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The 29 Most Important Braves during the Streak: 11-13

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  1. Ron Gant - It took him a while to get going in the Majors, but once he did he was a force in the middle of our lineup, and by 1991 people were finally getting on base in front of him and his RBI totals found themselves in the top-5 in the league. Not to be overlooked were the two 30-30 seasons that he produced back to back in 90 and 91. When looking back at his stats, remember that 30 homeruns and 100 RBI in the early 90's was still a rare feat - not like today where it seems commonplace. His speed wasn't that great, but he was able to use it enough to accumulate three 30-steal seasons back in the day when Bobby Cox actually let his players try and steal bases. His stolen bases might have been the highlight of his postseason success with the Braves - he freakishly stole seven bases during the 91 NLCS, and was 11-for-12 in steal attempts in the postseason for the Braves.
  2. Steve Avery - Perhaps he and Kerry Wood could talk to all prospective managers about how not to overuse young power arms. Avery was a pitcher with unbelievable talent, whose arm crumbled under the stress of three seasons of over 210-plus innings pitched in the regular season, plus dozens of postseason innings each year. And a superb postseason pitcher he was - with a 5-3 record and a 2.90 ERA. Avery looked like he had the makings of a future hall of fame pitcher, but his velocity declined due to overuse and minor injuries and he missed his chance at greatness.
  3. Jeff Blauser - Jeff was probably one of Bobby Cox's favorite players as well as being a fan favorite during his time in Atlanta. He was never an offensive machine, but he was routinely above the league average for shortstops in a time before the slugging shortstops we have today. The thing about Blauser is that he really wasn't glamorous - at all. His offensive stats don't look showy, his defensive stats aren't showy, but he had staying power for a reason. He was one of those blue-collar baseball players that a team can count on to go about his business and play hard when he's in the lineup. He had his nagging injuries throughout his career, but he was always a solid contributor to the Atlanta lineups he was in.