When the National Association folded, the Red Stockings joined the National League. On April 22, 1876, they played in the very first National League game, scoring two runs in the ninth inning to beat the homestanding Philadelphia Athletics, 6-5, before a crowd of 3,000.
The Red Stockings win a second consecutive NL pennant with a 41-19 record, despite hitting just .241 as a team. Tommy Bond started 59 of the team's 60 games and won 40 for the second year in a row.
The Braves become known as the Beaneaters to tie their identity to Boston and avoid confusion with the Cincinnati Reds of the American Association. The teams wins the NL once again.
After several years of lackluster performances, the Beaneaters acquire Mike "King" Kelly, the Babe Ruth of the 19th century and unquestionably the most popular player of his day. Kelly's salary of $10,000 stunned the world.
The Beaneaters win 18 in a row and 23 of their last 30 to go 87-51 and win the NL pennant. Chicago, which came in second, protested that the Eastern teams helped Boston win, but on Nov. 11, the league ruled that the pennant belonged to the Beaneaters, the first of several in the decade.
A long pennant drought for the Beaneaters, the team finishes no better than sixth for ten seasons. The 1906 team lost a franchise-record 19 in a row. In 1907, the team changed names; the Beaneaters become known as the Doves, after the new owners, the Dovey brothers. In 1912, the team acquires the nickname Braves for the first time at the suggestion of Johnny Montgomery Ward.
The Braves completed their miracle finish by coming from last on July 18 to win the N.L. pennant. The cold start (4-18) was matched by the blazing finish, (51-16). The Braves then swept four from heavily favored Philadelphia to win the World Series. Johnny Evers, who won the MVP award, Rabbit Maranville and Bill James led the team.
The Braves are sold by James Gaffney to a Boston syndicate for $500,000. The team finishes third.
Jim Thorpe, the world's greatest athlete, joins the Braves, but the team finishes a distant sixth. George Washington Grant buys the team.
Rogers Hornsby, playing for his third team in three years, hit .387 for the Braves and easily won the N.L. batting title. Hall of Famer George Sisler also contributed, hitting .340, but the Braves struggled to a 50-103 record and a seventh place finish.
Babe Ruth finished his career in a Braves uniform. Ruth homered in his first N.L. at-bat, off Carl Hubbell, but batted only .181 and, after seven more homers for a career total of 714, removed himself from the lineup in June and officially retired as a player. The team finished 38-115.
The Braves' name was changed to the Bees as a result of a fan poll. Braves Field was renamed National League Park and was also called the Beehive. Five years later the club readopted the nickname Braves.
This is the year that produced the phrase "Spahn and Sain and two days of rain" as Warren Spahn and Johnny Sain combined for 39 wins. Sain had a league-high 24 as the Braves won the pennant but lost to Cleveland in the World Series. Al Dark batted .322 to lead the Braves in the regular season while winning the Rookie-of-the-Year award.
Eddie Mathews became the first rookie in major league history to hit three home runs in a game, accomplishing it on September 27, during the Braves' final win in Boston.
The Braves played their first season in Milwaukee, attracting a National League-record 1,826,297 fans to the brand-new Milwaukee County Stadium, and finished second. Eddie Mathews won the home run title with 47, and Warren Spahn led the league in pitching victories with 23.
Bobby Thomson suffered a broken ankle in spring training and forced the Braves to try a young infielder by the name of Hank Aaron in the outfield. Aaron batted .280 with 13 homers as the Braves finished third.
Hank Aaron won the batting title with a .328 average, but the Braves lost the pennant to the Dodgers on the final day of the season.
The Braves won the pennant and World Series. Hank Aaron was the league MVP, leading the N.L. in homers and RBI, but it was late-season call-ups Wes Covington and "Hurricane" Bob Hazle who sparked the Braves. Replacing injured players, Covington hit 21 homers, and Hazle batted .403 down the stretch. Aaron batted .393 and Lew Burdette won three games as the Braves beat the Yankees in the Series. Spahn won the Cy Young Award.
In the year the Dodgers and Giants went West, the pennant stayed in Milwaukee. Mathews and Aaron combined for 61 homers, Spahn and Burdette for 42 pitching victories to lead the way. However, the Yankees won the World Series, four games to three.
It required a postseason playoff for the Los Angeles Dodgers to supplant the Braves as N.L. champs. Mathews led the league in homers with 46, Aaron in hitting with a .355 average. Burdette and Spahn won 21 games each.
Aaron just missed the triple crown, leading the league in homers with 44 and RBI with 130. Warren Spahn wins 23 games at age 42.
The Braves' move to Atlanta was halted by a court order, forcing a lame duck season in Milwaukee. The Braves led the league with 196 homers.
The Braves and Pirates debuted Major League Baseball's first season in Atlanta on April 12, with Pittsburgh winning, 3-2, in 13 innings. Atlanta was fifth in its initial season, but Aaron hit 44 homers and had 127 RBI to lead the league.
The Braves marked the first year of division play by winning the West. The Braves were fifth place on Aug. 19, but outplayed San Francisco and Cincinnati down the stretch to win the division. Phil Niekro won 23 games, while Aaron slugged 44 homers and knocked in 97 runs. The Braves lost to the Miracle Mets in the playoffs, three games to none.
Rico Carty won the batting title with a .366 average, and Hank Aaron recorded his 3,000th career hit.
Aaron hit his 600th career homer, this one in Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium off the Giants' Gaylord Perry. After hitting an Atlanta rookie record 33 homers, Earl Williams is named Rookie of the Year.
Manager Luman Harris was replaced during the season by future Hall of Famer Eddie Mathews. The Braves hosted the All-Star Game.
The Braves produced three hitters who belted 40 or more home runs, Dave Johnson (43), Darrell Evans (41) and Hank Aaron (40). Phil Niekro no-hit the Padres, winning 9-0.
Hank Aaron tied Babe Ruth the first time he swung the bat, connecting on April 4, off Cincinnati's Jack Billingham. Four days later he broke the record with No. 715 against Dodgers' lefty Al Downing. Ralph Garr led the league in hitting with a .353 average, and Buzz Capra was the ERA leader with his 2.28 mark.
The season was comparatively uneventful, but in January of the off-season it became official that television magnate Ted Turner purchased the club.
The Braves shook the baseball world by signing pitcher Andy Messersmith, who during the off-season won his free agency in court.
Ted Turner decided to become team manager during a 17-game losing streak. He lost to Pittsburgh, 2-1 at the Pirates' Three Rivers Stadium. Turner's tenure in the dugout lasted only one game as Commissioner Bowie Kuhn banished him upstairs.
Bob Horner, the nation's No. 1 draft choice, signed with the Braves and made the jump from the Arizona State campus to the majors and won the Rookie-of-the-Year award.
Dale Murphy, winning the first of two consecutive MVP awards, paced the Braves to a West Division title by hitting 36 homers and knocking in 109 runs. The Braves set a then-Major League record by winning their first 13 games. They lost to the Cardinals in the League Championship Series. Hank Aaron was elected to the Hall of Fame.
Bob Horner hit four homers in an 11-8 loss to Montreal, July 6.
The Braves created shock waves August 4 when they traded Dale Murphy, one of the most respected athletes in Atlanta history, to the Philadelphia Phillies for Jeff Parrett, Jim Vatcher and Victor Rosario.
The Braves made history by becoming the first team ever to reach the World Series just one season after having baseball's worst record. Although the team stumbled into the All-Star break 9.5 games behind the first-place Dodgers, they were able to slice seven games off the lead in the first 12 days after the break. What followed was a thrilling stretch drive during which the Braves and Dodgers were never separated by more than 2.5 games after August 10. Among many clutch performances were the N.L.'s first-ever combined no-hitter by Kent Mercker, Mark Wohlers and Alejandro Pena on September 11 vs. San Diego and David Justice's game-winning, two-run homer off Rob Dibble on October 1, capping a comeback from a 6-0, first-inning deficit.. The Braves finally clinched the division title on October 5, after an eight-game winning streak, the first six coming on the road, to set Atlanta records of 94 wins (including a 55-28 mark in the second half) and 2,140,217 in attendance. Steve Avery was the MVP of the NLCS after tossing a record 16.1 consecutive scoreless innings to lead the Braves to a seven-game triumph. Mark Lemke then turned the World Series into a personal showcase by hitting .417 and helping push the Twins all the way to Game 7, a heartbreaking, 1-0 loss in 10 innings. Tom Glavine won the Cy Young Award; Terry Pendleton won the batting title and was named N.L. MVP; Bobby Cox became the BBWAA and AP N.L. Manager-of-the-Year; Schuerholz earned UPI N.L. Executive-of-the-Year honors; and Baseball America honored Atlanta by naming it the Organization-of-the-Year.
Francisco Cabrera's 9th-inning, two-out, two-run, pinch-hit single and Sid Bream's photo finish slide at home plate gave Atlanta a stunning 3-2 triumph over the Pirates and sent the Braves to their second consecutive World Series. The Braves became the first NL team to win back-to-back pennants since the 1977-78 Dodgers, while setting a new franchise record with a major league-leading 98 victories. On May 27, the Braves resided in last place with a 20-27 mark, 7.0 games behind front-running San Francisco. The team then proceeded to rip off 21 wins in 24 games en route to finishing the season with an amazing 78-37 (.678) run over the duration of the campaign. Included in this blitz was a 13-game winning streak from July 8-25, which tied the franchise record set in 1982. The Braves finally moved into first place July 22, then were tied for the top spot on two occasions before gaining the lead for good on August 2. The Braves led the league in ERA (3.14) for the first time since 1958. For the second straight year, Tom Glavine won 20 games, including a 13-game winning streak, which established a modern day Braves' record. John Smoltz won a career-high 15 games, and became the first Braves' hurler to lead the NL in strikeouts (215) since Phil Niekro in 1977. Pendleton produced another outstanding season, collecting a career-high 105 RBI while hitting .311. His 39 doubles set an Atlanta record and his 199 hits were tied for first in the loop. Atlanta then met Toronto in the first International World Series, with the Blue Jays prevailing in six games. Deion Sanders starred for the Braves in defeat, hitting .533 with five stolen bases. Nonetheless, the Braves repeated as league champions for the first time since 1957-58.
After one of the most pulsating stretch runs in baseball history, the Braves became the first team to win the N.L. West for three consecutive years when they captured the division over the Giants on the season's final day. The Braves set a franchise record with 104 victories, leading the majors in wins for the second straight season. Atlanta played 54-19 ball (.740) after the All-Star break, the third-best second half in major league history and overcame a 10-game deficit as of July 22. The surge coincided with the July acquisition of Fred McGriff from San Diego, with the Braves going 51-17 (.750) after McGriff joined the lineup. McGriff's first game as a Brave on July 20 will always be remembered in Atlanta as the night of the pre-game press box fire at Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium; McGriff's homer in the contest ignited the Braves from a 5-0 deficit to an 8-5 win over the Cardinals. McGriff (37, 101) joined David Justice (40, 120) and Ron Gant (36, 117) to give the Braves the first trio of 100+ RBI men in the N.L. since the Braves' 1970 lineup of Aaron, Cepeda and Carty. The Braves led the league in homers (168) and ERA (3.14) for the second straight season, the first team to do so in consecutive years since the 1977-78 Dodgers. Atlanta's "Fab Four" starting rotation lived up to expectations, with Greg Maddux winning his second consecutive Cy Young Award after posting a 20-10 mark with a 2.36 ERA. Tom Glavine (22-6, 3.20 ERA) became the first N.L. pitcher to win 20+ games for three straight years since Ferguson Jenkins hurled six consecutive 20+ win seasons from 1967-72. Steve Avery (18-6, 2.94 ERA) matched his career-high in victories, and John Smoltz (15-11, 3.62 ERA) gave the Braves four 15-game winners for the first time this century. Jeff Blauser (.305) became the first Brave shortstop to hit over .300 since Alvin Dark in 1948 and set a franchise mark for runs scored (110) by a shortstop. Terry Pendleton recovered from a slow start to knock in 84 runs, while Mike Stanton (27 saves), Rookie-of-the-Year runner-up Greg McMichael (2-3, 2.06 ERA, 19 saves) and Steve Bedrosian (1.63 ERA) led the relief corps. Despite the loss to the Phillies in the NLCS, the Braves could point to their 104 wins, third consecutive division title, their top-ranked minor league system and franchise record attendance of 3,884,720 as evidence of their standing as one of the model organizations in the majors.
The Braves opened the campaign in the newly aligned National League attempting to capture their fourth straight division crown in their new home, the N.L. East. The Braves began the season in record fashion, winning their first seven games,all on the road. It was the second best start in Atlanta history and a modern N.L. record for consecutive wins on a season-opening road trip. Kent Mercker no hit the Dodgers, 5-0, April 8 in Los Angeles, registering Atlanta's third overall no-hitter, and second by an individual. The Braves equalled their Atlanta-best 13-1 start, which included tying a team record 10 straight road wins. The Braves set an Atlanta record for runs scored in their 19-5 victory at Chicago April 15. In that game Atlanta hit back- to-back-to-back homers and duplicated the accomplishment three days later to become the first team in major league history to achieve the feat twice within that short a time frame. Bobby Cox became the 41st manager in major league history to win at least 1,000 games with a 6-5 victory June 17 vs. Cincinnati. Their torrid start helped the Braves remain in first place until just before the All-Star break; the Expos didn¹t take over 1st for good until July 22. Fred McGriff, David Justice and Greg Maddux represented Atlanta in the All-Star game in Pittsburgh. Maddux started for the National League, and McGriff captured the MVP award after he hit a three- run homer in the ninth inning to tie the game at 7-7. (The NL won in 10 innings, 8-7.) McGriff hit his 30th homer August 5 at Cincinnati to become the ninth player in major league history to hit at least 30 home runs in seven or more straight seasons. He led the team in homers (34), batting average (.318), RBI (94), runs scored (81) and 2B (25). Maddux also reached the record books by becoming the first player in major league history to win three straight Cy Young Awards. Maddux finished 16-6, tied for the lead league in wins, and led the league in ERA (1.56), complete games (10), innings pitched (202.0) and opponents batting average against (.207). For the third consecutive season, the Braves led the N.L. in homers with 137. They also finished second in the league with a 3.57 ERA. Hopes of another division crown and a third trip in four years to the World Series were dashed when the players went on strike after the games of August 11. The strike eventually forced the cancellation of the playoffs and World Series for the first time since 1904. The Braves finished second in the National League East, 6.0 games behind Montreal.
The Braves validated their label as the "Team of the 90's" by winning their first World Series in 38 years. The world championship was the first for the city of Atlanta in a major professional sport, while the Braves also entered the record books as the first franchise to win the World Series in three different cities. Atlanta overcame a 23-20 start (3rd place, 5.0 GB) to post a 67-34 (.663) mark from June 14 through the remainder of the regular season, running away with the N.L. East title by 21.0 games. By winning the division, the Braves became the first N.L. team to finish first in four consecutive completed seasons since the 1921-24 New York Giants. Atlanta's pitching lived up to expectations, leading the majors with a 3.44 ERA; the Brave's staff became the first to lead the majors in ERA for three straight completed seasons since the Baltimore Orioles topped the majors from 1969 through 1972. Greg Maddux claimed his unprecedented fourth straight Cy Young Award, going 19-2 with a 1.63 ERA, becoming the first starting pitcher since Walter Johnson in 1918-19 to record an ERA of less than 1.70 in two consecutive seasons. He ended the season with a major league record 18-game winning streak on the road (including an 0.99 ERA) dating back to July, '94. Mark Wohlers emerged as the dominant closer the Braves had sought throughout the 90's, saving 25 games, including 21 straight chances between May 15 and September 3. Fred McGriff (27), David Justice (24), Ryan Klesko (24) and Rookie of the Year Chipper Jones (23) became the first Braves foursome to hit over 20 homers in a season since 1973, and Javy Lopez matched Joe Torre's 1966 record for the best average by an Atlanta catcher with a .315 mark. Last at-bat wins were the trademark of the '95 Braves, with Atlanta winning an N.L.-best 25 games in this fashion, including 18 after July 3. The Braves led the majors with 31 one-run victories, and went on to notch another seven victories in the post-season by one run and/or in their last at bat. Atlanta beat the Rockies three games to one in the Division Series, and routed the Reds in the first-ever four-game sweep of an NLCS, before winning the world title with a six-game triumph over the Indians, climaxed by Series MVP Tom Glavine's one-hitter over eight innings and David Justice's decisive sixth-inning homer in the 1-0 finale.
The Braves made their fourth trip to the World Series out of the last five played, but were unable to defend their world title as the Yankees took the championship in six games. In their final season at Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium, the Braves took over first place for good on May 19, en route to winning the N.L. East by 8.0 games. The division crown was Atlanta's fifth straight, marking the first time a National League team has registered five straight first-place finishes. The Braves bowed out of Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium by setting a franchise mark with 56 home wins, topping the old record of 51, set three times previously. Atlanta's .270 team BA was its best since hitting .272 in 1983, while the club's 197 homers were third-most in Atlanta history, trailing only the teams of 1966 (207) and 1973 (206). The pitching staff set a major league record by fanning 1,245 batters, breaking the Astro's major league mark of 1,221 set in 1969; the staff also allowed the fewest walks in the majors, issuing only 451 free passes. By going 12-15 in September, the team ended a stretch of playing .500+ ball for 21 straight months since April, 1993. John Smoltz continued the Brave's Cy Young reign, as the right-hander fashioned a breakthrough season, going 24-8 with a 2.94 ERA. He set modern day franchise records with his 276 strikeouts and a 14-game winning streak, and established an Atlanta mark with his 24 victories. Smoltz lost his opening start, then went 14-0 with a 1.83 ERA over his next 15 outings. Greg Maddux didn't win a fifth straight Cy Young Award, but went 15-11 with a 2.72 ERA, while Tom Glavine went 15-10 with a 2.98 ERA and won his 3rd Silver Slugger Award. Mark Wohlers shattered Gene Garber's 1982 franchise record of 30 saves by notching 39 of his own in 44 opportunities, and also recorded 100 strikeouts in 77.1 IP. Stellar years at the plate were enjoyed by Chipper Jones (30-110-.309), Fred McGriff (28-107-.295), Ryan Klesko (34-93-.282) and Marquis Grissom (23-74-.308). Grissom won his 4th consecutive Gold Glove Award and collected a career high 207 hits, becoming the first Brave to reach the 200 mark since Ralph Garr had 214 in 1974. Grissom set a franchise record with 671 AB, and compiled a 28-game hitting streak (49 x 127, .386) July 25-Aug. 24; it was the longest streak by a Brave since Rowland Office hit in 29 straight in 1976, and the third-longest in Atlanta history. On June 2 at Cincinnati he also became the first Brave to complete a straight steal of home since Ed Miller performed the feat in 1979. Other offensive highlights included Jeff Blauser's 7-RBI game at Philadelphia May 11, the first by a Brave since Orlando Cepeda in 1970, Jermaine Dye's homer in his first major league AB May 17 vs. the Reds (the first debut HR by a Brave since Chuck Tanner in 1955), and a 18-1 rout of the Cubs May 20, providing the Brave's largest margin of victory in a contest since Boston beat St. Louis, 20-3, August 25, 1936. The 1996 season also saw the debut of 19-year-old phenom Andruw Jones on Aug. 15, who made the jump from A-ball to the majors in under two months. AT 19 years, 3 months and 23 days, he became the fourth-youngest player in Atlanta history, and in his second game, the next day, he socked his first M.L. homer, becoming the youngest National Leaguer to go deep since Houston's Larry Dierker in 1965. The Braves swept the Dodgers in three games in the Division Series then became the first team in history to rebound from a three-games-to-one deficit in the NLCS, overcoming the ST. Louis Cardinals. Atlanta took the final three contests by scores of 14-0, 3-1, and 15-0. By winning the first two World Series games in Yankee Stadium, the Braves appeared on their way to repeating as world champions, but saw New York capture the final four games and the title. The Braves organization was recognized by Baseball America as the Organization of the Year for 1996, the second time since 1991.
The Braves won a major league high 101 games and an unprecedented sixth straight division title, but failed to reach the World Series for the first time since 1993 when the Marlins won the NLCS, four games to two. The six consecutive first-place finishes eclipsed the old mark of five straight set by the New Ycrk Yankees (1949-53) and the Oakland A's (1971-75). In their inaugural season at Turner Field, the Braves won 12 of their first 13 home games, and retained sole possession of first place from April 14 through the remainder of the season. The Braves set a major league record tor April with 19 victories, breaking the old mark of 18, set six times previously. The team clinched the N.L. East on September 22, finishing with a 9.0 game margin over Florida. Atlanta's pitching once again proved dominant, leading the majors with a 3.18 ERA and 17 shutouts. Fourth starter Denny Neagle turned in the National League's only 20-victory campaign, going 20-5 with a 2.97 ERA, while Greg Maddux (19-4, 2.20) narrowly missed fhe 20-win circle. John Smoltz (15-12, 3.02) led the National League with 255.0 innings pitched, and became the first pitcher in franchise history to notch at least 200 strikeouts in four seasons. Tom Glavine (14-7, 2.96 ERA) was one ot four Braves starters to rank in the top lO in the N.L. in ERA. Glavine was named the National League's Pitcher of the Month for April after going 4-0 with a 1.64 ERA, while becoming the first pitcher to record two career shutouts at Colorado's Coors Field. Mark Wohiers became the first Braves pitcher to notch consecutive 30-save seasons, while fanning 92 in 69.1 innings pitched. On offense, the Braves reached the .270 mark for the second straight year, a feat they hadn't accomplished since 1947-48. Most noteworthy were the 12 grand slams hit by the squad, setting a major league record, featuring 3 by Chipper Jones in a span of l3 contests, setting the NL record for 3 slams in fhe fewest team games. C. Jones posted another solid season (21-111 -.295), with 20 stolen bases, and became the first Braves third baseman to drive in 100+ runs in consecutive seasons since Eddie Mathews in 1959-60. Ryan Klesko led the squad with 24 homers, followed by Javy Lopez (23), Fred McGriff (22), and C. Jones (21). Jeff Blauser added 17 homers, while batting .308. The offense exploded for 9 run-innings twice in 12 games (June 22 and July 5), after not having performed the feat since 1989. Grand slams by Ryan Klesko and Tim Spehr on July 14 vs. the Phillies marked only the fifth occasion in franchise history that the Braves hit 2 slams in a contest. Quartet of Maddux-Neagle-Glavine-Smoltz excelled in August, not allowing more than 3 ER in any of their final 19 starts of the month. Neagle joined the 20-game winners circle for the first time in his career with a 4-0 combined shutout at San Diego September 7. Maddux ended the season with a sensational ratio of 19 wins to 20 walks, with 6 of those being intentional. Rafael Belliard made headlines when he belted his first homerin more than 10 years, a 2-run blast Sept. 26 at New York. In the post-season, Atlanta swept 3 games from Houston in the Division Series, giving the Braves a 9-1 mark in Division Series competition. Competing in a record 6th straight National League Championship Series, the Braves lost to the Marlins in 6 games losing the final 2 contests, marking the first time a team other than Atlanta represented the National League in the World Series since 1993.
Another amazing season for the Braves. The team wins 106 games and its seventh straight division title. The Braves met the Chicago Cubs in the Divisional Playoffs and won in three straight games. The San Diego Padres were the opponents in the NLCS. After losing the first three games, the Braves won two dramatic contests in San Diego, before falling in six games. There were a number of notable individual perfromances. Tom Glavine won the NL Cy Young Award, his second, with a 20-6 record and 2.47 ERA. Newcomer Kevin Millwood has an outstanding season, as do John Smoltz and Greg Maddux. The offense was no less impressive. In his first season with the Braves, Andres Galarragga hits .305. Andruw Jones continued his rapid development with outstanding defensive play in centerfield. Chipper Jones had another fine year, hitting .313. Despite the team's premature exit from the postseason, 1998 left fans looking forward to another great year in 1999.
The Braves overcame the loss of several key players and captured their fifth National League pennant of the 1990's, before falling to the Yankees in the World Series. At the outset of spring training, the Braves were stunned to hear that Andres Galarraga would be lost for the season because of non-Hodgkins lymphoma in a bone in his lower back, and also saw closer Kerry Ligtenberg go down with a season-ending medial collateral ligament tear in his right elbow. Despite these losses and season-ending injuries to Javy Lopez, Odalis Perez and Rudy Seanez during the summer, Braves managed to win 103 games and claim their unprecedented eighth straight division title. The team blew open a tight race with the Mets by taking 5 of 6 games from the New Yorkers in late September, highlighted by Chipper Jones' 4-HR barrage in a 3-game sweep in Atlanta, which served as his springboard to the MVP Award. Atlanta's Cy Young trio of Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine and John Smoltz were amazingly surpassed in perfomance by fourth starter Kevin Millwood, who went 18-7 with a second-ranked 2.68 ERA, leading the majors with a .202 opponents BA, and placing third in the National League's Cy Young balloting in only his second full season. John Rocker stepped up as the third Braves' closer in as many seasons and recorded 38 saves in 45 opportunities, 4th-best in the NL, and only one behind Mark Wohlers' franchise mark of 39 in 1996. In the post-season, Braves disposed of Astros in 4 games, then appeared in their record 8th straight LCS, outlasting the Mets in a pulsating 6-game series after being up 3 games to none. Braves made their 5th World Series appearance of the 1990's, and held two 8th-inning leads (in Games One and Three), but failed to preserve them and were swept in 4 straight by the Yankees.
The Braves claimed their unprecedented ninth straight division title, but saw their streak of eight consecutive appearances in the N.L.C.S. come to an end when they were swept in the Division Series by the Cardinals. Despite losing John Smoltz for the season in spring training with a torn right medial collateral ligament, and Quilvio Veras for the second half of the campaign with a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee, the Braves still posted 95 wins, becoming only the third team in major league history to record 90+ wins in nine consecutive completed seasons, joining the Yankees (12 straight years, 1947-58) and Cubs (nine straight years, 1904-12). The season was highlighted by a Braves' mnodern franchise record 15-game winning streak April 16-May 2, the longest streak in the N.L. since the New York Giants won 16 straight games in 1951. The Braves entered the first of two series with the Mets September 18 leading New York by 3.0 games and won the first two contests to assume a commanding 5.0 game lead with 11 to play; Braves reeled a 10-3 stretch from September 13 through their division clincher September 26 at New York. Chipper Jones followed his '99 MVP campaign with another outstanding season, hitting .311 with 36 homers and 111 RBI. His RBI total, besides matching his career high, also enabled him to become only the second third baseman in major league history to notch five straight 100+ RBI seasons, joining the Pirates' Pie Traynor 1927-31. Nineteen-year-old infielder Rafael Furcal made the jump from A ball to the majors in spectacular fashion as he was named the BBWAA's National League Rookie of the Year after batting .294 in 131 games, withan Atlanta rookie record 40 stolen bases. Andres Galarraga made a strong comeback from his bout with cancer that led him to miss all of the 1999 season, hitting 28 homers, collecting 100 RBI while batting .302. Veras was in the midst of an excellent campaign (.309, 25 steals) when he was lost for the season three games into the second half. Andruw Jones made the All-Star team for the first time, won his 3rd straight Gold Glove and turned in a breakthrough year at the plate with career highs in homers (36), RBI (104) and BA (.303), mostly from the second spot in the batting order. He became the 5th- youngest player in history to reach the century mark in career homers, trailing only Mel Ott, Tony Conigliaro, Eddie Mathews and Alex Rodriguez. The Braves ERA of 4.06 was its highest since the 1990 season, but still led the majors for the fourth straight year and for the seventh time in the last nine years. Tom Glavine placed second in N.L. Cy Young balloting after finishing 21-9 with a 3.40 ERA, joining Roger Clemens as the only active pitchers with five 20+ win seasons. Glavine, whose 21 wins led the majors and 241.0 1P set a career high, went 10-2 with a 3.01 ERA after Braves' losses, and became the 96th pitcher in history to reach the 200-win mark, ending the year with 208 victories. Greg Maddux won 19 games for the 4th time in 6 seasons (19-0, 3.00), while reeling off 39.1 consecutive scorelsss innings September 2-28, the longest scoreless string in the N.L. since Orel Hershiser's record run of 59.0 consecutive shutout innings in 1988. Maddux, by winning at least 15 games for the 13th straight year, became only the third pitcher in M.L. history to accomplish that feat, joining Cy Young (15 straight years) and Gaylord Perry (13 straight years). John Rocker recorded 24 saves in 27 opportunities, while fanning 77 in 53.0 IP. Braves entered the post-season with a 15-2 record in Division Series contests, but subpar outings by Maddux (4.0 IP, 5 ER), Glavine (2.1 IP, 7 ER) and Kevin Millwood (4.2 IP, 4 ER) led to a three-game exit against the Cardinals.
The Braves advanced to the NLCS where they lost in five games to the eventual World Champion Arizona Diamondbacks. A season-ending injury to Rafael Furcal in July and year-long offensive struggles plagued the Braves run to their record 10th straight division title. After holding off the Phillies and Mets for the NL East title in the final week of the season, the Braves swept the Astros in the Division Series. Chipper Jones led the offense with a .330 batting average and 38 homers. As a team, the Braves ranked ninth in the NL with a .260 BA and 13th in runs scored (729). John Burkett's 3.04 ERA ranked third in the NL, and Greg Maddux's 3.05 ranked fourth. Maddux led the team in wins with 17, despite not winning after Aug. 22. Despite going 2-4 in May and June, Tom Glavine finished with a 16-7 record. John Smoltz, who missed the 2000 season after undergoing Tommy John surgery, battled arm problems the first half of the season. After two lengthy stints on the disabled list, he returned in late July and was used primarily as a reliever. On August 17, he recorded his first save and went on to save 10 games in 11 opportunities. Maddux and Andruw Jones both claimed Gold Gloves. For Maddux, it was his 12th straight Award.
For just the second time since 1991, the Braves didn't advance to the National League Championship Series. Tom Glavine suffered two losses in the team's five-game Division Series loss to Barry Bonds and the Giants. Gary Sheffield, who was acquired in a January trade with the Dodgers, solidified the middle of the lineup that also included Chipper Jones and Andruw Jones. Chipper led the team in batting average (.327), on-base-percentage (.435) and slugging percentage (.536). As for Andruw, he hit a team-leading 36 homers to give him his fourth consecutive 30-plus homer season. Disappointing offensive seasons from free-agent acquisition Vinny Castilla and Javy Lopez denied the Braves the chance of having one of the most potent lineups in team history.
The emergence of rookie southpaw Damian Moss and the reemergence of a dominant Kevin Millwood allowed the pitching staff to post the NL's best ERA (3.13) for the ninth time in the past 12 years. Greg Maddux, who won 16 games to join Cy Young as the only pitchers to ever win at least 15 games for 15 straight seasons, led the team with a 2.56 ERA. Tom Glavine stumbled toward the end of the season, but still matched Millwood for the team lead in wins (18). John Smoltz, who set a National League single-season saves record with 55, anchored the game's best bullpen. Veteran relievers Darren Holmes and Chris Hammond, who posted a 0.95 ERA in 75 innings, both made miraculous returns to the Majors. Holmes had missed the previous season after having back surgery and Hammond had retired in 1998, only to return to play in the minors in 2001.
The team's 101 wins allowed manager Bobby Cox to become the first National League manager to record at least 100 or more wins five different times. Cox, who also posted his 1800th career win during the season, guided his team to its 11th consecutive division title. A stretch beginning on May 15, which saw the team win 60 of 80 games, allowed them to claim the division by 19 games and clinch earlier (Sept. 9) than they ever had.
Proving many critics wrong, the Braves overcame many early-season injuries and offseason losses to win their 13th consecutive division title.
Bolstered by a rotation that was led by Jaret Wright and Russ Ortiz, the Braves posted the Major Leagues' best staff ERA for the 10th time in 13 seasons.
Johnny Estrada proved to be an All-Star while filling Javy Lopez's shoes and youngsters like Charles Thomas and Nick Green provided a much-needed midseason spark that enabled the Braves to escape their early-season struggles.
Bobby Cox became the ninth manager to reach 2,000 career wins and John Smoltz set the franchise's all-time saves record.
Utilizing 18 different rookies, the Braves still managed to persevere through numerous injuries and capture their 14th consecutive division title. Andruw Jones, who led the Majors with a franchise-record 51 homers, provided and MVP-caliber season and youngsters like Jeff Francoeur and Brian McCann proved to be key midseason additions. John Smoltz's splendid work during the season's middle months showed he was quite capable of making the transition from closer back to the starting rotation.
Although their unprecedented streak of 14 consecutive division titles was snapped, there were some positives that developed for a relatively young Braves squad. Elder statesman John Smoltz anchored the starting rotation and tied for the National League lead with 16 wins. With Chipper Jones making three trips to the disabled list, Brian McCann, who earned his first Silver Slugger Award, and Jeff Francoeur, who joined Hank Aaron and Eddie Mathews as the only players in franchise history to enjoy a 100-RBI season before their 23rd birthday, picked up most of the slack. The bullpen woes that put the team in an early hole weren?t at least somewhat alleviated until closer Bob Wickman was acquired from the Indians after the All-Star break.
With a season-opening, three-game series sweep of the eventual division champion Phillies, the Braves began the 2007 season much differently than they ended it. Injuries certainly played a role as Mike Gonzalez was lost to Tommy John elbow surgery in May and Edgar Renteria missed most of August with a sprained right ankle. Renteria's injury came just two games after the Braves had acquired Mark Teixeira to bolster their lineup. Although he produced some impressive statistics, Teixeira was unable to prevent the Braves from missing the postseason for a second straight year.
On Aug. 15, manager Bobby Cox set a new Major League record by earning his 132nd career ejection. It came while arguing a called third strike against Chipper Jones, who lost his bid for his first career batting title on the season's final day.
With a rotation that included four former 20-game winners -- Tim Hudson, Mike Hampton, Tom Glavine and John Smoltz -- , the Braves seemed armed to make a return to postseason. But each of these veteran hurlers spent at least three months on the disabled list and three of them -- Hudson, Smoltz and Glavine -- underwent season-ending surgeries. For Glavine, who had spent the previous five seasons with the Mets, this was a season that proved to be a bittersweet homecoming.
Burdened also by injuries suffered by relievers, Peter Moylan and Rafael Soriano, the Braves never could take full advantage of a lineup that included Mark Teixeira and Chipper Jones, who hit .364 on the way to his first career batting title. When it became apparent that they couldn't overcome their multitude of injuries, the Braves sent Teixeira to the Angels, almost exactly one year after they'd acquired him in a trade deadline deal with the Rangers.
While Jeff Francoeur endured the worst season of his early career, Brian McCann continued to produce, earning his third All-Star selection and second Silver Slugger Award. While leading the team with 13 wins, rookie Jair Jurrjens provided great hope for the future.
While saying goodbye to both John Smoltz (in January) and Tom Glavine (in June), the Braves separated themselves from a storied past and allowed youngsters like Tommy Hanson and Jair Jurrjens give reason to believe this club could continue to be known for its strong pitching staffs.
With Javier Vazquez and Jair Jurrjens ranking among the game's top starters and Hanson living up to his tremendous expectations, the Braves found themselves with a starting rotation that was arguably deeper than all of those great ones that had been anchored by Smoltz, Glavine and Greg Maddux.
Because the Braves offense was a mess during the first three months of the season, the club wasn't able to fully take advantage of the early success enjoyed by Vazquez, Jurrjens and Derek Lowe, who struggled down the stretch and entered the offseason on the trading block.
Wren had accounted for his most glaring offseason needs with the acquisitions of Lowe, Vazquez and Kenshin Kawakami. When Jordan Schafer didn't live up to expectations in center field, the Braves scoured the trade market and landed Nate McLouth from the Pirates. One month later, they would once again make waves on the trade front by dealing Jeff Francoeur to the Mets for Ryan Church.
While McLouth and Church might not have lived up to expectations, the trade deadline deal that brought Adam LaRoche back to Atlanta provided the powerful spark the Braves needed during a season, when both Chipper Jones and Brian McCann both endured prolonged rough stretches at the plate.
LaRoche served as the final piece to a puzzle that started to take shape once Martin Prado and Matt Diaz were provided the opportunity to play on an everyday basis. This trio aided the late September run that kept the Braves alive in the Wild Card chase through the first few days of the regular season's final week.
Bobby Cox's final season as the Braves manager proved to be memorable as his club overcame a sluggish start and trying September before clinching the National League's Wild Card spot on the regular season's final day.
With Tim Hudson marching toward a successful comeback from Tommy John surgery and positioning himself as a legit Cy Young Award candidate, the Braves formed a rotation that proved plenty strong enough to support a lineup that was bolstered by the successful arrival of rookie phenom Jason Heyward.
Heyward electrified Turner Field when he hit a three-run homer with his first career swing on Opening Day. Over the next six months, the young outfielder would continue to create excitement in Atlanta and establish himself as one of the game's next superstars. He was elected to serve as one of the National League's starting outfielders in the All-Star Game, but was unable to fulfill the opportunity because of a thumb injury that hampered him most of the year.
The Braves endured a nine-game losing streak in late April and then managed to produce a surge that carried them to the top of the National League East standings by the end of play on May 31. Rookie left-handed reliever Jonny Venters and Omar Infante proved to be surprising contributors to a club that had a chance to confidently hand the ball to veteran closer Billy Wagner.
Wagner proved to be a successful offseason addition and despite struggling in the season's final three months, Troy Glaus certainly fit in this same category. Glaus and veteran utility man Eric Hinske fueled the strong May run that allowed the Braves to turn their season around.
Still Martin Prado proved to be the most valuable member of this club that was bounced by the Giants in the National League Division Series. When Prado suffered season-ending injuries (oblique and hip pointer) with five games remaining in the regular season, the Braves endured the blow they couldn't overcome.
When Chipper Jones tore his left ACL in August, the Braves offense took a serious hit. Still Cox's club persevered with its strong pitching staff and might have gone further had their injury-plagued campaign not forced them to enter the playoffs without both Jones and Prado.
A year after experiencing an epic September collapse, the Braves notched 94 wins and returned to the postseason for just the second time since their run of 14 consecutive division titles. Their abbreviated trip to the postseason consisted solely of a 6-3 loss to the Cardinals in what was the first one-game Wild Card playoff in National League history. This proved to be the final game in the storied career of Chipper Jones, who had announced in March that he would retire at the end of the season. Jones' walk-off home run against the Phillies on Sept. 2 capped a five-run ninth inning and stood as one of the most memorable moments of the season. Jason Heyward started to show his tremendous capabilities while hitting a career-high 27 home runs. The starting rotation finally found some stability during the second-half of the season. Mike Minor turned things around once July began and by the end of the month Kris Medlen had been transitioned from reliever to starter. Medlen posted a 0.97 ERA in his 12 starts. A Major League record was set on Sept. 30 when the Braves won the 23rd consecutive game that Medlen had started. Closer Craig Kimbrel received Cy Young Award consideration after notching 42 saves and recording 116 strikeouts in 62 2/3 innings.
On the way to winning their first division title since 2005, the Braves overcame a few significant injuries and the season-long struggles endured by their two highest-paid players -- Dan Uggla and B.J. Upton. After adding B.J. and his younger brother Justin Upton during the winter, the Braves entered the season excited about their offensive potential. But this club was keyed by the success of a resilient pitching staff that posted MLBs best ERA. Though the clubs top two projected setup men -- Jonny Venters and Eric OFlaherty -- underwent Tommy John elbow reconstruction surgery in May, the relief corps compiled a franchise record 2.46 ERA. The list of key injuries grew when veteran starting pitcher Tim Hudson fractured his right ankle on July 24. But two days later, the club began a 14-game winning streak that essentially erased any drama surrounding the National League East race. While Justin Upton produced a couple impressive stretches, the offenses most consistent contributors were Freddie Freeman, who finished fifth in the NL MVP balloting, and Chris Johnson, who entered the regular seasons final week leading the NL in batting average. On the way to becoming the youngest pitcher to record 50 saves, Craig Kimbrel set a franchise record by converting 37 consecutive save opportunities.