Seasons With Braves: 1990-92
Stats With Braves: 39-31, 3.35 ERA
I’ve written about Charlie at length before, but at the risk of repeating myself… Leibrandt was a rare hometown (or at least homestate) boy who got away from the Reds; after drafting him out of Miami University, they traded him to the Royals, where he won 76 games in six years. Schuerholz, for some reason, decided that he had to have Gerald Perry and traded Leibrandt to the Braves after the 1989 season, only to inherit him a year later when he took over the ballclub.
Charlie’s tenure with the club is probably the shortest of any player on the list, three years. He’s on the list for the simple reason that the Braves would not have won the division in 1991 without him. Of course, when you win by only one game that’s true of basically everybody, but a lot of guys were replaceable. Leibrandt, as the team’s one veteran starter, was a steadying influence on a very young staff; I think his role as a mentor to Glavine and Avery is unappreciated.
He pitched well in 1990 as well, but got no run support, and was an excellent #4 starter in 1992. After that season, he was traded to the Rangers to make room for Greg Maddux. He collapsed in 1993 and then retired. Maybe the Braves knew he was about to lose it, but I can’t see how.
Of course, his legacy is tainted by losing consecutive sixth games of the World Series, the latter to eliminate the team. He very nearly was the loser of the famous sixth game of the 1985 series as well, before the Cardinals forgot how to play.