Thursday, October 1, 2009

Assenwhat? Late '80s Braves/Bulls Alumni Party

Another find from the old school box: 1986 Topps Traded Paul Assenmacher.
Career-wise, Assenmacher was a solid relief pitcher, totaling only one start over 14 seasons. What I remember about him was that he was a member of some brutal late-80s Braves teams only to be traded in 1989, right before the big turn around. Ironically, his best season came in 1995 with the Cleveland Indians, who faced off against a rejuvenated Braves franchise in the World Series. And lost.

I wonder what a guy like Assenmacher felt for his former teammates, guys like Glavine and Smoltz, who were there in the lean days and were still there to reap the rewards later. Again, if you remember, the late-80s Braves were like the 2000s Nationals plus Dale Murphy.

Another cool thing about Assenmacher:
His minor-league career takes me back to simpler minor league days when all Braves players went through Durham and Greenville. One of the stranger minor league happenings is how, despite changes in affiliation, minor league clubs will identity more with players who have passed through there than the current affiliate. For example: a few years ago the Durham Bulls did bobbleheads for several former Bulls/Braves like David Justice, Chipper Jones, and Andruw Jones, plus Carl Crawford. I wonder if those guys feel a connection via places like Durham the ways fans put stuff like that together. I mean, just thinking about how Assenmacher was a Bull kinda makes him half-an old school Devil Ray.