I'm Arne Christensen: I have a blog called Misc. Baseball. Back in June, I put together a post on Ralph Garr, the early '70s Braves star, after I noticed that he'd led the N.L. in batting average in 1974 and finished second two other times, and yet I'd never heard of him. Some weeks later I received a long comment addressed to Garr, from a man named Jeff Lynch who had some cherished memories of watching Garr play ball for the Richmond Braves in 1969. He was hoping to let Garr know about the memories, but I haven't been able to pass his comment on to Garr, who's been a Braves scout since the mid-'80s.
I thought I'd reprint the Richmond man's recollections here to see if any of the Talking Chop readers remember Garr in Richmond or Atlanta. Or more broadly, remember the Richmond Braves circa 1970, and might share their own memories of Garr and the team. I'm not a Braves fan, and I'm on the West Coast, so only a few days ago I saw that the Richmond Braves played their last season in 2008, and I suppose Jeff Lynch wrote about Garr because there was no team to root for in Richmond this year. So, here's the (slightly edited for readability) comment:
I appreciate this article on I'd say one of the games most exciting players. Living in Richmond, Va in 1969 and loving baseball, I walked with my friends from the streets of west end to Parker Field on many a Sunday to see the Braves play.
It was a great walk and escape for me. What made it great was 1) the fact that I got a chance to witness major league baseball for apx $4.50 maybe less not certain now as time has passed.
Also what made it great was 2) to witness the coming of age of Ralph Garr.. before the Roadrunner stuff. Yes, I remember Ralph and I wish to thank you for your performances in Richmond that year and I am sure you recall, as many of you will not, 3) that you were AWESOME.
What also contributed to your success was the team..that consisted of a baseball who's who... Coach Mickey Vernon, Hal Breeden, Dusty Baker, Tommy Aaron (on occasion) and Darrell Evans and many more. Ted Turner
-Atlanta was not joking during those years.
What a AAA team and organization.
I don't actually recall the R-Braves record that year as I am much older now but will always recall you at bat, drag bunting, beating out the throw, then stealing 2nd. You know I think I was there one Sunday game when you stole home :)
It's been a while, but I wanted to say that I recognized your skill, courage and heart and believe it or not as a young impressionable teen, was very proud of knowing you even as a fan.
I am aware that you moved on to the "Bigs" but this is where I was not able to follow you except now and then on National TV. Cable was not around in those days.
So, in closing, what you did regardless of compensation mattered and I'd bet that you will find many more like me that witnessed one of the best to play the game.
Thanks for your inspiration. I am hopeful that you write a book about those "early" days of your career.