Friday, July 12, 2013

Food-Issue Friday: 1992 Lykes Mike Bielecki

1992 Lykes Braves #36 Mike Bielecki

These cards were issued by Lykes- the Braves hot dog vendor- to children attending Tuesday home games during the 1992 season. There was also a team photo set issued that year, which is much easier (and thus, cheaper) to find than the cards which were distributed individually.

 I've been trolling around eBay for a while now, hoping to pick up a small lot for cheap- which is exactly what happened recently: 10 cards for 10 bucks. Not bad, considering that most singles are going for anywhere between $4 to $8.

Mike Bielecki has been a regular at the Braves Alumni Weekends, as well as at the Braves Fantasy Camps each year. He also seemed to find his way back to the ATL after each free-agency departure. In all, he spent three different tours with the Braves.

  First Tour ('91-92): Acquired from the Cubs on September 29, 1991 in a trade that sent he and Damon Berryhill to the Braves for Yorkis Perez and Turk Wendell. Bielecki made two appearances before the end of the regular season, but would not be eligible for the postseason. Mike started 14 games for the Braves during the next regular season (along with 5 relief appearances) until an elbow injury ended his '92 campaign prematurely. He would be granted free-agency at the end of the season.

  Second Tour ('94): Bielecki signed with Atlanta on February 10, 1994, after having spent time with both the Cleveland Indians and Rochester Red Wings (Baltimore AAA team) during the 1993 season. Of the nineteen games he would pitch in during the '94 season, only one would come as a starter (two days before the season-ending strike). It's easy to look at his stats for the season and conclude that he wasn't very effective, but it was a poor performance against Cincinnati on June 18th (1 IP, 6 H, 6 R, 6 ER) which caused his numbers to be skewed a bit. In October, in the midst of the labor struggles, Mike once again became a free-agent.

  Third Tour ('96-97): After spending the 1995 season with the California Angels, Mike signed with Atlanta for the third time, and would spend the final two seasons of his career there. Not only would he appear in 90 games over those two seasons, but he also spent time on the Braves 1996 post-season roster- pitching in 6 games (including his only World Series appearance) while allowing no runs.

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