FAVORITE BRAVES PLAYERS OF THE 1980'S
#61 LEN BARKER
ATLANTA BRAVES 1983-1985
During the Braves late 80's doldrums, the team actually put together a fairly productive bench of reserve players. These players were dubbed "The Bomb Squad" by former all-star Ted Simmons and charter member of the "BS." For my version of the Bomb Squad, I use the phrase in more general terms for eighteen players the Braves got at the wrong end of their career during that decade.
|Len Barker 1985|
AND ON THE LIST WITHIN A LIST...
COMING IN AT #6 ON THE LIST-
"THE BOMB SQUAD: 1980'S FORMERLY PRODUCTIVE
MAJOR LEAGUE PLAYERS THE BRAVES ACQUIRED
NEAR THE END OF THEIR CAREER"-Len Barker
Career: Barker won 19 games for the Cleveland Indians in 1981. He pitched the first major league perfect game in fifteen years in 1981. He had another good season in 1982, winning 15 games. He slumped a bit in 1983 before being traded to the Braves for Brett Butler late in the season.
The Bomb squad: Yes, the Len Barker for Brett Butler and Brook Jacoby stands alone as the Braves worst trade of the decade. It would have been a bad trade if it had been Barker for just Brook Jacoby! But giving up fan favorite Butler, who went on to be one of the best lead-off hitters in baseball over the next fifteen years really makes this trade stand out. But you can see why the Braves wanted to acquire a proven winning starting pitcher, but arm troubles plagued Barker for the next three seasons. He was no help in the 1983 pennant race and finished his last year with the Braves in 1985 at 2-9. I link the Barker trade as the set-off point for the Braves dismal run during the late 80's.
|Len Barker 1980|