Thursday, January 9, 2014

Finis! 1973 Topps Braves Team Set

I didn't receive any vintage Braves cardboard under the Christmas tree this year. It's not like I received a lump of coal, or anything; it's just that when asked what I wanted this year, I told my wife, 'cash.' And, other than a few items, that's what I received. So, with money to spend, I headed over to COMC and figured I'd try to finish off a few team sets:

1973 Topps

#1 All-Time Home Run Leaders: Ruth/Aaron/Mays
What can I say about this one? Three baseball immortals for a decent price. I love the back of the card, which chronicles each player's single season home run totals. 


#609 Rookie Second Basemen: Larvell Blanks, Pedro Garcia, Dave Lopes
Blanks made his major league debut in 1972, going 1-3 against the Pirates in his debut. At the time of his recall, Blanks had yet to play above Double-A. Larvell started the 1973 season in the majors, appearing in 17 games (and going 4-18) before being demoted to AAA Richmond in late-May.


#610 Rookie Pitchers: Jimmy Freeman, Charlie Hough, Hank Webb
Like Blanks, Freeman also made his major league debut during the 1972 campaign- as a September call-up. His debut came at home on September 1st against the Phillies, in what had to be one of the worst major league debuts I can remember: complete game, 8 hits, 5 runs (all earned), 11 walks (yes, 11!). Crazy thing is, he won- as the Braves took game one of a double-header by the score of 11-5. It would be a perfect foreshadowing of what was to come during his brief two-year major league career, in which he walked more batters than he struck out.


#630 Denny McLain
Acquired from Oakland in late June, 1972 for Orlando Cepeda, McLain pitched in 15 games for the 1972 Braves- 8 of which were starts. The results weren't good: 3-5, 6.50 ERA, 1.444 WHIP in 54 IP. The two-time Cy Young winner was released March 26, 1973 and did not pitch again in the majors. 

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