Sunday, January 10, 2010

Braves Rookies: Charlie Vaughan / Cecil Upshaw

The back of this card (#179) says Vaughan has a "world of potential", but that may have been a bit too much hyperbole on Topps' part. He pitched in the minors from 1965-1970 for the Braves and Royals, and his major league career was even less impressive - pitching 1 game in each of 1966 and 1969.

He also has the indignity of Topps spelling his first AND last name differently on the front and back of the card. (At least they didn't use a deceased player's picture for him!)

Cecil Upshaw was a different story. Upshaw pitched in the Braves' farm system from 1963 to 1967. After Phil Niekro was moved into Atlanta's starting rotation midway through 1967, Upshaw assumed the "closer" role and held it through the 1972 season (except for missing the entire 1970 season with torn ligaments, which occurred when his ring finger got caught on something while horsing around with teammates).

In April 1973 he was traded to the Astros. After the season, he moved on to the Indians, Yankees and White Sox, and was released prior to the 1976 season. He was never able to duplicate the success he had with the Braves.

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