Thursday, September 29, 2011

1977 Atlanta Braves

The 1977 Atlanta Braves finished 61-101.  Recently acquired Jeff Burroughs (From Texas) provided almost all of the offensive punch (.271-41-114).  Slick fielding Willie Montanez hit 20 homers, and a young Gary Matthews chipped in with 17 of his own.  After that it was slim pickens for a team that finish in the bottom 1/3 in offense in the NL.  While the offense was below average at best the pitching was downright awful with a league worst 4.85 ERA.  Even future HOF'er Phil Niekro bottomed out.  Knucksie was 16-20 with a 4.04 ERA, which was by far one of the worst season's in his career.  Things got so bizarre, owner Ted Turner managed 1 game (he lost).  A young Dale Murphy would get a cup of coffee and hit .316, while catching.

In total I had to create 25 cards for new and traded players who played for the Braves this season.  Only player missing from the set is pitcher Don Collins.  So far no known photo of Collins has been found.  He pitched in 40 games and disappeared that season's end.

Bob's ERA was 7.25 in 15 games worth of work.  No known photo of him in a Braves uni could be found, so I used his 1974 "TRADED" card that featured Topps BHNH format.  Johnson looks quite similar to former boxer Randall "Tex" Cobb or maybe even former Raider linebacker Ted Hendricks.

Jeff was Atlanta's MVP that season, that's if a team that loses over 100 games qualifies to even have an MVP.  His original Topps card was a BHNH card with his old team the Rangers.  Topps must have gotten wind that he was being traded, but couldn't wait for the results before printing up the '77 set.  The photo for this updated card came from a '77 Hostess set, which I believe was taken in Candlestick.

A .210 hitting outfielder with little to know power, Brian's original '77 card was one of those infamous panel rookie cards with a BHNH look.  This photo came from some fan site that claimed it was scanned in off of a 3x5 photo.  I guess even .210 hitting OF'ers can have fans.

Originally this was a airbrushed expansion Toronto Blue Jays card.  I kept the airbrush look and added the "A" logo + the Braves card graphics.  Hargan pitched in 16 games with a 6.87 ERA.

The 28 year old Robinson hit .207 and was at the end of the line. 1977 would be his final season in Atlanta as well as the major leagues.  He appeared in 27 total games that season.

Murph's rookie panel card listed him amongst the young catchers.  In a few short years Murph would turn himself into a two time MVP centerfielder.  In '77 he would be a seldom used, but promising young backstop.

I got lazy here and just used his 1976 card.  I was also oblivious to the fact that the position graphic that Topps used in 76 was still on the card.  Easterly would go on to Milwaukee and have some decent years out of the pen.  In '77 he would be just another high ERA spot starter that the Braves were hoping good things for.

An 11.86 ERA in 37 innings.  No wonder Turner thought he could do a better job managing the team than the embattled Dave Bristol.  LaCorte would escape the Fulton County "Launching Pad"  for greener pastures in Houston where he would have a handful of solid seasons out of the pen.

Don Collins was a mystery man.  The mystery is:  why can't I find at least 1 decent photo of him to make a card ?  I guess 3-9, 5.09 type of pitchers don't get much recognition when it comes to being a major leaguer.  There is hope for getting a better photo for this card.  The 1977 Braves yearbook has a 3x5 photo of Collins.  I'm hoping to get one on ebay for under $15, then scan the photo and create the card.  Stay tuned...

Campbell's 65 games and 3.05 ERA made him a workhorse out of the pen for Bristol.  While Campbell's ERA was flat out awesome for this team , his 0-6 record was a reason for concern.  This photo comes from his '78 card.

Eddie's original card came with him in a Pirates uniform.  I used his 1979 Topps card as a replacement.

This came from a Minor league set

Found while surfing the net this was an autographed 8x10 glossy taken at Wrigley Field.

Being a bit lazy I used his 1980 Topps photo.  I had to airbrush out the banners and logos that Topps used that year.  The sky and polls on he left hand side are all done via cut/paste.

Junior played 1 season @3B for the Braves then was dealt over to the Southside of Chicago.  Funny thing here is that the original picture is from a 1978 card where Topps airbrushed in the White Sox jersey and cap.  The original negative has Junior in a Brave uniform.  Unfortunately I couldn't find the original, so I had to airbrush over the airbrush.  The cap is actually a different one that I cropped off another player's card and resized before pasting it.

Like Frank LaCorte this photo came from a minor league card set.  Since the Braves farm teams in Savannah and Richmond were called the Braves, all I needed to do was touch up the cap logo.

This is an enlarged version of the original rookie panel card.

Updated photo came from an 8x10 glossy on sale on ebay.  Bonnell hit .300 in over 360 AB's.  His 1 homer tells you why he was considered a utility type player.

Found this one while surfing the web.  I'm 99% sure it was taken @ Wrigley during the '76 season.

This was a minor league Portland Beavers card.  I cut and pasted a new cap on and cropped the photo just so the lettering on the jersey shows, but you can't make out what it is.  Portland's redish jersey color matched BP jerseys the Braves wore in the 80's, so I decided to stick with it and not try to crop a new jersey in.

This is actually a zoomed in version of the photo used for his '78 card.

Taken in Wrigley and used in the '82 Donruss set

A tighter zoom for his 1979 Topps card  recycled for this set.

I pasted on a Brave cap over his 1975 Topps card, which featured a Cleveland Indian cap.  To do this cut/paste operation I had to build up a blue sky all around his head, so when I pasted the new cap the old one would not "peak" out over it.

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