Buzzard’s luck, one AJC writer called it. I know. I was the writer, and I was describing the Braves’ plight in the 1990 draft. A forlorn franchise — its last winning season had been in 1983 — had finally been graced with the No. 1 overall pick, and the guy the Braves (and every other team) wanted most had scared them off.
So: Buzzard’s luck, which is what occurs when you can’t kill anything and nothing will die. Bobby Cox, then the Braves’ general manager, had spent the weekend before the draft in Texas, trying to convince the high school pitcher Todd Van Poppel to sign with the Braves. No sale. Van Poppel stuck to his stated position: He wanted to play college ball for the Texas Longhorns, meaning that any team drafting him would likely wind up with nothing.
Which, for an already forlorn franchise, would have been a new nadir: You get to exercise the No. 1 pick and you net a big fat