The Braves finished off their “lost decade” of the 70’s in typical style, finishing in last place and leaving no lasting memories with their fan base. This was the 2nd dismal year for manager Bobby Cox, who would have a forgetable 1st tenure with the Bravos. Rookie Bob Horner (who was the 11th man to hit 4 homers in a game) went straight from the campus of Arizona State University right to the heart of the Braves lineup without spending a day in the minors. Horner, who was the 1978 NL ROY upped his numbers in ‘79 by hitting 33 homers and batting .314. Fellow youngster Dale Murphy hit 21 homers as Cox moved him from being a below average catcher to an average first baseman. Sarge, Gary Mathews, hit .304 with 27 homers. The Braves offense was middle of the pack. Their pitching, however, was the worst in the league. Phil Niekro (21-20, 3.39) won twenty, which is the lone highlight for the pitching staff. Unfortunately for Phil he also lost 20. Once you got past their starters you find an even more dreadful bullpen led by Gene Garber, who had 25 saves. Garber blew almost as many save opps as he converted and posted a dreadful 6-16, 4.33 record.
Editor’s Note: Tony sent me most of these shots and I filled in the rest from my 1978 project photos. Mike Macha, who batted 13 times in 6 game didn’t earn the right to get his photo colorized. Of course when I get to the end of the project I probably will colorize it or hopefully get a new one from someone. A few of these guys have an airbrushed Braves “a” on their cap. I’ll leave it to you to figure out which one’s I did and which one’s Topps did. My favorite shot is the photo of Eddie Miller with a microphone clipped to his jersey. Look at his pose ? I find it impossible to think that he could have been any more disinterested. I thought of the great Lou Gehrig speaking into the microphone saying, “Today, I’m the luckiest man on the face of the earth”. I then imagined Eddie saying, “Today, I’m the most disinterested man on the face of the earth”, or something to that effect.