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Atlanta Braves

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Atlanta Braves
2024 Atlanta Braves season
Team logoCap insignia
Major league affiliations
Current uniform
Retired numbers
Colors
  • Navy blue, scarlet red, gold, white[a][2]
           
Name
Other nicknames
  • The Bravos
  • The Team of the 90s
  • America's Team
Ballpark
Major league titles
World Series titles (4)
NL Pennants (18)
NA Pennants (4)
NL East Division titles (18)
NL West Division titles (5)
Pre-modern World Series (1)
Wild card berths (2)
Front office
Principal owner(s)Atlanta Braves Holdings, Inc.
Traded as:
NasdaqBATRA (Series A)
OTCQBBATRB (Series B)
NasdaqBATRK (Series C)
Russell 2000 components (BATRA, BATRK)[3]
PresidentDerek Schiller
President of baseball operationsAlex Anthopoulos[5]
General managerAlex Anthopoulos[4]
ManagerBrian Snitker
Mascot(s)Blooper[1]

The Atlanta Braves are an American professional baseball team based in the Atlanta metropolitan area. The Braves compete in Major League Baseball (MLB) as a member club of the National League (NL) East division. The Braves were founded in Boston, Massachusetts, in 1871, as the Boston Red Stockings. The club was known by various names until the franchise settled on the Boston Braves in 1912. The Braves are the oldest continuously operating professional sports franchise in North America.[6][b]

After 81 seasons and one World Series title in Boston, the club moved to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, in 1953. With a roster of star players such as Hank Aaron, Eddie Mathews, and Warren Spahn, the Milwaukee Braves won the World Series in 1957. Despite the team's success, fan attendance declined. The club's owners moved the team to Atlanta, Georgia, in 1966.

The Braves did not find much success in Atlanta until 1991. From 1991 to 2005, the Braves were one of the most successful teams in baseball, winning an unprecedented 14 consecutive division titles,[7][8][9] making an MLB record eight consecutive National League Championship Series appearances, and producing one of the greatest pitching rotations in the history of baseball including Hall of Famers Greg Maddux, John Smoltz, and Tom Glavine.

The Braves are one of the two remaining National League charter franchises that debuted in 1876. The club has won an MLB record 23 divisional titles, 18 National League pennants, and four World Series championships. The Braves are the only Major League Baseball franchise to have won the World Series in three different home cities. At the end of the 2023 season, the Braves' overall win–loss record is 11,025–10,876–154 (.503). Since moving to Atlanta in 1966, the Braves have an overall win–loss record of 4,761–4,388–8 (.520) through the end of 2023.[10]

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Transcription

History

Boston (1871–1952)

1871–1913

Boston Beaneaters team photo, 1890

The Cincinnati Red Stockings, formed in 1869, were the first openly all-professional baseball team but disbanded after the 1870 season. Manager Harry Wright and players moved to Boston, forming the Boston Red Stockings, a charter team in the National Association of Professional Base Ball Players (NAPBBP). Led by the Wright brothers, Ross Barnes, and Al Spalding, they dominated the National Association, winning four of five championships. The original Boston Red Stockings team and its successors can lay claim to being the oldest continuously playing franchise in American professional sports.[6]

They club was known as the Boston Red Caps when they played the first National League game in 1876, winning against the Philadelphia Athletics.[11][12][13] Despite a weaker roster in the league's first year, they rebounded to secure the 1877 and 1878 pennants. Managed by Frank Selee, they were a dominant force in the 19th century, winning eight pennants. By 1898 the team was known as the Beaneaters and they won 102 games, with stars like Hugh Duffy, Tommy McCarthy, and "Slidin'" Billy Hamilton.

In 1901, the American League introduced a new Boston franchise, causing many Beaneaters stars to leave. The team struggled, having only one winning season from 1900 to 1913 and losing 100 games five times. In 1907, they temporarily dropped the red color from their stockings due to infection concerns.[14] The American League Bost club adopted the nickname Red Sox, while the National League team underwent various nickname changes before becoming the Braves in 1912 season.[14] The president of the club, John M. Ward named the club after the owner, James Gaffney.[14] Gaffney was called one of the "braves" of New York City's political machine, Tammany Hall, which used a Native American chief as their symbol.[14][15]

1914: Miracle

A program from the 1914 World Series, featuring Braves manager George Stallings (left). Baseball Magazine cover, 1914 (right).

In 1914, the Boston Braves experienced a remarkable turnaround in what would become one of the most memorable seasons in baseball history.[16][17] Starting with a dismal 4–18 record, the Braves found themselves in last place, trailing the league-leading New York Giants by 15 games after losing a doubleheader to the Brooklyn Dodgers on July 4. However, the team rebounded with an incredible hot streak, going 41–12 from July 6 to September 5.[18] On September 7 and 8, they defeated the Giants in two out of three games, propelling them into first place. Despite being in last place as late as July 18, the Braves secured the pennant, becoming the only team under the old eight-team league format to achieve this after being in last place on the Fourth of July.[19] They were the only team, under the old eight-team league format, to win a pennant after being in last place on the Fourth of July. They were in last place as late as July 18, but were close to the pack, moving into fourth on July 21 and second place on August 12.[20]

The Braves entered the 1914 World Series led by captain and National League Most Valuable Player, Johnny Evers.[21] The Boston club were slight underdogs against Connie Mack's Philadelphia A's.[22] However, they swept the Athletics and won the world championship. The Braves played their World Series games and the final few games of the season at Fenway Park, as their usual home, the South End Grounds, was too small. Inspired by their success, owner Gaffney constructed a modern park, Braves Field, which opened in August 1915 and was the largest park in the majors at the time, boasting 40,000 seats and convenient public transportation access.

1915–1953

From 1917 to 1932, the Boston Braves struggled, experiencing only two winning records after being competitive in 1915 and 1916. In 1923, Emil Fuchs took over the team, aiming to build a winning franchise. Fuchs brought his longtime friend, pitching great Christy Mathewson, back into the game. However, the death of pitching legend in 1925 left Fuchs in control. Despite Fuchs' commitment to success, the team faced challenges overcoming the damage from previous years. It wasn't until 1933 and 1934, under manager Bill McKechnie, that the Braves became competitive. Unfortunately, Fuchs' revenue was severely impacted by the Great Depression.

In an effort to boost fan attendance and finances, Fuchs orchestrated a deal with the New York Yankees to acquire Babe Ruth in 1935. Ruth was appointed team vice president with promises of profit shares and managerial prospects.[23] Initially, Ruth seemed to provide a spark on opening day, but his declining skills became evident. Ruth's inability to run and poor fielding led to internal strife, and it became clear that his titles were symbolic. Ruth retired on June 1, 1935, shortly after hitting his last three home runs. The Braves finished the season with a dismal 38–115 record, marking the franchise's worst season.[23]

Fuchs lost control of the team in August 1935,[23] leading to a rebranding attempt as the Boston Bees, but it did little to alter the team's fortune. Construction magnate Lou Perini took over, eventually restoring the Braves' name. Despite World War II causing a brief setback, the team, led by pitcher Warren Spahn, enjoyed impressive seasons in 1946 and 1947 under Perini's ownership.[23]

Hall of Fame pitcher Warren Spahn

In 1948, the team won the pennant, behind the pitching of Spahn and Johnny Sain, who won 39 games between them. The remainder of the rotation was so thin that in September, Boston Post writer Gerald Hern wrote this poem about the pair:[24]

First we'll use Spahn
then we'll use Sain
Then an off day
followed by rain
Back will come Spahn
followed by Sain
And followed
we hope
by two days of rain.

The poem received such a wide audience that the sentiment, usually now paraphrased as "Spahn and Sain and pray for rain", entered the baseball vocabulary.[25] However, in the 1948 season, the Braves had the same overall winning percentage as in games that Spahn and Sain started.

The 1948 World Series, which the Braves lost in six games to the Indians, turned out to be the Braves' last hurrah in Boston. In 1950, Sam Jethroe became the team's first African American player, making his major league debut on April 18. Amid four mediocre seasons, attendance steadily dwindled until, on March 13, 1953, Perini, who had recently bought out his original partners, announced he was moving the team to Milwaukee, where the Braves had their top farm club, the Brewers. Milwaukee had long been a possible target for relocation. Bill Veeck had tried to return his St. Louis Browns there earlier the same year (Milwaukee was the original home of that franchise), but his proposal had been voted down by the other American League owners.

Milwaukee (1953–1965)

The Milwaukee Braves cap logo

The Milwaukee Braves' relocation to Wisconsin in 1953 was initially a triumphant success, as they drew a then-National League record of 1.8 million fans and finished their inaugural season with a stellar record of 92–62. This move demonstrated that baseball could thrive in new markets, influencing other teams like the Philadelphia Athletics, St. Louis Browns, Brooklyn Dodgers, and New York Giants to leave their hometowns within the next five years.

Hall of Fame right fielder and designated hitter Hank Aaron

Throughout the 1950s, the Braves became increasingly competitive, driven by sluggers Eddie Mathews and Hank Aaron, who collectively hit an impressive 1,226 home runs as Braves. In 1957, Aaron's MVP season led the Braves to their first pennant in nine years, securing a World Series victory against the formidable New York Yankees. Despite a strong start in the World Series rematch the following season, the Braves ultimately lost the last three games and the World Series.

The 1959 season ended in a tie with the Los Angeles Dodgers, leading to a playoff loss for the Braves. The ensuing years saw fluctuating success, including the Braves finishing fifth in 1963, their first time in the "second division." The team's owner, Louis Perini, sold the Braves to a Chicago-based group led by William Bartholomay in 1962. Despite plans to move to Atlanta in 1965, legal hurdles kept the Braves in Milwaukee for one more season before they completed the relocation in 1966.

Eddie Mathews holds a unique distinction, being the only Braves player to have played for the organization in all three cities they were based in Boston, Milwaukee, and Atlanta.

Atlanta (1966–present)

1966–1974

The portion of fence over which Hank Aaron hit his 715th career home run is located outside of Center Parc Stadium.

The Braves were a .500 team in their first few years in Atlanta; 85–77 in 1966, 77–85 in 1967, and 81–81 in 1968. The 1967 season was the Braves' first losing season since 1952, their last year in Boston. In 1969, with the onset of divisional play, the Braves won the first-ever National League West Division title, before being swept by the "Miracle Mets" in the National League Championship Series. They would not be a factor during the next decade, posting only two winning seasons between 1970 and 1981 – in some cases, fielding teams as bad as the worst Boston teams.

In the meantime, fans had to be satisfied with the achievements of Hank Aaron. In the relatively hitter-friendly confines and higher-than-average altitude of Atlanta Stadium ("The Launching Pad"), he actually increased his offensive production. Atlanta also produced batting champions in Rico Carty (in 1970) and Ralph Garr (in 1974). In the shadow of Aaron's historical home run pursuit, was that three Atlanta sluggers hit 40 or more home runs in 1973 – Darrell Evans and Davey Johnson along with Aaron.

By the end of the 1973 season, Aaron had hit 713 home runs, one short of Ruth's record. Throughout the winter he received racially motivated death threats, but stood up well under the pressure. On April 4, opening day of the next season, he hit No. 714 in Cincinnati, and on April 8, in front of his home fans and a national television audience, he finally beat Ruth's mark with a home run to left-center field off left-hander Al Downing of the Los Angeles Dodgers. Aaron spent most of his career as a Milwaukee and Atlanta Brave before being traded to the Milwaukee Brewers on November 2, 1974.

Ted Turner era

1976–1977: Ted Turner buys the team
Media magnate Ted Turner purchased the team in 1976, and played a large role in the team's operation.

In 1976, the team was purchased by media magnate Ted Turner, owner of superstation WTBS, as a means to keep the team (and one of his main programming staples) in Atlanta. Turner used the Braves as a major programming draw for his fledgling cable network, making the Braves the first franchise to have a nationwide audience and fan base. WTBS marketed the team as "The Atlanta Braves: America's Team", a nickname that still sticks in some areas of the country, especially the South. The financially strapped Turner used money already paid to the team for their broadcast rights as a down-payment. Turner quickly gained a reputation as a quirky, hands-on baseball owner. On May 11, 1977, Turner appointed himself manager, but because MLB passed a rule in the 1950s barring managers from holding a financial stake in their teams, Turner was ordered to relinquish that position after one game (the Braves lost 2–1 to the Pittsburgh Pirates to bring their losing streak to 17 games).

1978–1990

After three straight losing seasons, Bobby Cox was hired for his first stint as manager for the 1978 season.[26] He promoted 22-year-old slugger Dale Murphy into the starting lineup. Murphy hit 77 home runs over the next three seasons, but he struggled on defense, unable to adeptly play either catcher or first base. In 1980, Murphy was moved to center field and demonstrated excellent range and throwing ability, while the Braves earned their first winning season since 1974. Cox was fired after the 1981 season and replaced with Joe Torre,[27] under whose leadership the Braves attained their first divisional title since 1969.

Strong performances from Bob Horner, Chris Chambliss, pitcher Phil Niekro, and short relief pitcher Gene Garber helped the Braves, but no Brave was more acclaimed than Murphy, who won both a Most Valuable Player and a Gold Glove award. Murphy also won an MVP award the following season, but the Braves began a period of decline that defined the team throughout the 1980s. Murphy, excelling in defense, hitting, and running, was consistently recognized as one of the league's best players, but the Braves averaged only 65 wins per season between 1985 and 1990. Their lowest point came in 1988, when they lost 106 games. The 1986 season saw the return of Bobby Cox as general manager. Also in 1986, the team stopped using their Native American-themed mascot, Chief Noc-A-Homa.

1991–1994: From worst to first
Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine, and John Smoltz combined for six Cy Young Awards during their time in the Braves pitching rotation

From 1991 to 2005 the Braves were one of the most consistently winning teams in baseball.[28] The Braves won a record 14 straight division titles, five National League pennants, and one World Series title in 1995. Bobby Cox returned to the dugout as manager in the middle of the 1990 season, replacing Russ Nixon. The Braves finished the year with the worst record in baseball, at 65–97.[29] They traded Dale Murphy to the Philadelphia Phillies after it was clear he was becoming a less dominant player.[30] Pitching coach Leo Mazzone began developing young pitchers Tom Glavine, Steve Avery, and John Smoltz into future stars.[31] That same year, the Braves used the number one overall pick in the 1990 MLB draft to select Chipper Jones, who became one of the best hitters in team history.[32] Perhaps the Braves' most important move was not on the field, but in the front office. Immediately after the season, John Schuerholz was hired away from the Kansas City Royals as general manager.[33]

The following season, Glavine, Avery, and Smoltz would be recognized as the best young pitchers in the league, winning 52 games among them. Meanwhile, behind position players David Justice, Ron Gant and unexpected league Most Valuable Player and batting champion Terry Pendleton, the Braves overcame a 39–40 start, winning 55 of their final 83 games over the last three months of the season and edging the Los Angeles Dodgers by one game in one of baseball's more memorable playoff races.[34][35]

The "Worst to First" Braves, who had not won a divisional title since 1982, captivated the city of Atlanta and the entire southeast during their improbable run to the flag. They defeated the Pittsburgh Pirates in a very tightly contested seven-game NLCS only to lose the World Series, also in seven games, to the Minnesota Twins. The series, considered by many to be one of the greatest ever, was the first time a team that had finished last in its division one year went to the World Series the next; both the Twins and Braves accomplished the feat.

Despite the 1991 World Series loss, the Braves' success would continue. In 1992, the Braves returned to the NLCS and once again defeated the Pirates in seven games, culminating in a dramatic game seven win. Francisco Cabrera's two-out single that scored David Justice and Sid Bream capped a three-run rally in the bottom of the ninth inning that gave the Braves a 3–2 victory. It was the first time in post-season history that the tying and winning runs had scored on a single play in the ninth inning. The Braves lost the World Series to the Toronto Blue Jays, however.

In 1993, the Braves signed Cy Young Award winning pitcher Greg Maddux from the Chicago Cubs, leading many baseball insiders to declare the team's pitching staff the best in baseball.[36] The 1993 team posted a franchise-best 104 wins after a dramatic pennant race with the San Francisco Giants, who won 103 games.[37] The Braves needed a stunning 55–19 finish to edge out the Giants, who led the Braves by nine games in the standings as late as August 11. However, the Braves fell in the NLCS to the Philadelphia Phillies in six games.

In 1994, in a realignment of the National League's divisions following the 1993 expansion, the Braves moved to the Eastern Division.[38] This realignment was the main cause of the team's heated rivalry with the New York Mets during the mid-to-late 1990s.[39][40][41]

The player's strike cut short the 1994 season, prior to the division championships, with the Braves six games behind the Montreal Expos with 48 games left to play.

1995–2005: World Series champs and 14 straight division titles

The Braves returned strong the following strike-shortened (144 games instead of the customary 162) year and beat the Cleveland Indians in the 1995 World Series.[42] This squelched claims by many Braves critics that they were the "Buffalo Bills of Baseball" (January 1996 issue of Beckett Baseball Card Monthly). With this World Series victory, the Braves became the first team in Major League Baseball to win world championships in three different cities.[43] With their strong pitching as a constant, the Braves appeared in the 1996 and 1999 World Series, losing both to the New York Yankees, managed by Joe Torre, a former Braves manager.[40][44][45]

In October 1996, Time Warner acquired Ted Turner's Turner Broadcasting System and all of its assets, including its cable channels and the Atlanta Braves. Over the next few years, Ted Turner's presence as the owner of the team would diminish.

A 95–67 record in 2000 produced a ninth consecutive division title. However, a sweep by the St. Louis Cardinals in the National League Division Series prevented the Braves from reaching the NL Championship Series.[40][46]

In 2002, 2003 and 2004, the Braves won their division again, but lost in the NLDS in all three years; 3 games to 2 to the San Francisco Giants and Chicago Cubs, and 3 games to 1 to the Houston Astros.

The 1995 World Series Commissioner's Trophy on display in the Ivan Allen Jr. Braves Museum and Hall of Fame at Turner Field

They had a streak of 14 division titles from 1991 to 2005, three in the Western Division and eleven in the Eastern, interrupted only in 1994 when the strike ended the season early. Pitching was not the only constant in the Braves organization —Cox was the Braves' manager, while Schuerholz remained the team's GM until after the 2007 season when he was promoted to team president. Terry Pendleton finished his playing career elsewhere but returned to the Braves system as the hitting coach.

Liberty Media era

Liberty Media buys the team

In December 2005, team owner Time Warner, which inherited the Braves after purchasing Turner Broadcasting System in 1996, announced it was placing the team for sale.[47][48] Liberty Media began negotiations to purchase the team.

In February 2007, after more than a year of negotiations, Time Warner agreed to a deal to sell the Braves to Liberty Media, which owned a large amount of stock in Time Warner, pending approval by 75 percent of MLB owners and the Commissioner of Baseball, Bud Selig. The deal included the exchange of the Braves, valued in the deal at $450 million, a hobbyist magazine publishing company, and $980 million cash, for 68.5 million shares of Time Warner stock held by Liberty, worth approximately $1.48 billion. Team President Terry McGuirk anticipated no change in the front office structure, personnel, or day-to-day operations of the Braves, and Liberty did not participate in day-to-day operations.[49] On May 16, 2007, Major League Baseball's owners approved the sale.[50][51] The Braves are one of only two Major League Baseball teams under majority corporate ownership (and the only NL team with this distinction); the other team is the Toronto Blue Jays (owned by Canadian media conglomerate Rogers Communications).

2010: Cox's final season
Braves manager Bobby Cox retired in 2010 after 25 years of management

The 2010 Braves' season featured an attempt to reclaim a postseason berth for the first time since 2005. The Braves were once again skippered by Bobby Cox, in his 25th and final season managing the team. The Braves started the 2010 season slowly and had a nine-game losing streak in April. Then they had a nine-game winning streak from May 26 through June 3, the Braves longest since 2000 when they won 16 in a row. On May 31, the Atlanta Braves defeated the then-first place Philadelphia Phillies at Turner Field to take sole possession of first place in the National League East standings, a position they had maintained through the middle of August.[52]

The last time the Atlanta Braves led the NL East on August 1 was in 2005. On July 13, 2010, at the 2010 MLB All-Star Game in Anaheim, Braves catcher Brian McCann was awarded the All-Star Game MVP Award for his clutch two-out, three-run double in the seventh inning to give the National League its first win in the All-Star Game since 1996.[53] He became the first Brave to win the All-Star Game MVP Award since Fred McGriff did so in 1994. The Braves made two deals before the trade deadline to acquire Álex González, Rick Ankiel and Kyle Farnsworth from the Toronto Blue Jays and Kansas City Royals, giving up shortstop Yunel Escobar, pitchers Jo-Jo Reyes and Jesse Chavez, outfielder Gregor Blanco and three minor leaguers.[54][55] On August 18, 2010, they traded three pitching prospects for first baseman Derrek Lee from the Chicago Cubs.[56]

On August 22, 2010, against the Chicago Cubs, Mike Minor struck out 12 batters across 6 innings; an Atlanta Braves single game rookie strikeout record.[57] The Braves dropped to second in the NL East in early September, but won the NL Wild Card. They lost to the San Francisco Giants in the National League Division Series in four games. Every game of the series was determined by one run. After the series-clinching victory for the Giants in Game 4, Bobby Cox was given a standing ovation by the fans, also by players and coaches of both the Braves and Giants.

2012: Chipper's last season
Chipper Jones salutes the crowd at Turner Field prior to his final regular-season game on September 30, 2012. Jones announced he would retire after 19 seasons with the Braves

In 2012, the Braves began their 138th season after an upsetting end to the 2011 season. On March 22, the Braves announced that third baseman Chipper Jones would retire following the 2012 season after 19 Major League seasons with the team.[58] The Braves also lost many key players through trades or free agency, including pitcher Derek Lowe, shortstop Alex González, and outfielder Nate McLouth. To compensate for this, the team went on to receive many key players such as outfielder Michael Bourn, along with shortstops Tyler Pastornicky and Andrelton Simmons.

Washington ended up winning their first division title in franchise history, but the Braves remained in first place of the NL wild-card race. Keeping with a new MLB rule for the 2012 season, the top two wild card teams in each league must play each other in a playoff game before entering into the Division Series. The Braves played the St. Louis Cardinals in the first-ever Wild Card Game. The Braves lost the game 6–3, ending their season.

2013: Braves win the East

On June 28, 2013, the Atlanta Braves retired former third baseman Chipper Jones' jersey, number 10, before the game against the Arizona Diamondbacks. He was honored before 51,300 fans at Turner Field in Atlanta.[59] He served as a staple of the Braves franchise for 19 years before announcing his retirement at the beginning of the 2012 season. Chipper Jones played his last regular-season game for the Braves on September 30, 2012.

The Braves won its first division title since 2005. The Braves clinched the 18th division title in team history on September 22, 2013.[60] They lost to the Dodgers 3–1 in the 2013 NLDS.

Alex Anthopoulos era begins

2017 would mark the first season for the Braves in what is now known as Truist Park.[61] The new ballpark located in Cobb County, replaced Turner Field, which had been the Braves home since 1997. After an MLB investigation into breaching the rules on international signing, John Coppolella resigned as general manager of the Braves. The team was penalized and Coppolella was banned from baseball.[62] On November 13, 2017, the Braves announced Alex Anthopoulos as the new general manager and executive vice president.[63] John Hart was removed as team president and assumed a senior adviser role with the organization.[63]

Truist Park prior to its first regular-season game

Braves chairman Terry McGuirk apologized to fans "on behalf of the entire Braves family" for the scandal.[63] McGuirk described Anthopoulos as "a man of integrity" and that "he will operate in a way that will make all of our Braves fans proud."[63] On November 17, 2017, the Braves announced that John Hart had stepped down as senior advisor for the organization.[64] Hart said in a statement that "with the hiring of Alex Anthopoulos as general manager, this organization is in great hands."[64] The Braves also introduced a new mascot named Blooper.[65]

2018–2023: Return to NL East dominance and World Series title
Three of the Braves young core Ozzie Albies, Ronald Acuna Jr., and Austin Riley would help lead Atlanta to their first World Series Championship in 2021 since 1995.

In Alex Anthopoulos' first six seasons as the Braves General Manager the team made the playoffs five times. The Braves returned to their first National League Championship Series since 2001, when they faced the Dodgers. The Braves led 3–1 before the Dodgers came back to win the series and advance to the World Series.[66]

The following season the Braves got revenge against the Dodgers in the National League Championship Series|2022 NLCS to advance to the World Series for the first time since 1999, thereby securing their first pennant in 22 years.[67] They defeated the Houston Astros in six games to win their fourth World Series title.[68]

In July 2023, Liberty Media spun off Atlanta Braves Holdings as a separate, publicly traded company.[69] On January 12, 2024, the Braves announced they extended Alex Anthopoulos as their president of baseball operations and general manager, through the 2031 season.[70]

Logos

From 1945 to 1955 the Braves primary logo consisted of the head of an Native American warrior.[71] From 1956 to 1965 it was a laughing Native American with a mohawk and one feather in his hair.[72] When the Braves moved to Atlanta in 1966, the "Braves" script was added underneath the laughing Native American.[73] In 1985, the Braves made a small script change to the logo.[73] The Braves modern logo debuted in 1987.[73] The modern logo is the word "Braves" in cursive with a tomahawk below it.[73] In 2018, the Braves made a subtle color change to the primary logo.[73]

World Series championships

President Joe Biden hosts the 2021 World Series Champion Atlanta Braves, Monday, September 26, 2022, in the East Room of the White House.

Over the 120 years since the inception of the World Series (118 total World Series played), the Braves franchise has won a total of four World Series Championships, with at least one in each of the three cities they have played in.

Season Manager Opponent Series Score Record
1914 (Boston) George Stallings Philadelphia Athletics 4–0 94–59
1957 (Milwaukee) Fred Haney New York Yankees 4–3 95–59
1995 (Atlanta) Bobby Cox Cleveland Indians 4–2 90–54
2021 (Atlanta) Brian Snitker Houston Astros 4–2 88–73
Total World Series championships: 4

Uniforms

Home uniform (1987–present), worn by Ozzie Albies.
Road uniform (1987–present), worn by Matt Olson. The all-navy cap has been paired with this uniform since 2009.
Alternate red home uniform with "tomahawk A" cap (2005–2013), worn by Gregor Blanco. A similar design was unveiled in 2019 without the white piping.
Alternate road uniform (2019–present), worn by Ronald Acuña.

The Braves updated their uniform set in 1987, returning to buttoned uniforms and belted pants. This design returned to the classic look they wore in the 1950s. For the 2023 season the Braves have four uniform combinations. The white home uniform features red and navy piping, the "Braves" script and tomahawk in front, and radially arched (vertically arched until 2005; sewn into a nameplate until 2012) navy letters and red numbers with navy trim at the back. The gray road uniforms are identical to the white home uniforms save for the "Atlanta" script in front.[74] Initially, the cap worn with both uniforms is the red-brimmed navy cap with the script "A" in front. In 2008, an all-navy cap was introduced and became the primary road cap the following season.

The Braves alternate navy blue road jerseys features red lettering, a red tomahawk and silver piping. Unlike the home uniforms, which are worn based on a schedule, the road uniforms are chosen on game day by the starting pitcher. However, they are also subject to Major League Baseball rules requiring the road team to wear uniforms that contrast with the uniforms worn by the home team. Due to this rule, the gray uniforms are worn when the home team chooses to wear navy blue, and sometimes when the home team chooses to wear black.

For home games the Braves also have two alternate uniforms. The team has a Friday night red alternate home uniform. The uniform features navy piping, navy "Braves" script and tomahawk in front, and white letters and navy numbers with white trim at the back. It was paired with the Braves normal home cap. For Saturday games, the Braves wear the City Connect uniforms in honor of Hank Aaron.[75] The jersey is inspired by the 1974 Braves home uniform and is reimagined with "The A" emblazoned across the chest. The cap features the "A" logo and bears the colors of the 1974 uniform.

Ballparks

Truist Park

The Atlanta Braves home ballpark has been Truist Park since 2017. Truist Park is located approximately 10 miles (16 km) northwest of downtown Atlanta in the unincorporated community of Cumberland, in Cobb County, Georgia.[76] The team played its home games at Atlanta–Fulton County Stadium from 1966 to 1996, and at Turner Field from 1997 to 2016. The Braves opened Truist Park on April 14, 2017, with a four-game sweep of the San Diego Padres.[77] The park received positive reviews. Woody Studenmund of the Hardball Times called the park a "gem" saying that he was impressed with "the compact beauty of the stadium and its exciting approach to combining baseball, business and social activities."[78] J.J. Cooper of Baseball America praised the "excellent sight lines for pretty much every seat."[79]

CoolToday Park

Since 2019, the Braves have played spring training games at CoolToday Park in North Port, Florida.[80][81] The ballpark opened on March 24, 2019, with the Braves' 4–2 win over the Tampa Bay Rays.[82][83] The Braves left Champion Stadium, their previous Spring Training home near Orlando to reduce travel times and to get closer to other teams' facilities.[84] CoolToday Park also serves as the Braves' year round rehabilitation facility.[85]

Attendance

Home Attendance at Truist Park[86]
Year Total Attendance Game Average Stadium Capacity by % Major League Rank by #
2017 2,505,252 30,929 75.3% 13th
2018 2,555,781 31,552 76.8% 12th
2019 2,654,920 32,776 79.8% 12th
2020 0* 0* NA NA
2021 2,300,247 29,490 71.8% 2nd
2022 3,129,931 38,641 94.0% 4th
2023 3,191,505 39,401 95.9% 5th

(*) – There were no fans allowed in any MLB stadium in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Major rivalries

New York Mets

The Braves–Mets rivalry is a rivalry between the two teams, featuring the Braves and the New York Mets as they both play in the National League East.[39]

Although their first major confrontation occurred when the Mets swept the Braves in the 1969 NLCS, en route to their first World Series championship, the first playoff series won by an expansion team (also the first playoff appearance by an expansion team), the rivalry did not become especially heated until the 1994 season when division realignment put both the Mets and the Braves in the NL East division.[38][87] During this time the Braves became one of the most dominant teams in professional baseball, earning 14 straight division titles through 2005, including five World Series berths, and one World Series championship during the 1995 season. The rivalry remained heated through the early 2000s.

Philadelphia Phillies

While their rivalry with the Philadelphia Phillies lacks the history and hatred of the Mets, it has been the more important one in the last decade. Between 1993 and 2013, the two teams reigned almost exclusively as NL East champions, the exceptions being in 2006, when the Mets won their first division title since 1988 (no division titles were awarded in 1994 due to the player's strike), and in 2012, when the Washington Nationals claimed their first division title since 1981 when playing as the Montreal Expos. The Phillies 1993 championship was also part of a four-year reign of exclusive division championships by the Phillies and the Pittsburgh Pirates, their in-state rivals.[88]

While rivalries are generally characterized by mutual hatred, the Braves and Phillies deeply respect each other. Each game played (18 games in 2011) is vastly important between these two NL East giants, but at the end of the day, they are very similar organizations.[89] Overall, the Braves have five more National League East division titles than the Phillies, the Braves having won 16 times since 1995, and holding it for 11 consecutive years from 1995 through 2005. (The Braves also have five NL West titles from 1969 through 1993.) Recently, the Braves have struggled against the Phillies in the postseason, losing the 2022 and 2023 NLDS despite finishing with a substantially better regular season record both times.

Nationwide fanbase

In addition to having strong fan support in the Atlanta metropolitan area and the state of Georgia, the Braves are often referred to as "America's Team" in reference to the team's games being broadcast nationally on TBS from the 1970s until 2007, giving the team a nationwide fan base.[90]

The Braves boast heavy support within the Southeastern United States particularly in states such as Mississippi, Alabama, South Carolina, North Carolina, Tennessee and Florida.[91][92]

Tomahawk chop

The Atlanta Braves encouraged fans to gesture with the "Tomahawk Chop", distributing foam tomahawks at games and other events.

The tomahawk chop was adopted by fans of the Atlanta Braves in 1991.[93] Carolyn King, the Braves organist, had played the "tomahawk song" during most at bats for a few seasons, but it finally caught on with Braves fans when the team started winning.[94][95] The usage of foam tomahawks led to criticism from Native American groups that it was "demeaning" to them and called for them to be banned.[95] In response, the Braves' public relations director said that it was "a proud expression of unification and family".[95] King, who did not understand the sociopolitical ramifications, approached one of the Native American chiefs who were protesting.[96] The chief told her that leaving her job as an organist would not change anything and that if she left "they'll find someone else to play."[96]

The controversy has persisted since and became national news again during the 2019 National League Division Series.[97] During the series, St. Louis Cardinals relief pitcher and Cherokee Nation member, Ryan Helsley was asked about the chop and chant. Helsley said he found the fans' chanting and arm-motions insulting and that the chop depicts natives "in this kind of caveman-type people way who aren't intellectual."[97] The relief pitcher's comments prompted the Braves to stop handing out foam tomahawks, playing the chop music or showing the chop graphic when the series returned to Atlanta for Game 5.[97] The Braves released a statement saying they would "continue to evaluate how we activate elements of our brand, as well as the overall in-game experience" and that they would continue a "dialogue with those in the Native American community after the postseason concludes."[97] The heads of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation and Cherokee Nation both publicly condemned the chop and chant.[97]

During the off-season, the Braves met with the National Congress of American Indians to start discussing a path forward.[98] In July 2020, the team faced mounting pressure to change their name after the Cleveland Indians and Washington Redskins announced they were discussing brand change.[98] The Braves released a statement announcing that discussions were still ongoing about the chop, but the team name would not be changed.[99]

Achievements

Awards

Team records

Team captains

Retired numbers

The Braves have retired eleven numbers in the history of the franchise, including most recently Andruw Jones' number 25 in 2023, Chipper Jones' number 10 in 2013, John Smoltz's number 29 in 2012, Bobby Cox's number 6 in 2011, Tom Glavine's number 47 in 2010, and Greg Maddux's number 31 in 2009. Additionally, Hank Aaron's 44, Dale Murphy's 3, Phil Niekro's 35, Eddie Mathews' 41, Warren Spahn's 21 and Jackie Robinson's 42, which is retired for all of baseball with the exception of Jackie Robinson Day, have also been retired.[103] The color and design of the retired numbers reflect the uniform design at the time the person was on the team, excluding Robinson.[104]

Dale 
Murphy

OF
Retired June 13, 1994
Bobby 
Cox

Mgr
Retired August 12, 2011
Chipper 
Jones

3B
Retired June 28, 2013
Warren 
Spahn

P
Retired December 11, 1965
Andruw 
Jones

OF
Retired September 9, 2023
John 
Smoltz

P
Retired
June 8, 2012
Greg 
Maddux

P
Retired
July 17, 2009
Phil 
Niekro

P
Retired August 6, 1984
Eddie 
Mathews

3B
Retired
July 26, 1969
Hank 
Aaron

RF
Retired April 15, 1977
Tom 
Glavine

P
Retired August 6, 2010
Jackie 
Robinson

All MLB
Honored April 15, 1997

Of the eleven Braves whose numbers have been retired, all who are eligible for the National Baseball Hall of Fame have been elected with the exceptions of Dale Murphy and Andruw Jones.

On April 3, 2023, the Braves announced that they will retire number 25 in honor of former centerfielder Andruw Jones on September 9.[105]

Baseball Hall of Famers

Bobby Cox
Chipper Jones
Phil Niekro
Atlanta Braves Hall of Famers
Affiliation according to the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum
Boston Braves

Earl Averill
Dave Bancroft
Dan Brouthers
John Clarkson *
Jimmy Collins
Hugh Duffy *
Johnny Evers

Burleigh Grimes
Billy Hamilton
Billy Herman
Rogers Hornsby
Joe Kelley
King Kelly
Ernie Lombardi

Rabbit Maranville *
Rube Marquard
Tommy McCarthy *
Bill McKechnie
Joe Medwick
Kid Nichols *
Jim O'Rourke

Charley Radbourn
Babe Ruth
Frank Selee *
Al Simmons
George Sisler
Billy Southworth
Casey Stengel
Ed Walsh

Lloyd Waner
Paul Waner
Deacon White
Vic Willis *
George Wright *
Harry Wright
Cy Young

Milwaukee Braves

Eddie Mathews *[106]

Red Schoendienst
Enos Slaughter

Warren Spahn *

Hank Aaron *

Atlanta Braves

Hank Aaron[107]
Orlando Cepeda[108]
Bobby Cox *[109]

Tom Glavine *[110]
Chipper Jones *[111]
Greg Maddux *[112]

Fred McGriff *[113]
Phil Niekro *
Gaylord Perry[114]

John Schuerholz[115]
Ted Simmons[116]
John Smoltz *[117]

Bruce Sutter[118]
Joe Torre[119]
Hoyt Wilhelm

  • Players and managers listed in bold are depicted on their Hall of Fame plaques wearing a Braves cap insignia.
  • * Boston / Milwaukee / Atlanta Braves listed as primary team according to the Hall of Fame
  • † Hank Aaron chose to represent the Atlanta Braves on his HOF cap insignia, but the HOF lists the Milwaukee Braves as his primary team
P Greg Maddux, Hall of Famer

Ford C. Frick Award recipients (broadcasters)

Atlanta Braves Ford C. Frick Award recipients
Affiliation according to the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum

Milo Hamilton

  • Names in bold received the award based primarily on their work as broadcasters for the Braves.

Braves Hall of Fame

2× MVP Dale Murphy, outfielder
3B Eddie Mathews, Hall of Famer
Braves Hall of Fame wall at Truist Park
Key
Year Year inducted
Bold Member of the Baseball Hall of Fame
Member of the Baseball Hall of Fame as a Brave
Bold Recipient of the Hall of Fame's Ford C. Frick Award
Braves Hall of Fame
Year No. Name Position(s) Tenure
1999 21 Warren Spahn P 1942, 1946–1964
35 Phil Niekro P 1964–1983, 1987
41 Eddie Mathews 3B
Manager
1952–1966
1972–1974
44 Hank Aaron RF 1954–1974
2000 Ted Turner Owner/President 1976–1996
3 Dale Murphy OF 1976–1990
2001 32 Ernie Johnson Sr. P
Broadcaster
1950, 1952–1958
1962–1999
2002 28, 33 Johnny Sain P
Coach
1942, 1946–1951
1977, 1985–1986
Bill Bartholomay Owner/President 1962–1976
2003 1, 23 Del Crandall C 1949–1963
2004 Pete Van Wieren Broadcaster 1976–2008
Kid Nichols P 1890–1901
1 Tommy Holmes OF
Manager
1942–1951
1951–1952
Skip Caray Broadcaster 1976–2008
2005 Paul Snyder Executive 1973–2007
Herman Long SS 1890–1902
2006 Bill Lucas GM 1976–1979
11, 48 Ralph Garr OF 1968–1975
2007 23 David Justice OF 1989–1996
2009 31 Greg Maddux[120] P 1993–2003
2010 47 Tom Glavine[121] P 1987–2002, 2008
2011 6 Bobby Cox[122][123][124] Manager 1978–1981, 1990–2010
2012 29 John Smoltz[125] P 1988–1999, 2001–2008
2013 10 Chipper Jones[126] 3B/LF 1993–2012
2014 8 Javy López C 1992–2003
1 Rabbit Maranville SS/2B 1912–1920
1929–1933, 1935
Dave Pursley Trainer 1961–2002
2015 Don Sutton Broadcaster 1989–2006, 2009–2020
2016 25 Andruw Jones CF 1996–2007
John Schuerholz Executive 1990–2016
2018 15 Tim Hudson P 2005–2013
Joe Simpson Broadcaster 1992–present
2019 Hugh Duffy OF 1892–1900
5, 9 Terry Pendleton 3B
Coach
1991–1994, 1996
2002–2017
2022[127] 9 Joe Adcock 1B/OF 1953–1962
54 Leo Mazzone Coach 1990–2005
9, 15 Joe Torre C/1B/3B
Manager
1960–1968
1982–1984
2023[128] 25, 43, 77 Rico Carty LF 1963–1972
Fred Tenney 1B 1894–1907, 1911

Roster

40-man roster Non-roster invitees Coaches/Other

Pitchers


Catchers

Infielders

Outfielders

Designated hitters

Pitchers

Catchers

Infielders

Outfielders


Manager

Coaches



37 active, 0 inactive, 23 non-roster invitees

7-, 10-, or 15-day injured list
* Not on active roster
Suspended list
Roster, coaches, and NRIs updated February 5, 2024
Transactions Depth chart
All MLB rosters

Minor league affiliates

The Atlanta Braves farm system consists of six minor league affiliates.[129]

Class Team League Location Ballpark Affiliated
Triple-A Gwinnett Stripers International League Lawrenceville, Georgia Coolray Field 2009
Double-A Mississippi Braves Southern League Pearl, Mississippi Trustmark Park 2005
High-A Rome Emperors South Atlantic League Rome, Georgia AdventHealth Stadium 2003
Single-A Augusta GreenJackets Carolina League North Augusta, South Carolina SRP Park 2021
Rookie FCL Braves Florida Complex League North Port, Florida CoolToday Park 1976
DSL Braves Dominican Summer League Boca Chica, Santo Domingo Atlanta Braves Complex 2022

Radio and television

The Braves regional games are exclusively broadcast on Bally Sports Southeast. Brandon Gaudin is the play-by-play announcer for Bally Sports Southeast.[130] Gaudin is joined in the booth by lead analyst C.J. Nitkowski.[131] Jeff Francoeur and Tom Glavine will also join the broadcast for a few games during the season.[132] Peter Moylan, Nick Green, and John Smoltz also appear in the booth for select games as in-game analysts.[133][134]

The radio broadcast team is led by the tandem of play-by-play announcer Ben Ingram and analyst Joe Simpson. Braves games are broadcast across Georgia and seven other states on at least 172 radio affiliates, including flagship station 680 The Fan in Atlanta and stations as far away as Richmond, Virginia; Louisville, Kentucky; and the US Virgin Islands. The games are carried on at least 82 radio stations in Georgia.[135]

References

Footnotes

  1. ^ The team's official colors are navy blue and scarlet red, according to the team's mascot (BLOOPER)'s official website.[1]
  2. ^ The Cubs are a full season older as they were originally founded as the Chicago White Stockings in 1870. The White Stockings did not field a team in 1871 or 1872, however, due to the Great Chicago Fire. The Braves, therefore, have played more consecutive seasons.

Citations

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  2. ^ "Major League Baseball and the Atlanta Braves unveil the official logo of the 2021 All-Star Game". Braves.com (Press release). MLB Advanced Media. September 24, 2020. Archived from the original on November 25, 2020. Retrieved September 26, 2020. The official logo of the 2021 MLB All-Star Game highlights Atlanta's spectacular new ballpark. From the shape of the wall medallion to the entry truss, baseball fans are welcomed into the event with its modern amenities surrounded by Southern hospitality. From the warmth of the brick to the steel of the truss, the logo is punctuated by Atlanta's colors of navy and red and is signed by the signature script of the Braves' franchise.
  3. ^ "Stockholders vote to split off Braves from Liberty Media". ajc.com
  4. ^ Bowman, Mark (November 12, 2017). "Braves introduce Anthopoulos as new GM, VP". MLB.com (Press release). MLB Advanced Media. Retrieved May 8, 2022.
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Further reading

External links

Awards and achievements
Preceded by World Series champions
Boston Braves

1914
Succeeded by
Preceded by World Series champions
Milwaukee Braves

1957
Succeeded by
Preceded by World Series champions
Atlanta Braves

1995
Succeeded by
Preceded by World Series champions
Atlanta Braves

2021
Succeeded by
Preceded by National League champions
Boston Red Caps

1877–1878
Succeeded by
Preceded by National League champions
Boston Beaneaters

1883
Succeeded by
Preceded by National League champions
Boston Beaneaters

1891–1893
Succeeded by
Preceded by National League champions
Boston Beaneaters

1897–1898
Succeeded by
Preceded by National League champions
Boston Braves

1914
Succeeded by
Preceded by National League champions
Boston Braves

1948
Succeeded by
Preceded by National League champions
Milwaukee Braves

1957–1958
Succeeded by
Preceded by National League champions
Atlanta Braves

19911992
Succeeded by
Preceded by National League champions
Atlanta Braves

19951996
Succeeded by
Preceded by National League champions
Atlanta Braves

1999
Succeeded by
Preceded by National League champions
Atlanta Braves

2021
Succeeded by
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