Monday, January 28, 2013

1977 Topps Baseball #442 - Atlanta Braves / Dave Bristol

  • The post-Henry Aaron Atlanta Braves of the late 1970s must have been hard to watch. Braves fans didn't have a whole lot to get excited about until Dale Murphy and Bob Horner came along. 
  • The Braves suffered through a 17-game losing streak on their way to a 100-loss season. On May 11, after the Braves had lost 16 games in a row, owner Ted Turner gave manager Dave Bristol a rest and "managed" the game. Commissioner Bowie Kuhn informed Turner that he couldn't manage anymore so Bristol was back in the dugout on May 14. 
  • This article sums up the strange things that happened to the Braves in 1977. 
  • After the 1977 season Bristol was (perhaps mercifully) fired by the team's board of directors.
  • Dave Bristol never played in the major leagues. He started playing in the low minors in 1951 at the age of 18. Dave played through the 1953 season and then was in military service in 1954. Bristol then played through the 1956 season before becoming a player-manager at the age of 24 in 1957. He continued to be a player-manager through the 1961 season, never getting above class B level.
  • Bristol became a full-time manager in 1962. He worked his way up the chain in the Cincinnati Reds organization and was named the Reds' manager when he was 33 years old in July 1966.
  • Dave managed the Reds through the 1969 season. The Reds showed steady improvement, but they never finished above third place under Bristol. After the 1969 season Bristol was fired by the Reds.
  • In November 1969 Bristol was hired to manage the Seattle Pilots. The club moved to Milwaukee before the 1970 season. The team was going through the usual expansion team struggles. Bristol was suspended for four games in 1971 for several confrontations with umpires. Dave managed the team until late May 1972. The younger players were feeling a lot of pressure and Bristol was let go in order to help ease the tension.
  • Dave coached with the Montreal Expos and then was hired to manage the Braves after the 1975 season. He managed the team in 1976 and in 1977.
  • Bristol coached with the San Francisco Giants in 1978 and most of 1979. He was suspended for an altercation with an umpire in September 1978. After the Giants fought amongst themselves and struggled through most of the 1979 season, Bristol was hired to restore order in September. Dave managed the team through the 1980 season and had several run ins with players, most notably a fistfight with pitcher John Montefusco. Bristol was abruplty fired during the winter meetings in 1980 due to differences in philosophy with Giant ownership.
  • Dave coached with the Philadelphia Phillies (1982-1985, 1988) and with the Reds (1989 and 1993), but didn't manage again after the 1980 season.
  • Here is a 2010 blog entry by pitcher Collin McHugh about an encounter he had with Bristol while watching a minor league game.
  • Record: 61-101, 6th in NL West, 37 games behind Los Angeles
  • Attendance:  872,464 (11th of 12 in NL)
  • Team Batting: .254 (8th in NL)
  • Team HR: 139 (4th in NL)
  • Team Stolen Bases: 82 (11th in NL)
  • Team ERA: 4.85 (12th in NL)
  • Team Fielding: .972 (10th in NL)
  • All Stars: Willie Montanez (1B)
  • Awards: none
  • NL Leaders: Phil Niekro (innings pitched - 330.1; starts - 43; complete games - 20; strikeouts - 262; losses - 20; wild pitches - 17)
  • Batting Leader: Barry Bonnell (.300)
  • Home Run Leader: Jeff Burroughs (41)
  • RBI Leader: Jeff Burroughs (114)
  • Stolen Base Leader: Jerry Royster (28)
  • Victories Leader: Phil Niekro (16)
  • Losses Leader: Phil Niekro (20)
  • Strikeout Leader: Phil Niekro (262)
  • Saves Leader: Dave Campbell (13)
  • ERA Leader (starters): Phil Niekro (4.03)
  • ERA Leader (relievers): Dave Campbell (3.05)
  • Players who could have had White Sox cards in 1977 (batters with over 100 AB, pitchers with over 40 innings) :
    • Jamie Easterly - 2-4, 1 save, 6.14 ERA in 22 games (1 start)
    • Preston Hanna - 2-6, 1 save, 4.95 ERA in 17 games (9 starts)
    • Don Collins - 3-9, 2 saves, 5.09 ERA in 40 games (6 starts)
    • Eddie Solomon - 6-6, 4.57 ERA in 18 games (16 starts)
    • Dave Campbell - 0-6, 13 saves, 3.05 ERA in 65 games
    • Pat Rockett (SS) - .254, 1 HR, 24 RBI in 93 games
    • Barry Bonnell (UT) - .300, 1 HR, 45 RBI in 100 games
    • Junior Moore (3B) - .260, 5 HR, 34 RBI in 112 games

1 comment:

  1. i think this is the first braves team card without the little person. hope i used the right term.