Maddux, Glavine and Smoltz

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1954 Topps Bob Keely 176 - Braves Card of the Day ⚾

This is a fascinating card. Kelly’s major league career consisted of a single inning in 1944 and two innings in 1945 with a single at-bat. In 1946, he came to the Braves as a coach and bullpen catcher where he would remain for years. I’m uncertain of why Topps gave him a card in the 1954 set, but I love it anyway.

Kelly is given a great deal of credit for being an excellent coach. He was selected twice to the All-Star coaching staff and one other year served as the NL bullpen catcher. He basically ran the Braves bullpen during his coaching run with the Braves and mentored every young catcher and pitcher that came up for the Braves.

One note of interest, he’s actually seven years older than the birthdate on the back of the card. When he made his MLB debut for the Cardinals, he was 34 years old and had been out of organized baseball 7 years. Remarkable.