2013 Heritage #22 Andrelton Simmons
I was disappointed to learn that Andrelton was assigned card number twenty-two in this year's Heritage set. After all, there's no Braves player with that card number in the '64 set- giving me no former Brave to compare him to. Which, when you think about it, pretty much says it all-because I can't think of any former Brave shortstop who can even compare defensively to Andrelton. Perhaps Rafael Furcal, or Alex Gonzalez, but that's a big maybe.
While folks have been raving about his defense (and rightfully so), I think it was be his offense that will surprise a lot of people this season. Atlanta will reportedly use him out of the lead-off position, and with the firepower that the Braves boast, it will give Andrelton an opportunity to score a lot of runs.
Custom 1964 #22b Mike De La Hoz
De La Hoz certainly wasn't the defensive player that Simmons is. The utility infielder was below-average in the field, but, like Simmons, he did have a decent bat.
While July 8 is a day that Andrelton Simmons will remember (he broke his right pinkie on that date last year as he slid into second), it's also a day that Mike De La Hoz will always remember. On that day in 1965, the Cuban native hit an eighth-inning pinch-hit home run against the Astros. Then, in the bottom of the ninth, he tied the game with an RBI single. In the bottom of the twelfth, Mike singled to lead off the inning, moved to second on Felipe Alou's sacrifice bunt, and then scored the winning run on Frank Bolling's single off of Ron Taylor.
De La Hoz did have three cards as a Brave- 1964 not being one of them. He did, however, appear in the set as a member of the Indians (card #372).