The All-Blah Braves: 3B
Choosing a 1B (Casey Kotchman) and 2B (Keith Lockhart) was easy. They were as uninspiring as it gets. Shortstop was more of a challenge, as the position has been staffed by so many horrible, if not uninspiring, players.
But there is no debate when it comes to 3B. In fact, the All-Blah third baseman qualifies as the captain of this uninspired crew.
Do I even need to say his name?
Ken Oberkfell came to the Braves less than two years after he delivered the winning hit off Geno in Game 2 of the ’82 NLCS. He was acquired to replace the oft-injured Bob Horner. On the night of the trade the Braves were 32-23 and in first place. After Obie: 48-59. Not all his fault, but his .233 BA and .598 OPS in 50 games didn’t help.
Things only got worse. The Braves never won more than 72 games during Obie’s tenure. Apparently the force was not with him.
In St. Louis Obie was a .292 hitter, with a .364 OBP. As a Brave he hit .271 with a .346 OBP. He topped a .400 slugging percentage only once as an everyday player, and that didn’t come in Atlanta.
He never even reached 50 RBI as a Brave despite often hitting in the middle of the order. He managed five homers in ’85 — a career-high. He hit 3 homers in his four other full seasons at Fulco, with batting averages those years hovering in the .270 range. So he was consistent, at least.
Defensively, he caught what he got to, which wasn’t much. His numbers would’ve been tolerable had he been a factor on the base paths but he wasn’t, successful in less than 50 percent of his 33 SB attempts.
What’s more, Obie cost the Braves Ken Dayley, who emerged as a very effective reliever for the Cards. When Obie was finally traded, in Aug. 1988, to Pittsburgh I rejoiced. It didn’t matter who the Braves were getting in return though it’s fitting that player turned out to be Tommy Gregg, a candidate for the All-Blah bench.