Monday, December 26, 2011

1977 Topps Baseball #51 - Milwaukee Brewers / Alex Grammas

  • There's Hank Aaron on the top row (5th guy from the left)! Aaron retired after the 1976 season.
  • This was Alex Grammas' second (and last) stint as a major league manager.
    • After his playing career was over, Grammas coached for the Pittsburgh Pirates from 1965-1969.
    • Alex managed the Pittsburgh Pirates for the last five games of the 1969 season and had a 4-1 record.
    • Grammas coached for the Cincinnati Reds under Sparky Anderson from 1970-1975.
    • Grammas was named as the manager of the Milwaukee Brewers in 1976. He managed the club for two years:
      • 1976: 66-95, .410, 6th in AL East
      • 1977: 67-95, .414, 6th in AL East
    • After the 1977 season Grammas was let go as the Milwaukee manager and went back to the Reds to coach in 1978. He then coached for the Atlanta Braves in 1979 and went back to coaching with Sparky in Detroit from 1980 through the 1991 season.
  • The Milwaukee Brewers were starting to come up with some good players, but they were a couple of years away from contending. 
  • Team stats:
    • Record: 67-95 (6th in NL East, 33 games behind the New York Yankees)
    • Attendance: 1,114,938 (12th of 14 in AL)
    • Team Batting: .258 (10th in AL)
    • Team HR: 125 (10th in AL)
    • Team ERA: 4.32 (11th in AL)
    • Team Fielding:  .978 (tied for 4th in AL)
    • AL All Stars: Don Money (3B), Jim Slaton (P)
  • Team Leaders:
    • Batting Average: Cecil Cooper (.300)
    • Home Runs: Don Money (25)
    • RBI: Don Money (83)
    • Stolen Bases: Jim Wohlford (17)
    • Wins: Jerry Augustine (12)
    • Losses: Jerry Augustine (18)
    • Strikeouts: Moose Haas (113)
    • Saves: Bill Castro (13)
    • ERA (starters): Jim Slaton (3.58)
    • ERA (relievers): Bob McClure (2.52)
  • Team Highlights:
    • May 6 - Lost to the Detroit Tigers 5-2 and fell into a first place tie with the New York Yankees. The Brewers had been in first place since April 15. It would be the last time the Brewers would be in first place in the 1977 season.
    • Aug 14 - Pitcher Bill Travers took one for the team in the second game of a doubleheader. After Milwaukee lost the first game to the Cleveland Indians 12-4, Travers pitched 7 2/3 innings and allowed 14 runs. He left the game in the 9th inning and got a standing ovation. Travers' ERA rose from 3.45 to 4.63 and it was the start of a long losing streak for him. Bill had a 4-5 record before the game and ended up with a record of 4-12.
    • Nov 18 - Signed free agent Larry Hisle to a six-year, $3.155 million contract.
    • Nov 20 - Fired manager Alex Grammas and Director of Player Development Al Widmar. General Manager Jim Baumer resigned. The club hired Harry Dalton as the new GM.

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