Living in Atlanta, I know that many, many people were quite happy to see the end of the Dan Uggla era in Atlanta. Uggla came up with the Marlins after being selected in the Rule 5 draft in 2005 and he became an immediate All-Star in Miami. During his 5 years there -- from ages 26 to 30 -- he averaged 31 HR and 93 RBI a season with a slash line of .263/.349/.488.
After the 2010 season, the Braves traded two players to get Uggla and immediately handed him a five-year, $62 million contract. The move was panned by many commentators immediately and for years to come. While some Braves fans tried talking themselves into the idea that it wasn't as bad as it seemed, Uggla's play with the Braves started as acceptable and turned into atrocious -- leading the Braves to eat the last about $18 million of the contract to release him last year.
But, I wondered for a while what Braves fans really thought of him. Did they view him for the good he brought his first two years in Atlanta, or did they think of him with his .179 batting average in 2013 (.179/.309/.362) and the even-worse .162/.241/.231 in 2014?
I think Steve of The Card Chop -- the Chop Keeper himself -- answered that question for me without saying a word.
When you use a guy's card as a notepad, it becomes pretty clear what your feelings for the guy are. Maybe I need to take all my 1985 Topps Yankees, punch a hole in them, and put them on a ring to use as a carry-along notepad.
But, to further dirty Uggla's name -- legally and honestly, of course...remember kids, in defamation cases truth is an absolute defense -- let's turn to the Google Image search for Dan Uggla's Greatest Moments in History!
1. Uggla Strikes Out on a Pitch that Nearly Hits Him
Finding Dan Uggla gifs has been a lot of fun. Let's lead off with this fantastic "strike out dive out of the way to avoid getting my knee hit" against the Giants.
Leading off for the cards that Steve sent me is the Clay Stock card to which Heritage Uggla the Notepad referred:
Strangely enough, I learned only this week about this variant from 2010's update set. The old-school Topps logo was the giveaway here -- apparently the logo along with the "clay" cardstock was a Target exclusive for 2010. Now that I know that, I now need to find them. Thankfully, now, I have one fewer card to look for.
2. Uggla dives away in fear from a slider that is called a strike
Just so Braves fans can laugh, Uggla did something similar already in his stint this year with the Nationals:
Such hitting prowess and acumen deserves a fantastic card to go with it:
This 2011 Allen & Ginter black bordered mini of Rickie Weeks is much cooler than an Uggla-fying taken strike. Without a doubt.
3. Uggla Shows Off His Gun, Gets an Assist from the Outfield
I mean, look at what a smart player Uggla is. He knew that the runner wouldn't try to advance and score if he got the ball in right away. So, he "whiffed" on the throw to goad the runner into going, then lollipopped the ball to first because he felt bad. What a sweetheart!
Just like Ryan Braun.
4. Uggla as Giant: Hit it Here!
Uggla didn't spend long in San Francisco -- 4 games in which he went 0-for-11 with one walk, an OPS+ of -73, and two errors. Needless to say, Uggla didn't make the post-season roster.
But this guy always did:
Of course, he only got two opportunities in the post-season, but he was the first player to ever have two four-hit games in a single World Series.
5. Not everything Uggla Ever Did was All Bad
I mean, anything that gives us Freddie Freeman dancing like John Travolta in Staying Alive can't be all bad. It was Uggla's second wedding -- when Uggla married current wife Janette. In between his split and divorce from his first wife Tara in around 2007 and marrying Janette in 2013, Uggla apparently hooked up with porn star and noted friend of Rob Gronkowski Bibi Jones. Jones would have been about 18 or 19, and Uggla would still have been a decent major league player at the time.
Seems like forever ago.
But these incredible Freeman dance moves deserve a great closing item:
This is one of several 5" x 7-1/2" "cards" given out by Ohio Casualty Group to commemorate Milwaukee County Stadium's closing.
It's a terrible tragedy that the collapse of the huge Mitsubishi on July 14, 1999 -- which killed 3 construction workers -- caused the old Milwaukee County Stadium to have to remain open through 2000 instead of 1999.
It's no laughing matter.
But Dan Uggla is.
Many thanks to The Chop Keeper for these great cards, especially the Torre!