Dead at 29

Tommy Hanson, pronounced dead Monday of catastrophic organ failure,  had 10 wins and a 2.44 ERA through 17 starts in the 2011 season, his third with the Braves. If you had asked me then where Hanson would be today I would’ve probably guessed New York or Los Angeles or some other big-market team that could…

Stat du jour , Yogi vs. Uggla

In a career that spanned 2,120 games, Yogi Berra struck out 414 times. Dan Uggla struck out 535 times in 499 games as a Brave.

The ‘Latin Jackie Robinson’ among Cooperstown’s biggest oversights

Orestes “Minnie” Minoso was the player Roberto Clemente wanted to be, said Hall of Famer, and former Brave, Orlando Cepeda. “(He) was the Jackie Robinson for all Latinos; the first star who opened doors for all Latin American players,” said Puerto Rican native and future Hall of Famer Orlando Cepeda. “He was everybody’s hero.” Minoso…

RIP Jose Martinez, baseball lifer and helluva guy

I met Jose Martinez while on a freelance assignment at the Braves Dominican Academy in San Francisco de Marcoris. We rendezvoused at the airport in Santo Domingo, with our first stop coming a few miles down the road at a convenience “shack” to get a Presidente beer, the Budweiser of the Dominican. Before long Jose…

RIP Gerbil

Don Zimmer, who spent 65 years in professional baseball, never had a job outside of the game. If that’s not living a dream I don’t know what is. Here’s one of Zim’s more animated moments, as third base coach for the Little Bears, arguing a home run call (just past 2 min. mark). He gets…

R.I.P. Rick Camp

Dead of natural causes. Here’s a story I wrote for the local organ remembering Rick Camp’s most iconic moment as a Brave: “I thought it was the Four Horseman of the Apocalypse,” she said — a sight no less likely than a Rick Camp home run. No one was much surprised that the Braves lost —…

RIP Earl Williams

Earl Williams, who at 22 was named 1971 NL Rookie of the  Year, died today after a bout with acute leukemia. He was 64. Williams was one of five Atlanta Braves — along with Kimbrel, Fukey, Justice and Horner — to win ROY. Although Justice and Horner had better overall seasons, and fewer AB’s, Williams’…

RIP Earl Weaver

Funny, profane, brilliant and beloved, Weaver died early Saturday while on a Orioles fantasy cruise. I’ll bet he signed off with one final curse.

R.I.P. Pascual Perez

Pascual was apparently killed for his pension check in his native Dominican Republic. I’m working on an appreciation for the local organ and will link when complete.

R.I.P. Dan Roundfield

Dan Roundfield, arguably the best pure power forward in Atlanta Hawks history, drowned Monday off the coast of Aruba. He made three All-Star teams as a Hawk and was a regular on the NBA’s All-Defensive squad. Roundfield averaged 10 rebounds or better in each of his seasons in Atlanta and was a decent scorer, as…

RIP Furman Bisher

A true legend and gentleman. Who will write about Bob Montag now? Selah.

Will the Big 3 survive another year of Fredi?

@Buster_ESPNgreat stat: Venters, O’Flaherty and Kimbrel pitched in more games in ’11 than MRivera or THoffman ever pitched in any season. — David O’Brien (@ajcbraves) December 27, 2011

Munson the Brave

Before he became a Bulldog, Larry Munson was, briefly, a voice of the Braves. If only he had stayed and Milo Hamilton left. Wouldn’t you have loved to hear Larry call Hank’s 715th? Munson, who said baseball was his favorite sport, reminded me of Jack Buck, and I love Jack Buck. I can easily imagine…

RIP Chuck Tanner

The former Atlanta manager died Friday at his home in Pennsylvania. Braves fans may not remember him fondly but by all accounts he was a decent guy and, in the right situation, a competent manager.

A phenom’s plight

Old school Braves fans probably remember Hank Small, an Atlanta native and University of South Carolina legend once primed for stardom. The big first baseman hit 25 homers, drove in 101 runs and hit .289 for the Richmond Braves in 1978. With Murph alternating between first and catcher, showing little aptitude for both, there seemed…

RIP Lou Brown

James Gammon, the fine character actor who played manager Lou Brown in “Major League,” succumbed to cancer Friday at age 70.