Rick’s brother is the fourth member of the ’77 Braves to make our list. Though Rick had the better career, Mickey, a hard-throwing southpaw with a 12-6 curve, was the more highly regarded of the siblings.
He debuted with the Braves in ’77 following the second no-hitter of his minor league career. He started just four games that year for the parent club and began the ’78 season in the bullpen. After 16 scoreless innings as a reliever, Mickey was inserted into the rotation.
His fourth start was a gem. Mahler went the distance against the Cards, allowing one run, walking none and striking out 9. He entered the All-Star break with a 2.82 ERA after outdueling Gaylord Perry, that year’s NL Cy Young Award winner, on July 7.
Mickey won only once more that year, losing his last nine starts and finishing third in the NL in wild pitches. It was a sign of things to come.
In 1979, his final year in Atlanta, Mahler posted an ugly 5.85 ERA and 1.700 WHIP. He was released the following spring.
Mickey’s final tally as a Brave: 10-24 with a 5.27 ERA and 1.576 WHIP.