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all-time-braves-first-base | October | 2007 Articles

2007 Archives

All-Time Braves: First Base

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Javy Lopez won the first spot on the team quite easily. Lopez gathered 54% of the vote, followed by Joe Torre with 31%, Brian McCann with 13%, and Del Crandall with 2% of the vote. Now that we are set behind the plate, we can move on to first base. It is a position that has generally been a power spot but the Braves have been pretty weak overall at the position. Here are the four candidates and as with all of them, if you feel someone has been left off, go ahead and bring it up so we can add them in. 1. Joe Adcock (1953-1962)- Adcock's numbers aren't going to blow you away but for ten years, he was a key run producer in the Milwaukee Braves' lineup. The Braves acquired Adcock in 1953 from the Reds in those next ten seasons hit .262 with 239 home runs and one All-Star appearance. Adcock had six years with more than 20 homers during that time and two with over 35 home runs and 100 RBI's. Adcock's longevity alone is hard to find from 100+ years of Braves first basemen. 2. Orlando Cepeda (1969-1972)- Cepeda, a Hall of Famer, was acquired by the Braves for Joe Torre before the 1969 season. He spent a fairly short time with Atlanta, being shipped off in the middle of the 1972 season, but had a couple good seasons in the early days of the Atlanta Braves. Cepeda played just over 400 games with Atlanta and in that time, compiled a .281 batting average along with 74 home runs. His best season with the Braves came in 1970 when he hit .305 with 34 homers and 111 RBI's. 3. Fred McGriff (1993-1997)- The "Crime Dog" as he was known, took Atlanta by storm when he was acquired from the Padres in the middle of the '93 season. The Braves (and the Fulton County Stadium Press Box) caught fire the night McGriff arrived and the team passed the Giants on the last day of the season in the NL West in what is almost unanimously considered the greatest division race in baseball history. But enough of that. What we really care about is McGriff. After his arrival, McGriff went on a tear for the last part of '93. He hit .310 with 19 home runs and 55 RBI's in just 68 games, earning a Silver Slugger Award. That season is what he is known for, but he was certainly no slouch after that. In the next four seasons, McGriff played in 568 games, hitting .291 with 111 homers. McGriff was a three-time All Star with Atlanta and won an All Star Game MVP. 4. Andres Galarraga (1998 and 2000)- Galarraga is one of the more beloved Braves I can remember in recent history. He was just one of those guys that everyone liked. Galarraga was signed as a free agent by the Braves before the 1998 season. That year he hit .305 with 44 home runs and 121 RBI's while being elected to the All Star team and finishing sixth in MVP voting. Galarraga missed all of 1999, undergoing treatment for cancer on one of the vertebra in his lower back. Galarraga underwent chemotherapy and came back in 2000 to hit .302 with 28 homers, again reaching the century-mark in RBI's. He earned the Comeback Player of the Year and was elected to the All Star Game again. Galarraga earned the nickname "Big Cat" for his defensive prowess at first, despite a rather large frame.
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