Monday, April 24, 2023

The Consistent Braves


TRIVIA WINNER: Congrats to Jacob Kribel of Canonsburg, PA, who correctly identified Tommy Davis as the 1969 Astro who previously won a batting title and it happened with the Dodgers.  The Prize: Starbucks Gift Card.

NEW TRIVIA CONTEST:  By answering the TRIVIA QUESTION CORRECTLY you are automatically entered into a weekly drawing for a Starbucks Gift Card.  YOU MUST ENTER VIA THE EMAIL AT THE END OF THIS COLUMN. Don't forget to put your mailing address in with the answer so if you win we can send you the gift card in the mail.

ANSWER to the Trivia question in the previous column:  Tommy Davis was the 1969 Astro player who previously won a batting title and he did it with the Dodgers. 

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Name the three Braves "losing pitchers" in the 1969 NL Playoffs.

 Throughout the 1960s the Milwaukee-then-Atlanta Braves were about the most consistent in the big leagues. From 1960-1969 they won 851 games or 85 games a season. They never lost more than 77 (1967) and they never won more than 93 (1969). They finished in fifth place, 5 times in the middle of the pack. First once, Second once, 4th, 6th and 7th one time each. They consistently hovered around 85 wins and when you toss out the best and the worst, you still get 85 wins a season. Remarkable.

 Throughout the years there were a couple of constants but none more constant than Henry Aaron. During the decade he hit 40 or more homers in a season five times and 39 in another season. He also hit .300 or better seven of those 10 seasons. He never had an off 1960s season and five times his RBI total was from 120-130. 

There were others who were there for much of that time including Eddie Mathews (1960-66), Joe Torre (1960-68), Felipe Alou (1964-69), Tony Cloniger (1961-68) , Warren Spahn (1960-65), Phil Niekro (1964-69) and Claude Raymond (1961-63 & 1967-69). Others who dipped in were Mack Jones, Frank Bolling, Roy McMillan, Rico Carty, Ken Johnson, Denny Lemaster and Clay Carroll.

Spahn won at least 21 games three times for the Braves in the 1960s and Cloniger did it once while Niekro also scored  his first 20 win season in the 1960s. 

Bobby Bragan led the club for four of those seasons before while a host of managers ran the club for a couple of seasons each. Lum Harris took over for the last few years and carried that over into the 1970s.

TRIVIA CONTEST; After reading this column you can enter the weekly trivia contest for a chance to win a Starbucks Gift Card. Enter via the following email. Send 1) your answer to the trivia question at the top of the column, 2) your name, address and email so where we know where to send the card if you win 3) any comment you have on the column. One winner will be selected at random each week based on correct answers with the odds being based on the number of correct entries.  Please cut and paste or enter the following email into your email system.
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