1979 Atlanta Braves season

1979 Atlanta Braves
Major League affiliations
Record 66–94 (.413)
Divisional place 6th
Other information
Owner(s) Ted Turner
General manager(s) Bill Lucas, John Mullen
Manager(s) Bobby Cox
Local television WTCG
Local radio WSB
(Ernie Johnson, Pete Van Wieren, Skip Caray)
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The 1979 Atlanta Braves season was the 109th season for the franchise and their 14th in Atlanta.


Regular season

Season standings

NL West W L Pct. GB Home Road
Cincinnati Reds 9071 0.559 48–32 42–39
Houston Astros 8973 0.549 52–29 37–44
Los Angeles Dodgers 7983 0.488 11½ 46–35 33–48
San Francisco Giants 7191 0.438 19½ 38–43 33–48
San Diego Padres 6893 0.422 22 39–42 29–51
Atlanta Braves 6694 0.412 23½ 34–45 32–49

Record vs. opponents

1979 National League Records

Los Angeles 6–127–57–118–106–69–33–94–89–914–46–6
New York8–410–84–83–93–93–155–138–10–14–88–47–11
San Diego12–63–97–104–149–95–78–43–95–78–104–8
San Francisco7–114–812–611–74–145–74–86–63–910–85–7
St. Louis8–410–84–86–66–68–1011–711–7–17–118–47–5

Death of GM Bill Lucas

On May 5, 1979, the Braves were staggered by the sudden death, at 43, of the club's general manager, Bill Lucas. The first African-American general manager in Major League Baseball, and the highest-ranking black executive in the game at the time of his death, he had been stricken at home May 2 with a massive cerebral hemorrhage, after watching a Braves' road-game victory on television.[4]

Lucas had been the Braves' top baseball operations official since September 17, 1976, and on his watch the team introduced players who would be integral parts of its early 1980s contending teams—such as Dale Murphy, Bob Horner and Glenn Hubbard. During Lucas' term, the club had also hired Bobby Cox for his first term (1978–81) as manager. Lucas had been a player and executive with the Braves since 1957; his sister, Barbara, also was the former wife of Hall of Famer and Braves' legend Henry Aaron.[5]

Lucas was succeeded May 16 by John Mullen, 54, a vice president with the Houston Astros since 1967 but previously a longtime member of the Braves' management team in Boston, Milwaukee and Atlanta. Mullen would serve as the Braves' general manager until his replacement, by Cox, in October 1985.[6]

Notable transactions


1979 Atlanta Braves
Pitchers Catchers


Outfielders Manager


Player stats


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
1BDale Murphy104384106.2762157
2BGlenn Hubbard9732575.231329
3BBob Horner121487153.3143398
SSPepe Frías140475123.259144
RFGary Matthews156631192.3042790

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
Eddie Miller2711335.31005
Brian Asselstine8101.10000


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 Niekro4434221203.39208
Eddie Solomon311867144.2196
Tony Brizzolara20107.1695.2864
Tommy Boggs312.2026.391

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
Preston Hanna624.1112.9615

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
Gene Garber68616254.3356
Adrian Devine403203.2422
Larry Bradford211020.9511
Jamie Easterly400013.503

Farm system

Level Team League Manager
AAA Richmond Braves International League Tom Burgess
AA Savannah Braves Southern League Eddie Haas
A Greenwood Braves Western Carolinas League Al Gallagher
Rookie Kingsport Braves Appalachian League Gene Hassell
Rookie GCL Braves Gulf Coast League Pedro González


Awards and honors

League leaders


  1. Brook Jacoby at Baseball-Reference
  2. Mike Davey at Baseball-Reference
  3. Dave Campbell at Baseball-Reference
  4. The Associated Press, May 8, 1979
  5. Bryant, Howard, The Last Hero: A Life of Henry Aaron. New York: Random House, 2010, page 446
  6. Baseball America Executive Database
  7. Buzz Capra at Baseball-Reference
  8. Paul Runge at Baseball-Reference
  9. Brett Butler at Baseball-Reference
  10. 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


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