The Atlanta Braves have a rich and storied history dating back to their origins in Boston. Established in 1871 as the Boston Red Stockings, they became one of the charter members of the National League in 1876. Over the years, the team underwent several name changes and relocations, moving to Milwaukee in 1953 and eventually settling in Atlanta in 1966. The move to Atlanta marked a significant moment in the franchise’s history, aligning with the broader trend of teams relocating to the South during that era.
In Atlanta, the Braves experienced remarkable success, particularly during the 1990s. Led by legendary manager Bobby Cox, the team captured an unprecedented 14 consecutive division titles from 1991 to 2005.
This era showcased the talents of iconic players like Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine, and Chipper Jones, solidifying the Braves as a perennial force in the National League. The Braves went on to win the World Series in 1995, securing their place in baseball history and adding another chapter to their compelling narrative in 2021 winning the World Series for a 4th time. Here are the 25 most influential figures in Atlanta Braves history.
Widely regarded as one of the greatest baseball players in history, Hank Aaron, nicknamed “Hammerin’ Hank,” spent the majority of his illustrious career with the Braves. He holds the record for career home runs and earned numerous accolades, including MVP awards.
A lifelong Brave, Chipper Jones is an iconic switch-hitting third baseman. He played his entire 19-season career with Atlanta, amassing over 2,700 hits and earning multiple All-Star selections and a National League MVP award.
Known for his incredible control and baseball IQ, Greg Maddux dominated as a pitcher for the Braves. He won four consecutive Cy Young Awards from 1992 to 1995 and played a pivotal role in the Braves’ success in the 1990s.
Another key figure in the Braves’ dominant pitching rotation of the 1990s, Glavine was a two-time Cy Young Award winner and played a crucial role in the team’s World Series victory in 1995.
The third member of the Braves’ pitching trio in the ’90s, John Smoltz was a Cy Young Award winner and the only pitcher in MLB history with over 200 wins and 150 saves. His versatility and success set him apart.
An iconic figure in Braves history, Dale Murphy was a two-time MVP as an outfielder. He was known for his power, defensive prowess, and leadership both on and off the field.
A legendary left-handed pitcher, Spahn spent the majority of his career with the Braves in Boston and Milwaukee. He holds the record for most wins by a left-hander in MLB history.
Known for his exceptional outfield skills and power-hitting, Andruw Jones played a crucial role in the Braves’ success during the late 1990s. He won multiple Gold Glove and Silver Slugger awards.
An integral part of the Braves’ franchise, Eddie Mathews was a powerful third baseman who played a key role in the team’s move to Milwaukee. He was a 12-time All-Star and hit over 500 home runs in his career.
Famous for his knuckleball, Phil Niekro had a remarkable career with the Braves. He holds the record for the most career victories by a knuckleball pitcher and was a five-time All-Star.
A cornerstone of the modern Braves, Freddie Freeman has been a consistent force at first base. He was named the National League MVP in 2020, highlighting his offensive prowess and defensive skills.
Javy Lopez was a standout catcher for the Braves during the 1990s. He was a three-time All-Star and played a key role in the Braves’ World Series win in 1995.
A key contributor to the Braves’ success in the early ’90s, David Justice was an outfielder known for his power-hitting. He earned two All-Star selections during his time with the Braves.
Bobby Cox (manager)
Serving as the Braves’ manager for over two decades, Bobby Cox led the team to numerous division titles and a World Series championship in 1995. He is one of the most successful managers in MLB history.
Brian McCann, a six-time All-Star catcher, spent the majority of his career with the Braves. Known for both his offensive and defensive skills, he played a crucial role in the team’s success.
Although he played only a short time with the Braves, Smoky Burgess was a prolific hitter. As a catcher and pinch-hitter, he contributed significantly to the team’s success in the late 1950s.
Gene Garber was a reliable relief pitcher for the Braves during the late 1970s and early ’80s. His durability and effectiveness made him a key part of the bullpen.
As a young left-handed pitcher, Steve Avery played a crucial role in the Braves’ pitching staff during the early ’90s, contributing to the team’s success in multiple postseasons.
Rafael Furcal was a dynamic shortstop for the Braves, earning Rookie of the Year honors in 2000. His speed, defensive skills, and offensive contributions made him a fan favorite.
Sid Bream is remembered for his iconic slide in the 1992 NLCS, sending the Braves to the World Series. He was a dependable first baseman during his time with the team.
Otis Nixon’s exceptional speed and defensive abilities as an outfielder made him a valuable asset for the Braves during the early 1990s.
Marcus Giles was a standout second baseman known for his offensive contributions. He earned an All-Star selection in 2003 and played a key role in the infield.
A reliable shortstop for the Braves during the 1990s, Jeff Blauser was known for his defensive skills and consistent offensive production.
Ron Gant was a power-hitting outfielder for the Braves in the late ’80s and early ’90s, contributing both with his bat and speed on the basepaths.
Julio Franco played for the Braves in multiple stints, showcasing his longevity as a hitter. As a versatile player, he contributed as both an infielder and designated hitter.