I have no doubt that Crandall had valuable knowledge ready to pass to the young Torre, but the idea that Torre was confused about something to do with his mitt is just absurd. He was, after all, the best rookie in baseball in 1961.

Of course, ridiculous or not, I love this card.

Braves Card of the Day: 1984 Topps Craig McMurtry #543

I always wonder whose job it was to write up the DATELINE copy on the back of the cards. Did they just keep a stack of the Sporting News on their desk and flip through box scores? Of course, it’s not like they were missing out on some great anecdote of future scab McMurtry.

Braves Card of the Day: 2001 Topps Kurt Abbott #172

As much Braves baseball as I have consumed over the years, I’m always surprised to find players that I don’t remember at all. Abbott was with the organization for the entirety of the 2001 season, but only appeared in 4 games for AAA Richmond, 2 games for AA Greenville, and 6 games in Atlanta. Perhaps he was injured, but here’s the thing, it’s hard to find that kind of information about little known players.

Braves Card of the Day: 1983 Topps Brett Butler #364

If you were a Braves fan in the early 1980s, you were a Brett Butler fan. He was plenty exciting already in 1983, but you also had the feeling that he was just starting to tap into his prodigious talent. He was a fan favorite from the start.

On August 28th, 1983, the Braves were a half game ahead of the Los Angeles Dodgers in the NL West. As the trade deadline approached, owner Ted Turner and GM John Mullen were looking for starting pitching. That evening, they closed a deal with the Cleveland Indians for starter Len Barker. The price was $150,000 and three players to be named later.

Did the uncertainty surrounding the players to be named later lead to the six game losing streak that followed? Maybe. It wasn’t long before rumors started that the popular Butler was one of the players to be named later. When it became official, Braves fans were incensed. It didn’t help that Barker was mediocre down the stretch and the team finished three games behind the Dodgers.

Even if Len Barker had pitched for the Braves as well as he had for the Indians, it was still a bum deal. Of course, he didn’t. The Braves signed Barker to an expensive long term deal over the off-season and he was bad when he was healthy, and that wasn’t often.

Meanwhile, only Rickey Henderson and Tim Raines were better lead off hitters than Brett Butler over the next decade. The Braves would see a lot of Butler after he left the Indians for the Giants and then the Dodgers.

There have been numerous bad deals made by the Braves, but this was one of the worse. Joe Torre had gotten the team to contention with a core largely built by late GM Bill Lucas, but Mullen and the ever meddling Ted Turner did little to nothing to help. 1984 would be a lost year for the Braves and Torre would get the blame and lose his job. Mullen peter-principled his way into a VP job in 1986 with the Braves as Bobby Cox returned as GM.

Better days were ahead, but who knows, maybe the Braves would’t have been historically bad if they hadn’t sent Brett Butler to the Indians. (Not to mention, they also sent Brook Jacoby who would be excellent through his first five seasons in Cleveland, including two All-Star appearances. Imagine Jacoby at third base instead of the pointless Ken Oberkfell.)

Laziness is having over 30 Braves Card of the Day posts completed in my drafts folder, and still forgetting to post one every day.

Braves Card of the Day: 2006 Topps Mike Hampton #369

In a stunning example of John Schuerholz’s expertise, he traded for Hampton from the Marlins, and agreed to take on 48.5 million of what was owed Hampton for the last six years of his contract. Hampton would make an amazing 89 starts for the Braves over his six years and he totally won’t be remembered as an often injured, overrated starter who was gifted one of the all-time bad contracts by the Rockies, who somehow got the Marlins and the Braves to take him off their hands.

Braves Card of the Day: 1984 Topps Terry Forster #791

David Letterman once called Terry Forster a “fat tub of goo”. Yes, in the early days of cable television, the Braves were so popular that Letterman not only joked about a Braves relief pitcher, he had him on his program.

Braves Card of the Day: 2006 Topps Marcus Giles #380

Even though I’m not a huge fan of the 2006 set, I love the photo on this card and I wish there more photos like this in the current flagship product. If this photo were used in a 2018 set, it would be cropped to have nothing but Giles in the photo and you’d have no idea there was a runner bearing down on him as he tries to complete the double play.

2006 Topps giles 380a

2006 Topps giles 380b

Braves Card of the Day: 2006 Topps Braves Team Card #601

This is the team picture of the last Braves team to win the division during the historic 1991-2005 streak. After the 1991 and 1992 teams, it was the most shocking division title of the run.

2006 Topps tc 601a

2006 Topps tc 601b

Good news Braves fans. Pro Debut is stacked with freaking Kevin Maitan Braves cards. The lead out on this product must be 6+ months.

The entire reason baseball games average three hours is the Braves bullpen? Thanks for your wonderful insight Keith Hernandez, but maybe you should stick to topics you are an expert in, like cocaine, appearing on Seinfeld, and misogyny?

Braves Card of the Day: 2006 Topps Update Daryle Ward #UH89

I do not remember Daryle Ward. I do not remember him playing for the Braves. I do not remember him playing for any other team. Is my brain malfunctioning? Is he someone I should remember?

2006 Topps ward uh89a

2006 Topps ward uh89b

Braves Card of the Day: 2006 Topps Update Edgar Renteria All Star #UH231

I have to admit something that’s a little shameful. I think Edgar’s last name sounds like an intestinal disorder.

2006 Topps renteriaAS uh231a

2006 Topps renteriaAS uh231b

Braves Card of the Day: 1997 Topps Chipper Jones #276

Even if you couldn’t see his face, you would know this is a play from early in Chipper’s career. In his later years, any ball on the ground was fielded with an “olé” matador style stab. In his younger days, he’d put his body in front of the ball.

Of course, we aren’t all Chipper fans because of his glove.

1997 Topps chipper 276a

1997 Topps chipper 276b