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(Atlanta Braves)

(Atlanta Braves)

2023 Season

Season Preview: The Braves will have their work cut out for them in the super-tough NL East, but most experts pick them to win the division. Their big move over the winter was a trade for Sean Murphy, an excellent all-around catcher. Otherwise, they plan to let their young stars play. Ronald Acuna, Matt Olsen, Austin Riley, Michael  Harris, and Ozzie Albies give the team an awesome batting order. Spencer Strider, Max Fried, and Charlie Morton lead a pitching staff that includes a deep bullpen. Most of the Braves’ top prospects are in the big leagues now, but there are still some quality players in the minors if the team needs help.


2022 Season

Season Recap: The Braves were one of baseball’s best teams in the second half of 2022, making them a hot pick to win the World Series. That dream ended in the Division Series with a three-game sweep by the Phillies. Atlanta finished with 101 wins thanks to superb pitching by Kyle Wright, who led the NL with 21 victories, and Max Fried, who was an All-Star for the first time. The Braves also got amazing seasons from a pair of rookies, Michael Harris and Spencer Strider. Austin Riley led the club with 38 homers, newcomer Matt Olsen was tops with 103 RBIs, and Ronald Acuna recovered from a serious injury to swipe a team-high 29 bases.

October 04, 2022: Michael Harris was named NL Rookie of the Month for September. It was the third time in 2022 that Harris won the award.

September 18, 2022: Rookie spencer Strider became the fastest ever to strike out 200 batters. He fanned number 200 in his 130th inning. The previous record was set by Hall of Famer Randy Johnson.

Season Preview: When a World Series champion loses a team leader like Freddie Freeman, winning another title is almost impossible. However, the Braves have enough talent to make it happen. They traded for Matt Olson to replace Freeman at first base and are rock-solid at all of the other positions—including slugger Auston Riley at third and NL RBI leader Adam Duvall in center field. Marcell Ozuna returns following a suspension and Ozzie Albies looks like a possible MVP candidate. Atlanta’s pitching looks good, with Max Fried and Charlie Morton atop the rotation and Will Smith heading up a rebuilt bullpen.

2021 Season

Season Preview: Atlanta and New York should go down to the wire in their battle for the NL East crown. The Braves have a lights-out pitching staff starring Ian Anderson, Charlie Morton, Max Fried, and Mike Soroka, along with sluggers Freddie Freeman, Marcell Ozuna, and Ronald Acuna Jr.

2020 Season

November 12, 2020: Freddie Freeman was named National League Most Valuable Player. He joined Chipper Jones (1999), Terry Pendleton (1991), Dale Murphy (1982 & 83) as Braves’ MVPs since the club moved to Atlanta in 1966.

Season Recap: The Braves won the NL East and powered their way to a 3 -games-to-1 lead over the Dodgers in the National League Championship Series. Atlanta could not seal the deal, however, and lost the series in 7 games. It was a disappointing finish to an exciting season. The offense was led by young Ronald Acuna Jr. and two veteran stars, Freddie Freeman and Marcell Ozuna. Freeman led the NL in runs and doubles, while Ozuna led in home runs, RBIs and total bases. Pitcher Max Fried was unbeaten in 11 starts, going 7–0, and veteran Mark Melancon did a good job as the team’s closer.

September 9, 2020: Adam Duvall hit three homers in a game for the second time in 8 days to lead Atlanta to a 29–9 win over the Marlins. The 29 runs were the most scored by a National League club since 1900. Duvall became the only player to homer with one man on, two men on, and three men on—in that order.

September 1, 2020: Marcell Ozuna socked three balls over the wall against the Red Sox. He was the first National League player in history to hit three homers at Fenway Park.

Season Preview: No team has more exciting young stars than the Braves. Ronald Acuna Jr., Ozzie Albies, and Mike Soroka are all under 25. Freddie Freeman, Max Fried, Dansby Swanson and newcomer Marcell Ozuna are all 30 or younger. There isn’t much room for error in a 60-game season, so Atlanta will have to get off to a good start to win the NL East.

2019 Season

Season Recap: Atlanta’s young pitchers got the job done all year and the team had a great mix of young and old players in the everyday lineup. Veterans Freddie Freeman, Josh Donaldson, Nick Markakis led young stars Ozzie Albies, Dansby Swanson, and Ronald Acuna Jr. into battle as the club won 97 games. Mike Soroka and Max Fried were the Braves’ best hurlers, but the pitching did not hold up against the Cardinals in the playoffs, as Atlanta lost 3 games to 2.

August 23, 2019: Ronald Acuna Jr. stole his 30th base of the year against the Mets. Having already belted 36 homers, he became the youngest National Leaguer ever to join the 30–30 club.

Season Preview: The Braves were surprise winners of the NL East in 2018. They won’t surprise anyone in 2019. The league now knows their young stars Ozzie Albies and Ronald Acuna—and veteran slugger Freddie Freeman—so Atlanta will have to keep improving to win again. The pitching staff is the club’s greatest weakness, but there are some good young arms ready to blossom. Whether they do so this season remains to be seen.

2018 Season

Season Recap: The young Braves were the surprise team in the early part of the season, and ket up their pace all year to win the NL East. Ozzie Albies and Freddy Freeman led a good lineup that grew stronger with the arrival of rookie Ronald Acuna, who hit a team-high 26 homers in just 111 games. Mike Foltynewicz and Sean Newcomb led a young pitching staff to a 90-win season, but they could not hold off the more experienced Dodgers in the opening round of the playoffs.

August 27, 2018: Rookie Ronald Acuna hit his 20th homer against the Pirates. Acuna and second baseman Ozzie Albies became the first teammates in history to hit 20 homers in the same season before turning 22.

Season Preview: The Braves are oozing with young talent, and history says they won’t be afraid to throw their prospects into action at the big-league level. The DP duo of Dansby Swanson and Ozzie Albies has All-Star possibilities, while veterans Ender Inciarte and Freddie Freeman are proven run-producers. Outfielder Ronald Acuna is one of the brightest rookies in the league. If the Braves’ young pitchers hold their own, Atlanta fans could be buying tickets for the postseason.

2017 Season

Season Recap: The Braves played much better than their 72–90 record suggests. The team kept games close and got solid seasons out of Arodys Vizcaino, Matt Adams, Ozzie Albies, Ender Inciarte, and Freddie Freeman, who missed two months with a broken wrist.

April 4, 2017: The Braves played their first game in SunTrust Park in Cumberland, Georgia. They defeated the Padres, 5–2. Ender Inciarte recorded the first hit in the team’s new stadium.

August 3, 2017: Nick Markakis collected his 2,000th career hit in a game against the Dodgers.

2016 Season

November 1, 2016: After a poor first half, the Braves were tough to beat in the second half. Freddie Freeman had a great year and shortstop Dansby Swanson hit .300 in his rookie season. Young pitchers Mike Foltynewicz and Julio Teheran gave fans hope for an exciting 2017.

October 5, 2016: The Braves had a successful rebuilding year. They developed several young pitchers, including Matt Wisler and Mike Foltynewicz, and were tough to beat in September. Freddie Freeman had his best season, leading Atlanta with 34 homers, 91 RBIs, 102 runs, and a .302 average.

2015 Season

October 14, 2015: The Braves set aside 2015 as a rebuilding year, and it showed in the end with a fourth-place finish. Their bright spots including solid seasons from pitchers Shelby Miller and Julio Teheran, and hitters Freddie Freeman and Andrelton Simmons.

April 5, 2015: The Braves are putting a number of untested players on the field in 2015, but there is no lack of talent in Atlanta. Shortstop Andrelton Simmons and first baseman Freddie Freeman are two of the top infielders in the NL, and newcomers Nick Markakis is a dangerous hitter. Atlanta’s pitching staff is led by Julio Teheran and Shelby Miller, who came in a winter trade for Jason Heyward.

2014 Season

November 1, 2014: The Braves finished under .500 for only the third time in 20 years. Their offense was not consistent, nor was their pitching. However, the future looks bright thanks to the up-and-coming who saw plenty of playing time in 2014, including Christian Bethancourt, Tommy La Stella, and Alex Wood.

September 28, 2014: Craig Kimbrel led the NL in saves with 47. He became the first pitcher to lead the league in saves four years in a row since Bruce Sutter in 1982.

April 8, 2014: The team wore throwback uniforms on this day to commemorate Henry Aaron’s 715th home run 40 years earlier.

March 31, 2014: Pitching injuries have many Atlanta fans ready for a disappointing season, but they also know you can never count the Braves out—especially with Craig Kimbrel closing games out of the bullpen. Freddie Freeman is an elite hitter and Jason Heyward isn’t far behind. If the Upton brothers and Dan Uggla turn in good years, the Braves could sneak into first place—or at least snag a Wild Card spot.

2013 Season

December 9, 2013: Former manager Bobby Cox was elected to the Hall of Fame. His record with Atlanta was 2,149–1,709. Cox won four pennants and one World Series as manager of the Braves. He manged the team twice, from 1978–1981 and again from 1990–2010.

October 1, 2013: The Braves entered 2013 with great uncertainty about their lineup. As the season wore on, it became clear that they had quality players in Chris Johnson, Evan Gattis, Julio Teheran, and Mike Minor. This quartet helped the Braves grab a hold of first place in April, and they never let go. Freddie Freeman was the team’s star of star, proving that he was one of baseball’s finest clutch hitters. Craig Kimbrel was money in the bank in the ninth inning for Atlanta, with 50 saves. Atlanta made it to the playoffs, but fell to the Dodgers in the first round.

August 21, 2013: Craig Kimbrel reached 40 saves for the third year in a row. He is the first player with 40 saves in each of his first three big-league seasons.

March 30, 2013: Baseball brothers B.J. and Justin Upton lead the Braves into battle in 2013—the first season since the mid-1990s that fans will not see Chipper Jones’s name written on the lineup card. Tim Hudson leads a quality pitching staff, and there is more help on the way in the minor leagues, where the Braves are loaded with pitching prospects.

2012 Season

October 6, 2012: The Braves got great pitching all year and finished with 94 victories. That earned the team a spot in the Wild Card game, but they lost to the St. Louis Cardinals 6–3. All-time great Chipper Jones used the season to make a “farewell” tour and received loud ovations wherever he played. Jones retired as the only switch-hitter in history with 2,500 hits, 1,500 RBIs, 1,500 runs, and 1,500 walks. Jones and Hall of Famer Frankie Frisch are the only switch-hitters with a .300 average from both sides of the plate.

October 3, 2012: The Braves beat the New York Mets behind the pitching of Chris Medlen. It was the 23rd victory in a row for Atlanta in games started by Medlen. That broke the record of 22 games, shared by Hall of Famers Carl Hubbell and Whitey Ford. Medlen was the NL Pitcher of the Month for August and September.

April, 2012: The team’s 2011 shortstop, Alex Gonzalez, signed a free agent contract with the Milwaukee Brewers over the winter. That means veteran Jack Wilson and rookie Tyler Pastornicky will probably compete for the 2012 job in Spring Training. Pastornicky was a .300 hitter in the minor leagues last summer.

More Go-To Guys

This 1932 card of Wally Berger came with caramel candy. (U.S. Caramel)

This card of Johnny Sain was made by Bowman a year after he pitched the Braves to the pennant.  (Bowman Gum Co.)

Rico Carty signed this photo. I loved to watch him hit when I was a kid. (Author’s Collection)

  • Vic Willis — Pitcher
    Born: 4/12/1876
    Died: 8/3/1947
    Played for Team: 1898 to 1905
    Vic Willis liked to finsh what he started. He still holds the modern record for complete games, with 45 in 1902. Willis had one of the game’s finest curveballs.

  • Rabbit Maranville — Shortstop
    Born: 11/11/1891
    Died: 1/5/1954
    Played for Team: 1912 to 1920 & 1929 to 1935
    Rabbit Maranville was one of baseball’s best young shortstops when he played for the Braves the first time, and one of the best veterans when he rejoined the club at the age of 37. He was one of the game¹s most well-liked and highly respected players for more than 20 years.

  • Wally Berger — Outfielder
    Born: 10/10/1905
    Died: 11/30/1988
    Played for Team: 1930 to 1937
    Wally Berger was one of the NL’s most feared power hitters in the 1930s. In 1933, Babe Ruth said Berger was the finest center fielder in baseball. Berger’s league record of 38 home runs as a rookie has never been surpassed.

  • Tommy Holmes — Outfielder
    Born: 3/29/1917
    Died: 4/14/2008
    Played for Team: 1942 to 1951
    Tommy Holmes was stuck behind three All-Stars with the New York Yankees, so when the Braves got him he was ready to play. Holmes hit over .300 five years in a row with the team and was runner-up in the NL MVP voting in 1945.

  • Johnny Sain — Pitcher
    Born: 9/26/1917
    Died: 11/7/2006
    Played for Team: 1942 & 1946 to 1951
    Johnny Sain was one of baseball’s craftiest pitchers and the owner of a dazzling curveball. He led the league in wins in 1948 and was an NL All-Star twice. When the Braves traded him to the New York Yankees in 1952 they received Lew Burdette in return.

  • Joe Adcock —  First Baseman
    Born: 10/20/1927
    Died: 5/3/1999
    Played for Team: 1953 to 1962
    Joe Adcock had awesome power. He was the first player to hit a home run into the center field seats at New York’s Polo Grounds, and he once hit four homers in a game. Adcock was also an excellent fielder.

  • Felipe Alou — Outfielder
    Born: 5/12/1935
    Played for Team: 1964 to 1969
    Felipe Alou could play any outfield position and hit any pitcher. He led the league in hits twice as a Brave. In 1966, the only player in the NL with a higher batting average was his brother, Matty.

  • Ralph Garr — Outfielder
    Born: 12/12/1945
    Played for Team: 1968 to 1975
    Ralph Garr had a remarkable talent for hitting the ball through holes in the defense. Once on base, he was almost impossible to keep from stealing. Garr batted .317 as a Brave and was the NL batting champ in 1974.

  • Rico Carty — Outfielder
    Born: 9/1/1939
    Played for Team: 1963 to 1972
    If Rico Carty had been able to avoid illness and injury, there is no telling what he might have accomplished. He nearly won the batting title as a rookie in 1964. Carty did win the NL batting championship in 1970, with a .366 average. Carty lost the entire 1968 season to tuberculosis and the entire 1971 season to a knee injury. He batted .317 in his eight years with the Braves.

  • Joe Torre — Catcher
    Born: 7/18/1940
    Played for Team: 1960 to 1968
    Joe Torre became the team’s regular catcher at the age of 20 and was an All-Star at 22. He was the NL’s starting catcher in the Midseason Classic four years in a row. In 1966, Torre batted .315 with 36 homers and 101 RBIs, and he threw out half the runners trying to steal on him. In 1982, Torre returned to the Braves as their manager. They won their first 13 games and went on to become NL West champions that fall.

  • Ron Gant — Outfielder
    Born: 3/2/1965
    Played for Team: 1987 to 1993
    Few players combined speed and power the way Ron Gant did. He became just the third player after Willie Mays and Bobby Bonds to have two 30-homer, 30-steal seasons in a row. At the peak of his career, Gant broke his leg in an ATV accident and was never the same player again.

  • Freddie Freeman — First Baseman
    Born: 9/12/1989
    First Year with Team: 2010
    Freddie Freeman was given the team’s starting first base job at the age of 21. He hit 22 homers that season and finished second to teammate Craig Kimbrel in the NL Rookie of the Year voting. Freeman led the NL in hits in 2018 and was named league MVP during the 2020 season.

  • Ronald Acuna Jr. — Outfielder
    Born: 4/25/1997
    First Season with Team: 2018
    Ronald Acuna Jr. was named Rookie of the Year in 2018 and then led the NL in runs and stolen bases in 2019. He is one of the most feared hitters and base runners in the game.

More Fun Facts

This card of Tommy Holmes comes from the same set as the Johnny Sain card. (Bowman Gum Co.)

    Tommy Holmes had one of the greatest years in team history in 1945. He led the NL in hits, home runs, and doubles, and also had a 37-game hitting streak. It was the longest streak in the NL since 1900. Holmes was almost impossible to strike out that season. He fanned only nine times.

    In the first three months of the 1974 season, Ralph Garr simply could not be stopped. He set a record with 149 hits at the All-Star Break and went on to win the batting title. Garr’s nickname was “The Roadrunner” because he was also very fast.

    In 1970, baseball fans were amazed to see that Rico Carty’s name had been left off the All-Star ballot. Carty was having his greatest season. Fans around the country wrote in his name when they voted, and Carty ended up starting in the outfield along with Hank Aaron and Willie Mays.

    In 1943, Johnny Sain pitched against 48-year-old Babe Ruth in a fund-raising game at Yankee Stadium. It was Ruth’s final at bat in an organized baseball game. Four years later, Sain faced the Brooklyn Dodgers on Opening Day in 1947. The second batter he faced was Jackie Robinson, who was playing in his first major league game.

League Leaders

Hank Aaron went by “Henry” when this stamp came out in 1955. (Golden Stamps)

Chipper Jones cracks a smile during a spring training game against the Philadelphia Phillies. Chase Utley is in the background. (Black Book Partners)

Warren Spahn had a record in the Auravision set from the 1960s. I loved these cards. You could put them on a record player and hear the guys talk. They were given out by the neighborhood ice cream man, and you could also get them by sending in Yoo-hoo labels.  (Auravision)

Greg Maddux stays warm in the Atlanta dugout between starts. (Black Book Partners/John Klein)

  • Home Runs
    1879 — Charley Jones — 9
    1880 — John O’Rourke — 6
    1891 — Harry Stovey — 16
    1894 — Hugh Duffy — 18
    1897 — Hugh Duffy — 11
    1898 — Jimmy Collins — 15
    1900 — Herman Long — 12
    1907 — Dave Brain — 10
    1910 — Fred Beck — 10
    1935 — Wally Berger — 34
    1945 — Tommy Holmes — 28
    1953 — Eddie Mathews — 47
    1957 — Hank Aaron — 44
    1959 — Eddie Mathews — 46
    1963 — Hank Aaron — 44
    1966 — Hank Aaron — 44
    1967 — Hank Aaron — 39
    1984 — Dale Murphy — 36
    1985 — Dale Murphy — 37
    2005 — Andruw Jones — 51
    2020 — Marcell Ozuna — 18

  • Batting Average
    1877 — Deacon White — .387
    1894 — Hugh Duffy — .440
    1928 — Rogers Hornsby — .387
    1956 — Hank Aaron — .328
    1959 — Hank Aaron — .355
    1970 — Rico Carty — .366
    1974 — Ralph Garr — .353
    1991 — Terry Pendleton — .319
    2008 — Chipper Jones — .364

  • Runs Batted In
    1877 — Deacon White — 49
    1879 — Charley Jones & John O’Rourke — 62
    1894 — Hugh Duffy — 145
    1935 — Wally Berger — 130
    1957 — Hank Aaron — 132
    1960 — Hank Aaron — 126
    1963 — Hank Aaron — 130
    1966 — Hank Aaron — 127
    1982 — Dale Murphy — 109
    1983 — Dale Murphy — 121
    2005 — Andruw Jones — 128
    2020 — Marcell Ozuna — 56

  • Stolen Bases
    1950 — Sam Jethroe—  35
    1951 — Sam Jethroe — 35
    1953 — Bill Bruton — 26
    1954 — Bill Bruton — 34
    1955 — Bill Bruton — 25
    2011 — Michael Bourn — 61*
    2019 — Ronald Acuna — 37

    * Bourn also played with the Houston Astros in 2011.

  • Wins
    1877 — Tommy Bond — 40
    1878 — Tommy Bond — 40
    1881 — Jim Whitney — 31
    1889 — John Clarkson — 49
    1896 — Kid Nichols — 30
    1897 — Kid Nichols — 31
    1898 — Kid Nichols — 31
    1948 — Johnny Sain — 24
    1949 — Warren Spahn — 21
    1950 — Warren Spahn — 21
    1953 — Warren Spahn — 23
    1957 — Warren Spahn — 21
    1958 — Warren Spahn — 22
    1959 — Warren Spahn — 21
    1960 — Warren Spahn — 21
    1961 — Warren Spahn — 21
    1974 — Phil Niekro — 20
    1979 — Phil Niekro — 21
    1991 — Tom Glavine — 20
    1992 — Tom Glavine — 20
    1993 — Tom Glavine — 22
    1994 — Greg Maddux — 16*
    1995 — Greg Maddux — 19
    1996 — John Smoltz — 24
    1997 — Denny Neagle — 20
    1998 — Tom Glavine — 20
    2000 — Tom Glavine — 20
    2003 — Russ Ortiz — 21
    2006 — John Smoltz — 16
    2022 — Kyle Wright — 21

    * The 1994 season was shortened by a labor dispute.

  • Strikeouts
    1877 — Tommy Bond — 170
    1878 — Tommy Bond — 182
    1883 — Jim Whitney — 345
    1889 — John Clarkson — 284
    1902 — Vic Willis — 225
    1949 — Warren Spahn — 151
    1950 — Warren Spahn — 191
    1951 — Warren Spahn — 164
    1952 — Warren Spahn — 183
    1977 — Phil Niekro — 262
    1992 — John Smoltz — 215
    1996 — John Smoltz — 276

  • Earned Run Average
    1877 — Tommy Bond — 2.11
    1879 — Tommy Bond — 1.96
    1889 — John Clarkson — 2.73
    1896 — Kid Nichols — 2.83
    1899 — Vic Willis — 2.50
    1937 — Jim Turner — 2.38
    1947 — Warren Spahn — 2.33
    1951 — Chet Nichols — 2.88
    1953 — Warren Spahn — 2.10
    1956 — Lew Burdette — 2.70
    1961 — Warren Spahn — 3.02
    1967 — Phil Niekro — 1.87
    1974 — Buzz Capra — 2.28
    1993 — Greg Maddux — 2.36
    1994 — Greg Maddux — 1.56
    1995 — Greg Maddux — 1.63
    1998 — Greg Maddux — 2.22

Playing for the Championship

1914 Philadelphia A’s Won 4–0
1948 Cleveland Indians Lost 4–2
1957 New York Yankees Won 4–3
1958 New York Yankees Lost 4–3
1991 Minnesota Twins Lost 4–3
1992 Toronto Blue Jays Lost 4–2
1995 Cleveland Indians Won 4–2
1996 New York Yankees Lost 4–2
1999 New York Yankees Lost 4–0

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