Some of the Top Cards of 1976

Saturday, December 26, 2009

1976 Topps #306 - Rod Gilbreath




  • Rod Gilbreath was an infielder for the Atlanta Braves from 1972-1978. Gilbreath was drafted by the Braves in 1970. Except for a .309 season in A ball in 1971, Rod didn't exactly tear up the minor leagues (although he had seasons of 45 and 36 stolen bases).
  • Gilbreath was called up to the Braves in mid-June of 1972. He stayed for a couple of weeks, went back down to the minors, then was called back up in September. In 18 games Rod batted .237. In 1973 Rod started with the Braves and was sent back down in late May. He batted .284 in 74 at bats. Gilbreath was in the minors for most of the 1974 season. He was 2 for 6 in three late September games for the Braves.
  • Rod stayed up with the Braves all season in 1975. He batted .243 in 202 at bats as a utility infielder. Gilbreath got quite a bit more playing time in 1976. He led the NL with 20 sacrifice hits and batted .251 in 383 at bats.
  • Gilbreath was the starting second baseman for Atlanta in 1977. He batted .243 with eight home runs in 407 at bats. In 1978 Rod split time between third base and second base. He started the season as the starting third baseman, but his playing time at third was sharply curtailed after the Braves got Bob Horner. The Braves had Jerry Royster at second base, so there wasn't much room for Rod. In 326 at bats Gilbreath batted .245.
  • Rod didn't make the club in 1979 and was released on March 30. He was picked up by the Pittsburgh Pirates and played well for AAA Portland in 1979 and 1980, but he didn't make it back to the majors. Gilbreath retired after the 1980 season at the age of 27.
  • Gilbreath has been employed by the Braves as a major and minor league scout for several years. Here is an article from his hometown (Laurel, MS) newspaper about Rod's assessment of the Braves for the 2008 season.
  • Liked to face: Jim Kaat (.583 in 12 AB); Bob Owchinko (.500 in 20 AB); Jim Lonborg/Dave Roberts (.462 in 13 AB each)
  • Hated to face: Joaquin Andujar (.000 in 14 AB); Fred Norman (.045 in 22 AB); Pat Zachry (.056 in 18 AB)

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