Sunday, February 10, 2013

2013 Topps I Braves: Chasing History Inserts

Chipper Jones #CH-26
July 20, 2012- Breaks George Brett's record for most career RBI by a third baseman.

1st Career RBI: April 26, 1995 vs. San Francisco (2 RBI) Jones singled in his first at-bat of the first game of the '95 season.

Final Career RBI: September 25, 2012 vs. Miami. With one on and one out in the bottom of the sixth, Jones  sacrifice fly to deep right field scores Jason Heyward from third- giving the Braves a 2-1 lead.

Years with 100+ RBI: 9 (8 were consecutive)

Most RBI in a season during his career: 111 (twice: 1997, 2000)

Chipper also collected 47 RBI in 93 postseason games during his career.

Hank Aaron #CH-35
April 8, 1974- The Hammer breaks Babe Ruth's career record for home runs.

First Career Home Run: April 23, 1954 vs. St. Louis In only his seventh career game, Hank deposits a Vic Raschi pitch into the bleachers for the first of 755 home runs.

Final Home Run for Braves: October 2, 1974 vs. Cincinnati
Aaron homers off of the Reds' Rawly Eastwick in the bottom of the  seventh for the final home run of his Braves career. It is his final at-bat in a Braves uniform.

Final Career Home Run: July 20, 1976 vs. California's Dick Drago. Hank's final home run comes exactly thirty-six years to the date before Chipper Jones breaks George Brett's career RBI record for third baseman.

Hank added six post-season homers to his resume, as well as thirty-one while in the minors for two seasons.

Warren Spahn #CH-31
September 29, 1962- In his final start of the season, Spahn beats the Pirates for his 18th win of the season, breaking Eddie Plank's career record of 326 wins by a lefty.

First Career Win: July 14, 1946 vs. Pittsburgh. It's amazing to consider that Spahn didn't even pick up his first victory until after his twenty-fifth birthday.

Final Win in Braves Uniform: July 9, 1964  Warren pitched five innings and gave up six earned runs, but still collects a 'W' against the Pirates for his final win as a Brave.

Final Career Win: September 12, 1965. After beginning the '65 season with the Mets (for whom he collected 4 wins), Spahn was released on July 17 and signed by the Giants two days later. Pitching the second game of a September 12th doubleheader, Warren pitched a complete game to defeat the Cubs for his final career win (#363).

Warren pitched in a total of eight World Series games (six of which were starts)- and collected four wins (1 in '48, 1 in '57, and 2 in '58)

I'm pretty sure this record for career wins by a lefty will never be topped. With the five-man rotations today, pitchers just do not get the number of starts to accumulate this many victories. There's also more relief pitchers today, increasing the chances of a blown lead/save. 

Other Braves players who are chasing history:
Dan Uggla: Most Career Homers, Second Baseman- 351, Jeff Kent (377 career total). Uggla, who enters the 2013 season with 209 career home runs, will turn 33 in March- so the likelihood of him catching Kent is not very good.

Craig Kimbrel: Most Career Saves- 608, Mariano Rivera. With only 89 career saves thus far, the odds of KKKimbrel catching Rivera seem unlikely. However, considering that Rivera didn't have any saves until after his twenty-sixth birthday, there's still a slim chance that Kimbrel could one day surpass the Yankee legend. He won't turn 25 until May 28th this year, so time is on his side.

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