1978 Atlanta Braves season

The 1978 Atlanta Braves season was the 108th season for the franchise and their 13th in Atlanta.

1978 Atlanta Braves
Major League affiliations
Location
Results
Record69–93 (.426)
Divisional place6th
Other information
Owner(s)Ted Turner
General manager(s)Bill Lucas
Manager(s)Bobby Cox
Local televisionWTCG
Local radioWSB
(Ernie Johnson, Pete Van Wieren, Skip Caray)
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Offseason

Managerial turnover: Bobby Cox begins his first term

In May 1977, owner Ted Turner had stunned baseball when—in the midst of a 16-game losing streak—he furloughed manager Dave Bristol, sent him on a ten-day scouting trip, and took the reins of the team himself; on May 11, he donned uniform #27 and skippered the Braves to their 17th straight loss. National League president Chub Feeney and Commissioner of Baseball Bowie Kuhn then stepped in and forbade the owner from managing his own ballclub, citing MLB rules that apparently took effect after Connie Mack retired as owner-manager of the Philadelphia Athletics in 1950.[3] Veteran coach Vern Benson ran the Braves the following night (and broke the losing skein), and then Bristol was rehired for the balance of the season.

However, that chaotic season was followed by one of the most important events in Braves' history: the hiring of Bobby Cox, briefly a Braves' farm system player, as manager for 1978. Cox was then a 36-year-old, relatively unknown former third baseman who had spent the previous ten seasons in the New York Yankees' organization, including six years (1971–1976) as a highly successful minor league manager and one season as the first-base coach on the Yankees' 1977 world championship team. Cox would spend four seasons, 1978–1981, during this first term in the Braves' dugout. While his first two years produced frustrating, last-place seasons in the National League West, by Cox' third year, 1980, the Braves posted a winning (81–80) mark and rose to fourth place in their division. Attendance began to climb, with the team exceeding the one-million mark at Atlanta–Fulton County Stadium for the first time since 1971.[4] But the strike-shortened 1981 season was a major disappointment; the Braves fell to 50–56, and Cox was fired. He went 266–323 (.452) during his inaugural tenure.

His successor, former New York Mets skipper Joe Torre, would lead the Braves to the 1982 National League West Division championship. Cox would land with the Toronto Blue Jays as their 1982 manager. The Jays were then a five-year-old expansion team that had never escaped the basement of the American League East Division, nor won more than 67 games in a season. By Cox' second season, the Blue Jays broke the .500 mark, and by his fourth, in 1985, they would win 99 games and the AL East title. Meanwhile, the Braves' front office was in flux and owner Turner was seeking a strong hand to take over the team's baseball operations as general manager. He lured Cox back to Atlanta with a multi-year contract.[5] And, although the team struggled desperately on the field in the late 1980s, general manager Cox was assembling a base of talent that, when he returned to the dugout to manage the Braves for his second term, on June 23, 1990, would ignite a series of first-place divisional teams (for 15 out of 16 straight seasons) and five National League pennant winners (as well as the 1995 World Series title) that would earn Cox a place in the Baseball Hall of Fame by his 2010 retirement.

Regular season

Season standings

NL West W L Pct. GB Home Road
Los Angeles Dodgers 95 67 0.586 54–27 41–40
Cincinnati Reds 92 69 0.571 49–31 43–38
San Francisco Giants 89 73 0.549 6 50–31 39–42
San Diego Padres 84 78 0.519 11 50–31 34–47
Houston Astros 74 88 0.457 21 50–31 24–57
Atlanta Braves 69 93 0.426 26 39–42 30–51

Record vs. opponents

1978 National League Records

Sources: [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] [9] [10] [11] [12]
Team ATL CHC CIN HOU LAD MON NYM PHI PIT SD SF STL
Atlanta 5–7 6–12 8–10 5–13 5–7 6–6 8–4 2–10 8–10 11–7 5–7
Chicago 7–5 7–5 6–6 4–8 7–11 11–7 4–14 7–11 7–5 4–8 15–3
Cincinnati 12–6 5–7 11–7 9–9 8–4 7–5 7–5 4–7 9–9 12–6 8–4
Houston 10–8 6–6 7–11 7–11 6–6 7–5 6–6 4–8 8–10 6–12 7–5
Los Angeles 13–5 8–4 9–9 11–7 8–4 7–5 7–5 7–5 9–9 11–7 5–7
Montreal 7–5 11–7 4–8 6–6 4–8 8–10 9–9 7–11 6–6 5–7 9–9
New York 6–6 7–11 5–7 5–7 5–7 10–8 6–12 7–11 5–7 3–9 7–11
Philadelphia 4-8 14–4 5–7 6–6 5–7 9–9 12–6 11–7 8–4 6–6 10–8
Pittsburgh 10–2 11–7 7–4 8–4 5–7 11–7 11–7 7–11 5–7 4–8 9–9
San Diego 10–8 5–7 9–9 10–8 9–9 6–6 7–5 4–8 7–5 8–10 9–3
San Francisco 7–11 8–4 6–12 12–6 7–11 7–5 9–3 6–6 8–4 10–8 9–3
St. Louis 7–5 3–15 4–8 5–7 7–5 9–9 11–7 8–10 9–9 3–9 3–9

Notable transactions

  • May 16, 1978: Jim Bouton was signed as a free agent by the Braves.[7]
  • September 22, 1978: Cito Gaston was purchased from the Braves by the Pittsburgh Pirates.[8]

Roster

1978 Atlanta Braves
Roster
Pitchers Catchers

Infielders

Outfielders Manager

Coaches

Player stats

Batting

Starters by position

Note: Pos = Position; G = Games played; AB = At bats; H = Hits; Avg. = Batting average; HR = Home runs; RBI = Runs batted in

Pos Player G AB H Avg. HR RBI
C Biff Pocoroba 92 289 70 .242 6 34
1B Dale Murphy 151 530 120 .226 23 79
2B Jerry Royster 140 529 137 .259 2 35
SS Darrel Chaney 89 245 55 .224 3 20
3B Bob Horner 89 323 86 .266 23 63
LF Jeff Burroughs 153 488 147 .301 23 77
CF Rowland Office 146 404 101 .250 9 40
RF Gary Matthews 129 474 135 .285 18 62

Other batters

Note: G = Games played; AB = At bats; H = Hits; Avg. = Batting average; HR = Home runs; RBI = Runs batted in

Player G AB H Avg. HR RBI
Glenn Hubbard 44 163 42 .258 2 13
Cito Gaston 60 118 27 .229 1 9
Brian Asselstine 39 103 28 .272 2 13
Chico Ruiz 18 46 13 .283 0 2
Eddie Miller 6 21 3 .143 0 2
Hank Small 1 4 0 .000 0 0

Pitching

Starting pitchers

Note: G = Games pitched; IP = Innings pitched; W = Wins; L = Losses; ERA = Earned run average; SO = Strikeouts

Player G IP W L ERA SO
Phil Niekro 44 334.1 19 18 2.88 248
Preston Hanna 29 140.1 7 13 5.13 90
Larry McWilliams 15 99.1 9 3 2.81 42
Jim Bouton 5 29 1 3 4.97 10

Other pitchers

Note: G = Games pitched; IP = Innings pitched; W = Wins; L = Losses; ERA = Earned run average; SO = Strikeouts

Player G IP W L ERA SO
Adrian Devine 31 65.1 5 4 5.92 26
Tommy Boggs 16 59 2 8 6.71 21

Relief pitchers

Note: G = Games pitched; W = Wins; L = Losses; SV = Saves; ERA = Earned run average; SO = Strikeouts

Player G W L SV ERA SO
Dave Campbell 53 4 4 1 4.80 45
Gene Garber 43 4 4 22 2.53 61
Rick Camp 42 2 4 0 3.75 23
Jamie Easterly 37 3 6 1 5.65 42
Max León 5 0 0 0 6.35 1
Mike Davey 3 0 0 0 0.00 0

Farm system

Level Team League Manager
AAA Richmond Braves International League Tommie Aaron
AA Savannah Braves Southern League Bobby Dews
A Greenwood Braves Western Carolinas League Al Gallagher
Rookie Kingsport Braves Appalachian League Eddie Haas
Rookie GCL Braves Gulf Coast League Pedro González

LEAGUE CHAMPIONS: Richmond, Greenwood

Awards and honors

League leaders

Notes

  1. ^ Bert Blyleven page at Baseball Reference
  2. ^ Buzz Capra page at Baseball Reference
  3. ^ Williams, Doug, "Remembering the Night Ted Turner Managed the Braves." ESPN.com, 2013.05.23
  4. ^ Baseball Almanac
  5. ^ Cooperstowners in Canada.com
  6. ^ Lake, Thomas (July 26, 2010). "Thumbing his Way back home". Sports Illustrated. Time Inc.: 49.
  7. ^ Jim Bouton page at Baseball Reference
  8. ^ Cito Gaston page at Baseball Reference
  9. ^ Great Baseball Feats, Facts and Figures, 2008 Edition, p.348, David Nemec and Scott Flatow, A Signet Book, Penguin Group, New York, ISBN 978-0-451-22363-0

References

Hank Small (baseball)

George Henry Small (July 31, 1953 – March 3, 2010) was a first baseman in Major League Baseball who played briefly for the Atlanta Braves during the 1978 season. Listed at 6 ft 3 in (1.91 m), 205 lb., Small batted and threw right-handed. He was born in Atlanta, Georgia.

Mike Davey

Michael Gerard Davey (born June 2, 1952) is an American former professional baseball player, a former middle relief pitcher in Major League Baseball who played from 1977 through 1978 for the Atlanta Braves. Listed at 6 feet 2 inches (1.88 m) and 190 pounds (86 kg), Davey batted right-handed and threw left-handed. A native of Spokane, Washington, he attended Gonzaga University, where he played college baseball for the Bulldogs from 1972-1974.In 19 relief appearances, Davey posted a 4.34 ERA with two saves and did not have a decision, giving up nine runs on 20 hits and 10 walks while striking out seven in 18 ⅔ innings of work.

Davey pitched in the Atlanta, Seattle and Pittsburgh minor league systems for the Richmond (1978), Spokane (1979) and Portland teams (1980). In 137 games, he collected an 8–7 record with a 3.83 ERA and 19 saves.

AL East
AL West
NL East
NL West
Franchise
Ballparks
Culture
Lore
Rivalries
Key personnel
World Series
Championships (3)
National League
Championships (17)
World's Championship Series
Championships (1)
National Association
Championships (4)
Division titles (18)
Wild card berths (2)
Minor league
affiliates
Broadcasting

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