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Category Archives: Atlanta Braves

Pat Jarvis – 1973 Topps #192


Robert Patrick Jarvis (born March 18, 1941, at Carlyle, Illinois) retired Major League Baseball starting pitcher who played eight seasons for the Atlanta Braves and the Montreal Expos from 1966 to 1973 in the National League. Jarvis is best known for being Nolan Ryan’s first strikeout victim on September 11 1966. He also gave up Willie Mays’ 599th and Ernie Banks’ 500th home runs. After retiring, Jarvis served several terms as sheriff of DeKalb County, Georgia, in suburban Atlanta. He was ultimately convicted of corruption charges associated with the management of the DeKalb County jail. He currently runs an organic nursery in Rutledge, Georgia.

Ron Schueler – 1973 Topps #169

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ImageRonald Richard Schueler (born April 18, 1948, in Catharine, Kansas) is a former Major League pitcher, pitching coach, general manager and scout. Schueler was called up at the start of the 1972 season, twenty-three years old. On April 16, 1972, two days before his twenty-fourth birthday, Schueler made his major league debut as a reliever in a game against the San Diego Padres at San Diego Stadium. He pitched two innings and only gave up one hit in that game, but despite his efforts, the Braves lost. Schueler went on to start thirty-eight games over two years with the Braves. After the 1973 season ended, Schueler was dealt to the Philadelphia Phillies for infielder Craig Robinson and pitcher Barry Lersch. ImageAfter a mediocre season as a starter, the Phillies converted Schueler to a relief pitcher. He pitched two more seasons in Philadelphia as a reliever and spot starter.
Schueler ended his active career to become pitching coach of the White Sox in the middle of the 1979 season, after the illness and death of Fred Martin. He remained with the ChiSox through the 1981 season. In 1982, Schueler was hired by the Oakland Athletics to be their pitching coach. Schueler worked for three seasons in Oakland. Schueler joined the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1986 after a year out of the majors.

Eddie Mathews – 1973 Topps #237


Edwin Lee “Eddie” Mathews (October 13, 1931 – February 18, 2001) was an American professional baseball player. He played in Major League Baseball as a third baseman, most notably on the Milwaukee Braves. Mathews is regarded as one of the greatest third basemen ever to play the game. He was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1978. Between 1954 and 1966 he and Braves teammate Hank Aaron hit 863 home runs (Aaron 442, Mathews 421), moving ahead of the Yankees duo of Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig as the all-time leaders in major league history. He managed the Atlanta Braves from 1972 to 1974. He was the manager when Hank Aaron hit his 715th home run. He is also one of the few players to play, coach, and manage for the same baseball team.

Eddie Mathews was elected to the Wisconsin Athletic Hall of Fame in 1976. In 1978, Mathews was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1978. He ranks second among all-time third basemen in home runs, runs batted in, slugging percentage, and total bases. In 1999, the The Sporting News ranked Mathews 63 on their list of 100, “Baseball’s Greatest Players”. He also nominated that year as a finalist for the Major League Baseball All-Century Team. In 2001, Mathews passed away from complications of pneumonia in 2001 in La Jolla, California. He is buried in Santa Barbara Cemetery. Later that year, the Braves honored his memory with the placement of patches bearing his retired uniform number, 41, on their jerseys.

Dave Johnson – 1973 Topps #550


David Allen “Davey” Johnson(born January 30, 1943 in Orlando, Florida) is an American Major League Baseball player and current manager of the Washington Nationals. He was the starting second baseman for the Baltimore Orioles when they won four American League pennants and two World Series championships between 1965 and 1972. He made four All-Star Game appearances and received the Rawlings Gold Glove Award three times. He also played for the Atlanta Braves (1973–1975), Yomiuri Giants (1975–1976), Philadelphia Phillies (1977–1978) and Chicago Cubs (1978). His biggest success as a manager was when he led the New York Mets to the 1986 World Series title. The ball club captured the National League East under his watch in 1988. The teams he piloted in the three years from 1995 to 1997 all made it to their respective League Championship Series – the Cincinnati Reds in 1995 and the Orioles in both 1996 and 1997. Johnson won the American League’s Manager of the Year Award in 1997 when he led the Baltimore Orioles wire-to-wire to the American League East Division Championship. He would later manage the Los Angeles Dodgers. On June 25, 2011, he replaced Jim Riggleman as manager of the Washington Nationals, after Riggleman unexpectedly resigned two days before.

Ralph Garr – 1973 Topps #15

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  Ralph Allen Garr (born December 12, 1945 in Monroe, Louisiana) played outfield for the Atlanta Braves, Chicago White Sox and California Angels. He batted left-handed and threw right. Garr attended Grambling State University. Garr led the National League in hitting in 1974, compiling a .353 average and being named to the National League All-Star team. He had 149 hits heading into the All-Star break that year, a record that stands to this day. However, the year before he had the ninth-lowest average (.299) and  the lowest on-base percentage (.323) for a player with at least 200 hits. Garr batted .300 or better five times during his career. In a 13-year career, he batted .306 with 75 home runs and 408 RBIs in 1317 games. He had 1562 career hits in 5108 at bats. Garr had 717 career runs scored. Garr had a remarkable talent for hitting to all fields, a very valuable skill because fielders could never predict how to set up their defense when Garr came to the plate.

Cecil Upshaw – 1973 Topps #359

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Cecil Lee Upshaw Jr. (October 22, 1942 – February 7, 1995) a right-handed relief pitcher in Major League Baseball who had a nine-year career. Born in Spearsville, Louisiana, he played with the Atlanta Braves and Houston Astros, both of the National League, and the Cleveland Indians, New York Yankees and Chicago White Sox, all of the American League. Upshaw was among the top ten in saves four times in the National League between 1968 and 1972. Upshaw was primarily a side-arm pitcher. Upshaw finished his career with 86 saves. He had a career earned run average of 3.13. He pitched 563 innings in 348 games. His career was actually cut short due to an unfortunate incident in 1970. He and two other Braves players were walking down an Atlanta sidewalk and one of the other players bet him he couldn’t jump up and touch an overhead awning. He did reach the awning, but a ring on his pitching hand ring finger got caught on a projection off of the awning and tore ligaments in his hand. He never fully recovered, but was considered one of the better pitchers in major league baseball up to that time. He died at age 52 of a heart attack in Lawrenceville, Georgia. He is survived by his children: Carole Upshaw Romero, Cecil Lee Upshaw III, Amelia Upshaw Manchester, and four grandchildren.

Mike Lum -1973 Topps #266


Michael Ken-Wai Lum (born October 27, 1945 in Honolulu, Hawaii) was an Outfielder and First Baseman for the Atlanta Braves (1967–75 and 1979–81), Cincinnati Reds (1976–78) and Chicago Cubs (1981). He also played one season in Japan for the Taiyo Whales in 1982. He helped the Braves win the 1969 National League Western Division and the Reds win the 1976 World Series. In 15 seasons he played in 1,517 Games and had 3,554 At Bats, 404 Runs, 877 Hits, 128 Doubles, 20 Triples, 90 Home Runs, 431 RBI, 13 Stolen Bases, 366 Walks, .247 Batting Average, .319 On-base percentage, .370 Slugging Percentage, 1,315 Total Bases, 18 Sacrifice Hits, 33 Sacrifice Flies and 54 Intentional Walks. He is the only player to pinch hit for Hank Aaron. Lum was the first American of Japanese ancestry to play in the major leagues. He was adopted by a Chinese-Hawaiian family.

Gary Gentry -1973 Topps #288


Gary Edward Gentry(born October 6, 1946 in Phoenix, Arizona), is a former right-handed pitcher in Major League Baseball, who played seven seasons for the New York Mets and Atlanta Braves between 1969 and 1975. Gentry went to Arizona State University and began his professional baseball career at age 22 in 1969. As a rookie, he won 13 games, pitching in a rotation with Tom Seaver and Jerry Koosman for a Mets team that won the World Series, 4 games to 1, over the Baltimore Orioles. On September 24, Gentry pitched a four-hit, 6-0 shutout against the St. Louis Cardinals to clinch the National League East title for the Mets, who had trailed the Chicago Cubs by 9½ games on August 13. Gentry was the starting pitcher for the Mets in Game 3 of the National League Championship Series against the Atlanta Braves on October 6, his 23rd birthday. Gentry struggled in the game, but the Mets won, 7-4, to clinch the pennant. A two-run homer by Wayne Garrett put New York ahead to stay. On October 14, Gentry was the winning pitcher in Game 3 of the World Series. Gentry hit a two-run double in this game, which was highlighted by Tommie Agee’s two spectacular catches that prevented five Oriole runs. On a historical note, Nolan Ryan relieved Gentry in that game, pitching 2⅓ scoreless innings for the save in what would be the only World Series appearance of Ryan’s 27-year career. Eight days earlier, Ryan was the winning pitcher in relief of Gentry in the final NLCS game.

Jim Hardin – 1973 Topps #124


James Warren Hardin(August 6, 1943–March 9, 1991) was a professional baseball player for the Baltimore Orioles, New York Yankees, and Atlanta Braves from 1967 through 1973 and was a member of one of the best pitching staffs of the 1960s and 1970s that included Jim Palmer, Dave McNally, Tom Phoebus, and Mike Cuellar. He earned a championship ring in the 1970 World Series and was part of the dominant 1969 American League champions who lost that year’s World Series to the “Miracle Mets.” An 18 game winner in 1968, Hardin pitched 4½ years with Baltimore, half of one season with the New York Yankees and one year with the Atlanta Braves. He finished his career with a record of 43-32 and a 3.19 ERA. As a starting pitcher he was an iron man, registering 28 complete games in 100 career starts – a rate rivaled by few contemporary pitchers and even fewer current starters. Hardin, a pilot, died on March 9, 1991 when his Beech 35-C33A crashed in Key West, Florida. Shortly after taking off from Key West International Airport the propeller of his aircraft failed from fatigue. The aircraft stalled and the plane crashed while Hardin attempted to return to the airport to make an emergency landing. It was widely reported that, during the plane’s descent, Hardin steered the plane away from a baseball field filled with young children. The plane came to rest in a parking lot of the TGI Fridays restaurant, which was under construction at the time. Hardin is one of three Yankees to lose their lives in aviation accidents; the other two are catcher Thurman Munson (1979) and Cory Lidle (2006). Hardin was survived by his wife and three children.

Jim Breazeale – 1973 Topps #33


James Leo Breazeale  was a Major League Baseball first baseman. He was born on October 3, 1949 in Houston, Texas. He is 6 foot 2, 210 pounds, batted left handed, and threw right handed. Jim was drafted by the Atlanta Braves in the 8th pick of the 1st round of the 1968 amateur draft. Breazeale played 4 seasons in Major League Baseball, 3 of them with the Atlanta Braves in 1969, and in 1971 and 1972. He also played for the Chicago White Sox in 1978. In his four season career, Breazeale played 89 games with 179 at bats and 40 hits. He had 3 home runs, 33 RBIs, 20 runs, and a .223 average. He played his final game on July 19, 1978 with the White Sox.

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