25 August 2017

2013 SEGA Card-Gen Extravaganza 17: Atlanta Braves

It's been over a year since I posted a team from the 2013 SEGA Card-Gen set I bought from an eBay seller in Japan. These cards were part of a now-extinct Japanese arcade game that never made it to the United States, although I believe there were plans to give it a try here. Today's team is the Atlanta Braves. They get 13 cards in the checklist, which exactly matches the 13 cards per team average for the set.

Since this set is now a few years old, a lot of players have moved on to other teams or even retirement. Brian McCann spent nine seasons in Atlanta, with 2013 being his last year there. He would go on to spend three seasons with the Evil Empire in New York, and now he's a member of my favorite team, the Houston Astros. I still forget sometimes that he's an Astro, as to me he will kind of always be the super-uptight keeper of the unspoken rulebook in Atlanta.

Freddie Freeman's third full year in Atlanta was 2013, and here in 2017 he's kind of the face of the franchise. If not for an injury that took a full 1-1/2 months away, he'd be leading the club by a large margin in nearly every counting stat. As it is, he's still among the leaders on the team in most things, although Nick Markakis is still holding onto a few categories for the time being.

Dan Uggla was a useful player for several years for the Marlins and Braves. The 2013 season is when the wheels started to fall off a bit, and after 2015 he hung it up for good.

Chris Johnson's best season was 2013, but his play was kind of bumpy and he struck out a lot without enough power to justify the strikeouts. Luckily, he had Dan Uggla and the Uptons on his team to strike out more than he did. Uggla, Justin Upton, and Melvin/B.J. Upton were #3-5 in NL strikouts for 2013, and in 2014 the Uptons were #4 and #5, Johnson was #8, and Freddie Freeman was tied for #10 in the NL with Matt Kemp. Chris Johnson is currently in the Orioles' minor league system.

Andrelton Simmons is currently a star, but he plays for the Angels now. He does his damage mostly with his glove, with Baseball Reference crediting him with leading the NL in Defensive WAR for 2013-2015, and the AL so far in 2017 (he was 4th in the NL in 2012 and 5th in the AL for 2016).

I mentioned B.J./Melvin Upton above in my blurb on Chris Johnson. He showed huge potential for several years, but never quite lived up to the massive hype. He signed with the Braves for 2013, and his numbers really took a dive from his time with Tampa Bay. He moved to the Padres alongside Craig Kimbrel in a trade that involved Carlos Quentin and Cameron Maybin going the other way. He picked things up a bit in San Diego, and they moved him to Toronto for the last part of 2016. Toronto released him and he signed with the Giants. They released him at his request just a couple of days ago, and he hopes that a contending team will pick him up for a playoff run.

Jason Heyward was an All-Star for the Braves in 2010 and produced several great seasons for them. He was traded to St. Louis prior to 2015 for Shelby Miller (oops!) and produced for St. Louis, too. In 2016 he signed for big money with the Cubs and was rewarded with a World Series ring. He just barely turned 28 years old, so it would appear that he's still got some productive years ahead of him. 

Justin Upton came up in Arizona, and was traded by the Diamondbacks to the Braves for 2013 in the same deal that brought Chris Johnson to Atlanta. He kept right on producing, and after the 2014 season the Braves moved him to the Padres. After an All-Star 2015 for the Padres, he signed with the Tigers for 2016. He is playing lights-out for Detroit this year, earning his 4th All-Star nod.

Tim Hudson was nearing the end of his career in 2013, but he still had some accolades to accumulate. The 2013 season was the last of his 9 seasons in Atlanta, which were preceded by 6 seasons in Oakland. He signed for the Giants in 2014, and made the All-Star game. He also won a World Series ring with them that year, although it took an epic relief appearance by Madison Bumgarner in a game that Hudson started to get it done in Game 7 of the World Series. After 2015 he was released by the Giants.

Brandon Beachy played with the Braves for a few seasons and the Dodgers for a while, but couldn't get over the injury bug. He had two Tommy John surgeries and left the Dodgers after a struggle with tendinitis in Spring Training 2016. 

Eric O'Flaherty was coming off of his two best years in 2013, but a third consecutive excellent season was sidelined by an injury requiring Tommy John surgery. He wound up on the A's roster and then the Mets before making his way back to Atlanta in 2016. They released him about a month ago, as he's never really found his pre-injury form again. At the time this card set was published, though, it was hard to find a more dominant bullpen than this Braves group.

Jonny Venters wouldn't play at all in 2013, as he started the year on the Disabled List with an elbow injury that would lead to his second Tommy John surgery. During his attempt to come back from that surgery, he again sustained an injury that led to a third Tommy John surgery. He signed a minor league deal with Tampa Bay and injured his arm again in 2016, leading to a fourth Tommy John surgery. He signed with them again on a minor league deal and has been pitching in their minor league system for a couple of months now, making 20 appearances across several levels so far.

Craig Kimbrel is about as dominant a reliever as you'll find in baseball. He led the NL in saves for four years in Atlanta from 2011-2014. He was traded to the Padres for 2015 and had a down year for him, if you can call a 2.58 ERA and 1.05 WHIP over 59.1 pressure-packed innings a down year. For 2016 he was traded to Boston, where he's earned two All-Star nods and continued to put up good numbers, especially so far in 2017.

That's it for the Atlanta Braves in 2013 SEGA Card-Gen. It's interesting to write these posts, especially now that a few years have passed and players have moved around. I'll put up installment #18 some day.


  1. Japanese arcade card games are pretty fun to watch the talented kids play. Wish I had some of their skill. Soccer is another big one in Japan.

    1. I've always been a button masher more than a real player when it comes to video games. I've got a couple of the soccer cards.

  2. As usual, a nice looking set. David Ross had some nice things to say about Brian McCann in his recent book, "Teammate".

    1. I built a flash impression of him based on a few video clips, so I definitely have no idea how he really is as a person.

  3. As a huge Braves fan, I think this is a really cool set!

    1. I'm not a Braves fan, but I can't hate on Atlanta too much, because that's where my wife is from!