FanPost

Random Days in Braves' History

This is something I'm going to do for fun over the winter: go to Retrosheet, pick a random year and day, find the Braves' box score for that day, and summarize the game. I'll also note if anything significant happened elsewhere in baseball that day.

First game (posted 24 December): June 12, 1975. The Braves play the Cubs in Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium, in a night game. The starting lineups:

Cubs:

  • SS: Don Kessinger
  • LF: Jose Cardenal. Noted for having a phobia about the ivy on Wrigley's outfield walls.
  • 3B: Bill "Mad Dog" Madlock
  • CF: Rick Monday, author of the single greatest play in baseball history. (If you don't know what I'm talking about, Google "Rick Monday saves the flag".)
  • RF: Jerry Morales
  • 1B: Andre Thornton, who would go on to have a fine career in Cleveland.
  • C: George Mitterwald
  • 2B: Manny Trillo, who would be MVP of the 1980 NLCS with the Phillies.
  • P: Geoff Zahn

Braves:

  • LF: Ralph Garr, speedy outfielder whom the Braves would trade to the White Sox at the end of the season.
  • 2B: Marty Perez
  • 3B: Darrell Evans, one of the four who had hit 40 home runs for the Braves in 1973
  • CF: Cito Gaston, now better known as a manager, who was being used mostly as a PH at this point in his career. I don't know why he was starting in CF in this game.
  • RF: Dusty Baker, better known today as a daffy manager, but he was once a feared slugger. He was another of the four who hit 40 HR for the Braves in 1973.
  • 1B: Mike Lum, from Hawaii
  • SS: Larvell Blanks
  • C: Vic Corrrell
  • P: Carl Morton, one-time NL Rookie of the Year, but near the end of his career and a punching bag for Braves' fans. He died of a heart attack in 1983, at the age of 39.

The Braves jumped out front in the first inning when Garr reached 3B on a pair of errors, and then Perez drove him in with a groundout. Morton got in trouble in the 3rd when he loaded the bases and Cardenal scored on an error, but Morton struck out Madlock and got Monday to ground out to end the threat. Morton helped his own cause in the 5th when he singled, and after the Braves loaded the bases, Gaston drew a walk to drive in Morton. At this point the Cubs pulled Zahn, and reliever Bob Locker got Baker to fly out to end the threat.

In the top of the 8th, with the Braves up 3-2, Rowland Office entered the game for defense in CF, replacing Gaston. The move paid unexpected dividends in the bottom of the inning when the light-hitting Office led off with a double. Morton again helped his own cause with a two-run double, driving in Office and Mike Lum, who had been walked intentionally. Garr was walked intentionally and then Perez reached on an error that scored catcher Biff Pocoroba, who had pinch-hit for Correll.

After Evans struck out to end the 8th, the game was suspended, with the Braves up 6-2. The Retrosheet box score says that it was due to "curfew", but I'm not sure what curfew this would have been; the NL never had a curfew rule like the AL did as far as I know, and I'm pretty sure the city of Atlanta never had a curfew. I think the real reason was that it was getaway night for the Cubs, who had an afternoon game vs. Cincinnati at Wrigley the next day. In any event, the game was not resumed until the Cubs returned to Atlanta on August 9. The game records for the 9th inning are incomplete, but it is know that Phil Niekro, who had already seven innings in the regularly scheduled game for that day, finished up the suspended game. There were no further runs scored and the Braves won 6-2.

This FanPost does not express the views or opinions of Talking Chop.

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