Technically the Braves started playing baseball in 1903 although the actual “Braves” name didn’t stick until 1941. Prior to that, they were the Boston Beaneaters, Doves, Rustlers, Braves, Bees, and finally Braves again.
In 1953 they moved and became the Milwaukee Braves. It was 1966 when they became the Atlanta Braves. until the 1990’s it was a slow start only making the playoffs in 1969 (the teachers let us watch playoff games in school) and then again in 1982.
In 1914 the Boston Braves won the 12th World Series defeating the Philadelphia Athletics in 4 games. This was the first World Series that was won in 4 games. The Braves were in last place on July 4th but won the National Leauge Pennennat by 10.5 games – dubbed “Miracle Braves”. War hero and Boston Brave, catcher Hank Gowdy hit .545 (6 of 11) with five extra-base hits and also drew five walks for Boston in the series and was the difference maker in Games 1 and 3.
Boston wouldn’t make the playoff again until 1948 when they played in but lost the World Series, in six games, to the Cleveland Indians. They had pitcher Johnny Sain who after retiring as a player, spent many years as pitching coach for the Athletics, Yankees, Minnesota Twins, Detroit Tigers, Chicago White Sox, and Atlanta Braves. Their manager was Billy Southworth who is in the Baseball Hall of Fame.
The 1948 Boston Braves (and Milwaukee) also had pitcher Warren Spahn. The lefty served in World War II and held the record for strikeouts until 1975 and still holds the record for most wins by a left-handed pitcher. He is in the Baseball Hall of Fame and The Atlanta Braves Hall of Fame. It would be a shorter dry spell until the Milwaukee Braves would win the World Series in 1957 against the New York Yankees in seven games.
There were a few Hall of Famer’s to mention in that game like Hank Aaron, Red Schoendienst, Warren Spahn, and Eddie Mathews for the Braves and Casey Stengel (mgr.), Yogi Berra, Whitey Ford, Mickey Mantle, and Enos Slaughter for the Yankees. This was also the first World Series since 1948 that a team from New York did not win.
The next year 1958 (the year I was born) the Milwaukee Braves made the World Series again. This time the Yankees won their 18th title in 7 games again. This game was announced on NBC TV by Curt Gowdy and Mel Allen.
Mickey Mantle and Hank Aaron
In 1969, the now “Atlanta Braves” made the playoffs. The announcers for radio and TV were now Ernie Johnson, Milo Hamilton, and Bob Uecker. Players included pitchers Phil Niekro, Pat Jarvis, Ron Reed, Cecil Upshaw, Hoyt Wilhelm, Milt Pappas, infielders Clete Boyer, Orlando Cepeda, Felix Millan, and outfielders Hank Aaron, Felipe Alou, Dusty Baker, Rico Carty, Ralph Garr, and Mike Lum.
Thirteen years later, in 1982, they made the playoffs again. Now owned by Ted Turner and on Superstation TBS and seen nationwide. Pete Van Wieren, Darrel Chaney, and Skip Carey had joined the TV/Radio announcers. Joe Torre was now the Braves manager with coaches Tommie Aaron and Bob Gibson. Players included pitchers Rick Camp, Gene Garber, Rick Mahler, Phil Niekro, Pascual Pérez, Bob Walk, catchers Bruce Benedict, Biff Pocoroba,
infielders Chris Chambliss, Bob Horner, Glenn Hubbard, Randy Johnson, Jerry Royster, and outfielders Brett Butler, Terry Harper, Dale Murphy, and Claudell Washington.
The Atlanta Braves hit the low of lows in the coming years winning as few as 54 games in 1988. But look out, here come the 90s. In 1991 the Braves would make it to the World Series again. Don Sutton would join the TV/Radio team as they took on the Minnesota Twins who would win it in 7 games. Now the Braves manager was Bobby Cox and coaches Ned Yost, Leo Mazzone, Pat Corrales, and Jim Beauchamp.
The players were pitchers Steve Avery, Tom Glavine, Charlie Leibrandt, Rick Mahler, John Smoltz, Mark Wohlers, catcher Greg Olson, infielders Rafael Belliard, Jeff Blauser, Sid Bream, Jeff Treadway, outfielders Ron Gant, Tommy Gregg, David Justice, Otis Nixon, and Deion Sanders.
They would play the World Series the next year, 1992, but lose to Toronto Blue Jays in 6 games. In 1993 the Braves made the playoffs. In 1995 they would take home the World Series trophy again beating the Cleveland Indians in 6 games.
They would add the mastery of pitcher Greg Maddux, catchers Javy López, Charlie O’Brien, Eddie Pérez, infielders Chipper Jones, Mark Lemke, Fred McGriff, outfielders Marquis Grissom, and Ryan Klesko.
The Braves would play the World Series the next year, 1996, losing to the New York Yankees in 6 games. They would make the playoffs the next two years and then play for the World Series again in 1999 losing to the New York Yankees again in 6 games.
For the next 6 years (2000 – 2005) the Atlanta Braves made the playoffs and again in 2010 and 2012 – 2013. This leads us up to the last three years (2018-2020) making the playoffs once again.
Hall of Famer Greg Maddux threw out the first pitch, Adam Duvall hit the first World Series grand slam since 1960, and World Series MVP Jorge Soler hit a game six homer out of Minute Maid Park as the Braves defeated the Houston Astros for the 2021 World Series.
The Atlanta Braves are managed by 45-year Braves system veteran Brian Snitker. Players include pitchers Ian Anderson, Jesse Chavez, Max Fried, Luke Jackson, Tyler Matzek, Charlie Morton, Will Smith, catchers William Contreras, Travis d’Arnaud,
infielders Ozzie Albies, Freddie Freeman, Austin Riley, Dansby Swanson, outfielders Adam Duvall, Terrance Gore, Guillermo Heredia, Joc Pederson, Eddie Rosario, and Jorge Soler. The Braves not only won the match-up but defeated the Astros 7-0 in Houston for the trophy.
I’d like to dedicate this post to my Dad, Ira Tatum. He was always a Braves fan, starting with the Atlanta Crackers. He was lucky to work for Friendly Ford in Decatur who had the whole row above the Braves dugout for many years. We went to many games and he never missed one either on the radio or television. I know he would be very proud of the 2021 Braves.Doyle Tatum