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Monday, April 27, 2009

Card of the Week 04/27/09

When I was a kid first noticing the Braves, the manager was Bobby Cox. I wasn't too familiar with major league baseball but I was familiar with Peanuts so I knew what a manager of a ball team was. Bobby Cox was The Guy In Charge. He was freaking Charlie Brown! And he didn't pitch so he didn't stink like Charlie Brown. That was always Chuck's problem, he did too much. Then one day for no apparent reason Ted Turner fired Bobby. To this day no one has a clue why that happened, not even Ted. But no matter, Joe Torre was hired to be the new Charlie Brown and he immediately got the Braves a division championship. Then two years later Ted inexplicably fired Joe as well. The Baseball Gods got sick of Ted trying to act like Steinbrenner South and smote the poor Braves right into the cellar, cursing them with two managers who were most definitely not Bobby Cox or Joe Torre. Then in 1986 this guy showed up.

Man, was it exciting to get Chuck Tanner as our manager. Chuck won a World Series with Pops just a few years earlier! Heck Chuck brought Willie Stargell with him as a coach! (Willie Stargell will always be a Pirate, but I still claim him as a Brave) Plus as an eternal optimist Chuck was actually predicting championship parades down Peachtree for the Braves once he got here. Well as we all know the parade didn't quite happen under Chuck's watch, but the first seeds of that parade were sown under his tenure. Plus Chuck just looked like a manager, ya know? I've always had this soft spot for Chuck and I see Tanner belonging in the group with Cox and Torre as one of the Braves 'good' managers. Ok, so the Braves stunk while he was manager. How badly would they have stunk without him there? That '88 team that got him fired was going to be horrible no matter who was manager.

Another reason I like Chuckles can be seen on the back of the card. Tanner was not only a prospect for the Milwaukee Braves, he played for the Atlanta Crackers, their minor league club. He was quite a hitter as you can see from the fat guy singing and swinging. Chuck also won a championship with Atlanta in 1954 before getting called up to Milwaukee in '55. So the guy played for the Atlanta Crackers, got called up to the Milwaukee Braves and finally ended his career as the Atlanta Braves' manager. What's not to like about Chuck? Just look at that smilin' face and tell me you don't like Chuck.

1 comment:

Paul P said...

Chuck Tanner is one of the good guys of baseball. I once heard him speak at a function and he had the whole place in stitches. A funny guy who as a manager made his players better. That's a good manager. Thanks for the post.