When you look at the Braves success since 1991 pitching often comes to mind. But the Braves have actually had a long line of great pitchers wear their uniform. In this weeks Great Braves through the ages we go all the way back to 1877.
Granard Ireland native Tommy Bond began his career in 1874 at the age of 18 with the Brooklyn Atlantics of the National Association. He moved on to Hartford in 1875 and stayed with the Dark Blues in 1876 when they shifted to the National league. When he joined the Braves in 1877 they were known as the Boston Red Caps.
His first season with Boston, the 5'7 righty pitched in 521 innings for the Red Caps winning 40 games. His 170 strikeouts led the league as did his wins and 2.11 era which allowed him to be the first to win the "pitchers triple crown". Bond was a control pitcher having only walked 36 batters the entire season.
1878 was almost a xerox copy of his Bond's first season with Boston. Once again he led the league in wins with 40 while walking only 33 batters. He pitched a whopping 532 and 2/3 innings, while his 2.06 era led the league once again.
1879 would be Tommy's peak season. He won 43 games, pitched 555 and 1/3 innings, and his era was down to amazing 1.96 which lead the league. His league leading 11 shutouts were pretty impressive considering the rest of the league combined only had 34.
1880 would be Bond's last full season in the Majors. Tommy managed to win 26 games but lost 29. Still Bond managed to pitch 493 innings and post a 2.67 era.
In 1881 Tommy only pitched in 3 games with Boston but was still able to pitch in 25 and 1/3 innings. He went 0 and 3 with only 2 strikeouts and a 4.26 era.
In 1882 Bond finished his national league career with the Worcester Ruby Legs pitching in only 2 games while managing them in 6 games where they were 2 and 4. He did some coaching for Harvard and finished the year as a umpire in the New England League and returned as a ump in 1883.
Tommy Bond tried a brief comeback in 1884 with two teams. First with the Boston Reds of the Union Association where he did pretty well winning 13 games and posting a era of 3.00. Then later in the year he went on to the Indianapolis Hoosiers of the American Association where he pitched 5 games losing them all
When Tommy Bond died in 1941 he still made Boston his home and he was the last surviving member of the National Leagues first season. So I give you Tommy Bond: Great Brave of the 1870's.
Career stats: Braves stats: -------------- -------------- Wins: 234 Wins: 149 Losses: 163 Losses: 84 Innings: 3628 and 2/3 Innings: 2127 and 1/3 Era: 2.57 Era: 2.21