The Atlanta Braves are one of the most storied franchises in baseball, let alone all of sports as they hold the title as the oldest continuously run American professional sports franchise. The story starts in 1876 in Boston where the team would remain up through 1952. During these 82 years, the franchise captured eight NL Championships and one World Series title in 1914 while going through a number of nicknames which included the Red Stockings, Beaneaters, Doves, Pilgrims, Braves, and Bees. When the fan base stared to decline, the Boston Braves relocated to Milwaukee in 1953. In their 13 years in Milwaukee, the Braves made consecutive World Series appearances in 1957 and 1958 behind hitting sensations and Hall of Famers Hank Aaron and Eddie Matthews. The Braves faced the New York Yankees both times with the Braves winning the first year and the Yankees the second.
In 1966, a new chapter in Braves history began as the franchise moved to Atlanta for the same reason that it left Boston. The Braves struggled in their new home throughout the 70’s and 80’s, but finally got on the winning track in the 90’s when Bobby Cox returned as manager. It all started in 1991 when the Braves won a thrilling pennant race with the Los Angeles Dodgers and advanced to the World Series after having compiled the worst record in baseball the year before. The Braves would end up losing the World Series that year, but the loss didn’t deter their winning ways as they would capture seven more division titles and one World Series title (1995) before the close of the century. Crucial to the Braves success over this stretch was their pitching staff which included Cy Young winners Tom Glavine, Greg Maddux, and John Smoltz. The end of the century also saw the emergence of third baseman Chipper Jones when he received MVP honors in 1999.
The Braves continued to be at the top of their division in the early years of the 21st century as their division title in 2005 was their 11th straight. But Atlanta didn’t quite have the same playoff success as the decade before as 1999 remains the last year that the team won the NL pennant. The 2005 season marked the end of nearly 15 years of dominating baseball by the Braves. The team has since only made one playoff appearance, which came in 2010 with a Wild Card berth. As Chipper Jones nears the end of his career, the Braves are now led by catcher Brian McCann and outfielder Jason Heyward. Fredi Gonzalez is the current manager since Bobby Cox retired at the end of the 2010 season.