One of the most storied clubs in the history of baseball, The Atlanta Braves came into the league in 1871 as the Cincinnati Red Stockings. As a charter member of the National Association of Professional Base Ball Players , they are recognized as the oldest continually playing team in American Sports History. With the help of the “Father of Baseball” Harry Wright, the team would win six of the first eight National Association Flags. In the 1890’s the franchise would win three more titles. The team would. The team would become known as the Boston Beaneaters or The Red Caps. In 1906, the Beaneaters changed their name to the Doves and, after a long drought over a 10-season period, won again in 1914 after completing an amazing last to first to win the NL Pennant. The Doves then swept a heavily favored Philly team to win the World Series. In 1911, the team changed names again to the Rustlers and in 1912, Team owner James Gaffney changed the team name to longstanding moniker Braves.
The year 1919 saw the “World’s Greatest Athlete” Jim Thorpe join the team. Later in the year, George Washington Grant buys the team outright. In 1935, Babe Ruth joined the club to finish out his career. By June of that year, Ruth removed himself from the lineup and officially retired after batting .181 with only 7-homers. The following year the Doves would again change moniker to the Bees and their field was renamed National League Park and was commonly referred to as the “Beehive”. In 1941, the franchise would change their name one last time to the Braves.
1948 saw the Braves win the NL Pennant behind the pitching of Johnny Sain and Warren Spahn which spawned the now famous poem “Spahn and Sain and Pray for Rain”. The two would lead the team all the way to the 1948 World Series against the Cleveland Indians. The Braves would lose the seri3s and not long after, in 1953, the franchise moved to Milwaukee where the team’s farm club the Brewers resided). The team was welcomed with open arms and responded by posting a 96-62 record and attracting a (then) National League record 1.8 million fans.
Throughout the 1950’s, the franchise would build up an offensive team that would include sluggers Hank Aaron and Eddie Mathews and anchored by a bullpen of Spahn, Lew Burdette and Bob Buhl. 1957 saw Hank Aaron win the MVP leading the league in home runs and RBI’s. The team found themselves in the World Series for the first time in 40 plus years and they defeated a team of Yogi Berra, Mickey Mantle and Whitey Ford. Burdette would give up only two earned runs through three complete games. A year later, the Braves again won the NL Pennant and faced the New York Yankees in the World Series. The Braves got off to a quick start taking the first three games. The Yankees would storm back to take the series on the arm of Yankee Pitcher Bob Turley. After finishing in a tie with the Dodgers a year later, the Dodgers would go on to represent the National League and ended up beating the Chicago White Sox.
The Braves remained competitive until team owners sold the club to a group led by William Bartholomay and focused in on the city of Atlanta where a new $18 million, 52,000 ballpark awaited them. The Braves finished the move in 1966. For the next ten seasons the Braves remained competitive but didn’t produce any World Series titles. Then in 1977, Media mogul Ted Turner who owned and operated Superstation WTBS bought the team in order to keep them in Atlanta. Utilizing his network, Turner groomed the Braves to become “America’s Team” of baseball.
Not until 1995 would the Braves come back to greatness as they defeated the Cleveland Indians for the World Series in a strike shortened season. Between 1991 and 2005, the Braves would win their division with the exception of 1994 and in the 90’s, three Braves Pitchers were award the NY Cy Young Award; Tom Glavine in 1991, Greg Maddux in 1992 and John Smoltz in 1996. Glavine would win again in 1998. In 1996, Time Warner inherited the Braves after buying out Superstation TBS and sold it outright to Liberty Media in May of 2007.
In their time in baseball, the Braves have amassed 3 World Series Titles, 17 National League Pennants, 4 National Association Pennants, 11 Eastern Division Titles, 5 Western Division Titles and 1 Wild Card berth.
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