05 January 2015

a braves' memorial patch for lew burdette and johnny sain

lew burdette and johnny sain both wore number 33 for the braves - sain from 1942 into 1951 when he was traded to the yankees for burdette, and burdette from that point through 1963, during which time the team had moved from boston to milwaukee.  both men passed away during the offseason between the 2006 and 2007 seasons, and the atlanta braves decided to add a patch to their jerseys honoring them during the ensuing campaign. the patch, a black baseball with the number '33' between the initials 'lb' and 'js' was worn on the left sleeve, and is seen on john smoltz's 2008 bowman card
as well as buddy carlyle's 2008 upper deck first edition card
but i'm using tim hudson's card from 2008 bowman
to represent the memorial in the binder.

sain was part of the famous refrain regarding the state of the braves' pitching in the late 1940's: '(warren) spahn and sain and pray for rain!'  he won 20 or more games each season from 1946-1948 and then again in 1950.  he helped the braves win the pennant in 1948, and was 1-1 in the world series against the indians with 17 innings pitched in his two starts - one of which was a shutout - but the braves fell to the indians.  during the 1951 season, sain was sent to the yankees in exchange for burdette and cash.  sain went on to win three world series titles with the yankees as a pitcher, and a couple more rings later as a pitching coach for the yankees in 1961 and 1962, and the detroit tigers in 1963.  sain later served as the pitching coach for the braves in two different stints during the 1970's and 1980's.  he was 89 years old when he died.

burdette won 179 regular season games for the braves during his tenure, plus three games (two by shutout) against the yankees in the 1957 world series.  he was the mvp of the fall classic, as the braves won their only championship in milwaukee that year.  the next year, 1958, the braves again faced the yankees in the world series, but burdette was 1-2 in his 3 starts, including losses in games 5 and 7.  burdette led the league in era in 1956 and wins in 1959 (tied with teammate spahn and the giants' sam jones).  he was 80 at the time of his death.

a couple of trivia notes - sain was the first pitcher jackie robinson faced in the major leagues, and burdette was the winning pitcher in the game in which harvey haddix threw 12 perfect innings before losing in the 13th - burdette scattered 12 hits over 13 innings to shut out the pirates and beat haddix that day.

1 comment:

The Junior Junkie said...

I have Johnny's autograph on the same ball along with Larry Doby and a few other old-timers. This post is making me want to track down a few of those patch cards...