The best moments of Atlanta Braves baseball also include some of the best moments in all of baseball. The team, which has a history that dates back to the 19th century, has featured some of the greatest players and moments of all time.
The latest, greatest moment for the Braves came in defeating the Houston Astros in the 2021 World Series. But in the years since moving to Atlanta in 1966, the Braves have played a central role in some of the biggest dramas in baseball, including Hank Aaron’s historic home run and one of the greatest comebacks of all time.
A Brief Look at Braves History
The Braves have a history that dates back in an unbroken line to the Boston Red Stockings, formed in 1871. The team became a charter member of the National League in 1876. They became the Boston Beaneaters between 1883 and 1906, the Boston Doves from 1907 to 1910, the Boston Rustlers in 1911, the Boston Braves from 1912 to 1935, then the Boston Bees from 1936 to 1940. They switched back to the Boston Braves in 1941.
While the team has kept the Braves name since then, they have switched cities twice. In 1953, the team moved to Milwaukee, playing there from 1953 through 1965. In 1966, the team moved to Atlanta.
The following looks at some of the best moments of Atlanta Braves baseball since the team settled in Georgia.
Ted Turner Buys the Braves
This didn’t take place on the field, but it became a major turning point in Braves history and one of the franchise’s best moments. The Braves had struggled in Atlanta. Some talked about moving the team to another city. Ted Turner, who owned the cable station WTBS, wanted the team to stay in Atlanta because it was a central part of the station’s lineup. So, he bought the team. Adopting the nickname “America’s Team” – much like the Dallas Cowboys had done in the NFL – the Braves built a national audience through broadcasts on TBS, much like the Chicago Cubs did with WGN. Turner sold the team to Liberty Media in 2007.
From Worst to First
The Braves truly came into their own in 1991. After a last place finish in 1990, the Braves, led by manager Bobby Cox, won the National League West when both leagues had only two divisions. They then went on to beat the Pittsburgh Pirates in a thrilling National League Championship Series, becoming the first team in baseball history to win the NL pennant after finishing in last place the year before. They lost to the Minnesota Twins in a World Series decided in extra innings in Game 7. But the 1991 Braves team started an incredible run that saw the Braves win division titles in 14 of the next 15 years, including five NL pennants and a World Championship.
Francisco Cabrera Hits, Sid Bream Slides
In a play that Braves fans refer to as “The Slide,” veteran Sid Bream scored a game-winning and series-winning run from second with two outs in the bottom of the 9th inning after third-string catcher Francisco Cabrera laced a hit into left field. Pirate outfielder Barry Bonds threw to the catcher slightly offline toward first base. Bream, one of the slowest runners in baseball with surgically repaired knees, slid just slightly ahead and under the tag by Pirates catcher Mike Lavalliere. The Braves had entered the inning down 2-0, with the Pirates just three outs away from a trip to the World Series. Bream’s score ranks not only as one of the best moments in Braves history, but one of the best in all of MLB history. Many consider the Braves’ 9th inning as the greatest comeback in baseball history.
World Championship For Team of the ‘90s
When Marquis Grissom caught the final out in the 1995 World Series against the Cleveland Indians, giving the Braves a championship, announcer Bob Costas said: “The team of the ‘90s has its world championship!” That summed up what had been an exhilarating and sometimes frustrating run for the Braves in the ‘90s. The 1995 club included many of the players that were central to the Braves success that decade, including Tom Glavine, Greg Maddox, John Smoltz, Chipper Jones, David Justice, Mark Wohlers, Rafael Belliard, Ryan Klesko, Javy Lopez, and Fred McGriff.
Hank Aaron Hits 715
Hank Aaron broke Babe Ruth’s career home run record on April 8, 1974. At the age of 40, Aaron had played his entire career as a Brave, starting in 1953 in Milwaukee (he ended up playing the last two years of his career with the Milwaukee Brewers in 1975 and 1976). He endured hate mail throughout the off season before breaking the record. However, many people came forward to condemn the racism, including Ruth’s widow, Claire Hodgson. Aaron is one of the greatest to ever play the game and he wore a Braves uniform while he hit 733 of his 755 career home runs.
These represent some of the best moments in Atlanta Braves baseball. A storied franchise, expect the Braves to continue playing an important role in MLB in the future.