“And Batting Eighth, The Starting Pitcher…”

“Batting eighth Atlanta pitcher Tim Hudson, and batting ninth, outfielder Nate McLouth.” Sound kind of crazy? Well, maybe not. Atlanta Braves skipper Fredi Gonzalez today said he is considering hitting his pitchers in the eighth spot of the lineup to try to spark the beleaguered Braves offense. “Moving things around,” Gonzalez said. “Trying to do something to create some runs. Nothing crazy.”

Maybe Fredi is right. St. Louis Cardinals manager Tony La Russa has had some success hitting the pitcher in the eighth spot. It’s almost like having two lead off hitters setting the table for the heart of the lineup. Or maybe Fredi is just trying to get into the heads of some of his hitters. I mean, what hitter really wants to see his name put in the ninth spot of the lineup card!?

The Braves team is currently batting a cool .241 on the season. Not the worst in baseball, but at the rate the Philadelphia Phillies are currently winning games it appears the Braves best chance of getting into the playoffs this year is via the Wild Card. Which means the Braves need to score more runs. Right now, Atlanta’s pitching staff is allowing about three runs a game. So if the Braves could average four runs per game, in theory, they should win quite a few ball games. Unfortunately for Atlanta’s offense, they are not averaging four runs per game. Maybe the Braves could convince Hank Aaron to suit up for the remainder of the season. Henry was an RBI “machine” during his hey day. Imagine how many runs per game the Braves would score if “Hammerin Hank” Aaron were in the lineup!

Watch Hank Aaron on the Late Show with David Letterman:

1971 Strat-O-Matic Baseball Replay Update:

The San Francisco Giants blast 3 home runs to beat the Cincinnati Reds 6-4! Willie Mays, Willie McCovey and Bobby Bonds go deep and Gaylord Perry notches his 4th win of the season to push the streaking Giants to 23-11, the best record in baseball through the first 34 games of the 1971 season. The Los Angeles Dodgers are 6 games back of the Giants in the NL West and the Giants and Dodgers begin a 3 game series tonight at Candlestick Park. Here are the current 1971 standings for my San Francisco Giants Strat-O-Matic baseball replay, games ending May 12, 1971:

Current 1971 standings for my San Francisco Giants Strat-O-Matic baseball replay, games ending May 12, 1971

And here are the current San Francisco Giants hitter and pitcher statistics:


By the way, I have some 1971 Strat-O-Matic baseball cards for sale in my e-store, if anyone is interested. And, I am still looking for that elusive 1971 Strat-O-Matic Ike Brown card (Detroit Tigers), in case someone wants to make a trade.

Vintage Baseball Card Of The Week:

The 1956 Topps Hank Aaron card. Fifty-nine years ago this week (1952) Boston Braves scout Dewey Griggs signed Hank Aaron to a contract. The rest is history:


On This Day In 1960:

Ted Williams hit his 500th HR:

1954, 1957 & 1958 Topps Ted Williams Cards

Speaking of Ted Williams, check out this 1958 Topps card I found of “Teddy Ballgame” with Ted Kluszewski. It looks like “The Klu” either had his shoulder air-brushed by Topps to make it look bigger, or Kluszewski was using steroids:

Compare that 1958 image of Kluszewski (above) with this cool 1957 Topps picture (below). His shoulders still look big, but could they have grown so much in one year!?

Jerry Coker – Owner of A Home Plate
Email: obcbeate@yahoo.com
A Home Plate Website: http://ahomeplate.com/
A Home Plate E-Store: http://ahomeplate.com/cart/
eBay ID: cokerobc
A Home Plate Blog: https://obcbeatle.wordpress.com/

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