Posts Tagged ‘Atlanta Braves’

Atlanta Braves History: Six Braves hit 20 home runs in the season (September 20, 2003)

When Marcus Giles sends Brad Penny’s 3-2 pitch into the stands on September 20, 2003, the Atlanta Braves tie the National League record (held by the Milwaukee Braves) by having six players to hit at least 20 home runs in season. Along with the Atlanta’s second baseman, Javy Lopez, Gary Sheffield, Andruw Jones, Chipper Jones and Vinny Castilla.

This equals the mark established by Eddie Mathews (32), Hank Aaron (32), Joe Torre (27), Felipe Alou (23) Mack Jones (31) and Gene Oliver (21) of the 1965 Milwaukee Braves.

Atlanta Braves History: The Triumvirs and the reserve clause (1877)

1877 was pretty good for the Braves (then known as the Boston Red Stockings). They were 42-18 and ended in first. Arthur H. Soden is not a household name these days. He became one in 1877. He headed a group of three men who bought the Braves. The two other partners were William Conant and James Billings. Soden served as President of the club a long time, 30 years to be correct. He and the other two became known as the Triumvirs. If you know ancient history, that would be Caesar, Pompey and Crassus.

Some things last a long time. One of them was what was known as the “reserve clause” in baseball. It lasted almost 100 years. Soden is the man who wrote it into the leagues by-laws. It bound a player to his club no matter what. There was no such thing as “free agency” then. Even if another team wanted to pay them more, they couldn’t go unless their current team traded them. Of course, the “Four Seceders” had a little to do with that. The reserve clause wasn’t in place yet that year when manager Harry Wright decided that Tommy Bond should replace his pitcher Joseph Borden and the Joseph should be a groundskeeper.

In October 1969, St. Louis Cardinals outfielder Curt Flood challenged his trade to the Philadelphia Phillies. Flood sacrificed the remainder of his playing career to pursue this litigation. Flood’s case established that the reserve clause was a legitimate basis for negotiation in collective bargaining between players and owners, and that the historic baseball antitrust exemption was valid for baseball only and not applicable to any other sport.

Removing the reserve clause from player contracts became the primary goal of negotiations between the Major League Baseball Players Association and the owners. The reserve clause was struck down in 1975 when arbitrator Peter Seitz ruled that since pitchers Andy Messersmith and Dave McNally played for one season without a contract, they could become free agents. This decision essentially dismantled the reserve clause and opened the door to widespread free agency.

Atlanta Braves History: Rabbit Maranville starts at $125 a month (1911)

The third of five children, Walter James Vincent Maranville (Rabbit) was born on November 11, 1891, in Springfield, Massachusetts. His mother was Irish but his father and the Maranville name were French. Walter (then known as “Stumpy” or “Bunty“) attended the Charles Street and Chestnut Street grammar schools and played catcher during his one year at Technical High.

His father, a police officer, allowed him to leave school if he apprenticed for a trade, so at age 15 he quit to become a pipe fitter and tinsmith. To his father’s dismay, Walter devoted less attention to his apprenticeship than he did to baseball. He was playing shortstop for a semipro team in 1911 when Tommy Dowd, manager of the New Bedford Whalers of the New England League, signed him to a contract for $125 per month.

The 19-year-old shortstop batted .227 and committed 61 errors in 117 games. Not sure if that was worth the $125 a month or not.

Atlanta Braves History: The Braves snag Billy Southworth (1921)

In January of 1921, the Braves finally snagged Billy Southworth — one of three Pirates traded to Boston, with $15,000, for Rabbit Maranville. Billy wasn’t happy to be moving from a winning team to a loser. But he wound up signing a contract a few days later and was named captain of the team.

Southworth hit .308 for Boston that year. He was limited to 43 games in ’22 due to a dislocated knee, but in 1923 he accumulated a career-high 611 at-bats and hit for a .319 average. After the season, however, he was part of a trade with the Giants. It was a multiplayer deal, with Casey Stengel coming to Boston along with Dave Bancroft and Bill Cunningham in exchange for Southworth and hurler Joe Oeschger.

John McGraw had coveted Southworth since 1921, according to New York Times sportswriter Arthur Daley. But he waited until Billy had demonstrated that he had recovered from his knee injury.

Atlanta Braves History: Dale Murphy hits 3 home runs in 3 at bats (May 18, 1979)

August 4, 2012 1 comment

Dale Murphy, on May 18, 1979,  has 3 home runs in 3 at bats‚ knocking in 5 runs‚ to pace the Braves to a 6-4 victory over the Giants.

Dale shows that he can be an impact player. Great things would come for him over and over again. Pretty amazing.

Atlanta Braves History: Joe Adcock and Al Sprangler help Phillie lose 20 in a row (August 17, 1961)

August 2, 2012 1 comment

This is not the kind of record you want. On August 17, 1961, Philadelphia lost 20 in a row, a Major League record. It took 11 innings at County Stadium but they lost to the Milwaukee Braves 7-6. Al Sprangler singled home the winner.

This had to be discouraging since they had a 6-4 lead in the 8th when Joe Adcock slams a 2-run homer off Art Mahaffey to tie.

Atlanta Braves History: Chipper Jones names his son Shea (August 30, 2004)

August 1, 2012 1 comment

Now this is rich. Chipper Jones and his wife, Sharon, welcome their second child into the world on August 30, 2004, a 7 pounds, 14 ounces son.

The couple names the boy Shea, as a tribute to the New York ballpark where the Braves‘ third baseman has enjoyed tremendous success against the Mets. I can still envision games where they taunted Chipper by repeatedly calling him “Larry”, his Christian name.

You have to love this.

Atlanta Braves History: Dave Bancroft selected for the Hall of Fame (January 31, 1971)

January 31, 1971 was a great day in Atlanta Braves history. The Hall of Fame Special Veterans Committee selected 7 men for enshrinement: former players Jake Beckley‚ Joe Kelley‚ Harry Hooper‚ Rube Marquard‚ Chick Hafey‚ Dave Bancroft‚ and executive George Weiss.

Dave Bancroft was a Brave manager from 1924 to 1927. They finished 8th, 5th, 7th and 7th. I’m thinking he got for in the Hall of Fame for being a player not a manager.

Chipper Jones: Baseball cards 1991

July 29, 2012 1 comment

Many manufacturers would start to get into the Chipper Jones baseball card business in 1991. For obvious reasons, the Classic cards were considered minor league in quality and collector attention. When the 1991 sets from the major manufacturers were released, collectors across the country began to stock up on Chipper Jones cards. If he lived up to his promise and proved to be the second coming of Cal Ripken, Jr., then collectors everywhere would be able to put their children through college by selling a handful of Chipper cards.

From a numbers standpoint, Chipper’s career will eclipse that of Ripken. His rookie cards, however, can often be bought for mere pennies. It isn’t Chipper’s fault of course that Topps and Upper Deck were caught up in the era of rampant over-production. Although many collectors love to blame the 1994 strike for the collapse of the baseball card market, that was simply the moment the bubble burst. Value requires scarcity, and Chipper Jones rookie cards are as plentiful as water and air.

Pictured here are two of the better Chipper rookie cards. The Topps card is the classic bat on the shoulder pose. 1991 design isn’t overly impressive, but at least it doesn’t get in the way of the photograph. The Upper Deck card is even better. The picture showing Jones manning shortstop is especially nice. More than anything, I like that it looks like something is inflating inside his cap. Less successful is the card from Score. Generally speaking, cards with the backgrounds removed are almost always worse, but that’s not the only problem with the card. The design is bland, bordering on amateurish. There’s something off about the look on Chipper’s face. It just isn’t a very good card.

Atlanta Braves History: Fred Tenney in the most controversial game ever (September 23, 1908)

On September 23, 1908, Giants Pitcher Mathewson and Cubs Pitcher,  Three Fingered Brown, battle in the most controversial game ever played. Now, I would love to meet a pitcher named Three Fingered Brown.

The score is 1-1‚ with 2 outs in the last of the 9th. The Giants’ Harry McCormick is on 3B‚ and Fred Merkle (19‚ and making his first start of the year)‚ is subbing for the sore-legged veteran Fred Tenney‚ on 1B. Fred played for the Braves from 1894 to 1907.

Al Bridwell singles‚ scoring McCormick. Halfway to 2B‚ Merkle turns and heads for the clubhouse in center field. Johnny Evers secures a ball (Joe McGinnity swears he picked up the ball that was in play and threw it into the stands) and touches 2B as the crowd overruns the field. Umpire O’Day at 1B claims he didn’t see the play‚ but that evening he rules the run does not count‚ and the game ended with a tie score.

Years later‚ in an interview‚ Merkle will describe it this way: “When Bridwell shot that long single‚ I started across the grass for the clubhouse. Matty was near me. When Evers began shouting for the ball‚ he noticed something was wrong. Matty caught me by the arm and told me to wait a minute. We walked over toward 2B‚ and Matty spoke to Emslie. ‘How about this‚ Bob‚ is there any trouble with the score of the play?’ ‘It’s all right‚’ said Emslie. ‘You’ve got the game. I don’t see anything wrong with the play.’ Matty then took me by the arm and we walked to the clubhouse confident that we had won the game.”

Atlanta Braves History: Chipper goes 3-3 in 2000 All-Star game (July 11, 2000)

July 27, 2012 1 comment

At Turner Field on July 11, 2000, the AL beats the National League, 6-3, in the 71st All-Star contest, dubbed the All Scar game due to the many stars absent from both lineups because of injuries. Yankees’ shortstop Derek Jeter and Braves‘ third baseman Chipper Jones provide the offensive punch with both going 3-for-3.

It was sad to see Chipper at his last All-Star game this year.

Atlanta Braves History: Chipper Jones popup leads to triple play (June 15, 1996)

In the first inning of their 6-2 victory over the Braves on June 15, 1996, the Dodgers turn their first triple play in forty-seven years. After making a running, back-to-the-plate grab of Chipper Jones‘s popup to short left with runners on first and second, Juan Castro throws to second baseman Delino Deshields to double up Marquis Grissom, then the ball is relayed to first baseman Eric Karosto to get Mark Lemke, who was also running on the pitch.

Atlanta Braves History: 65 runs in 5 games (July 18, 2006)

With a 14-5 victory over the Cardinals on July 18, 2006, the Atlanta Braves become the first team since the 1930 Yankees to score ten or more runs in five consecutive games. During the streak, that includes two 15-run victories, Atlanta has tallied 65 runs.

This is stunning. And on my birthday to boot. 🙂

Atlanta Braves History: Eddie Matthews hits number 500 (July 14, 1967)

July 14, 2012 1 comment
Circa 1963 head shot photograph of American ba...

Circa 1963 head shot photograph of American baseball player Edwin Lee Mathews wearing a Milwaukee Braves cap. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

July 14 is a stunning day for Braves hitting number 500. Against Juan Marichal at Candlestick Park, Eddie Matthews hits home run #500 as an Astro on July 14, 1967. The former Brave third baseman, who hit 493 homers playing for the franchise in Boston, Milwaukee and Atlanta, becomes the seventh major leaguer to reach this plateau.

A year later, Hank Aaron would hit his 500th. What are the odds of that.

Atlanta Braves History: Hank Aaron hits number 500 (July 14, 1968)

July 14, 2012 1 comment
English: Milwaukee Braves outfielder and Hall ...

English: Milwaukee Braves outfielder and Hall of Famer Hank Aaron in a 1960 issue of Baseball Digest. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Hank Aaron is amazing. He is just moving along, hitting home runs and helping the Braves win.

Hank hits home run number 500 off Mike McCormick becoming the eighth major leaguer to reach this milestone on July 14,1968. ‘Hammerin’ Hank’s three-run homer over the left center field fence proves to be the difference as the Braves beat the Giants at Atlanta Stadium, 4-2.

Atlanta Brave History: National League and Dale Murphy beat the Junior Circuit (July 10, 1984)

July 10, 2012 1 comment

Now this will expose my bias but I am clear on that. You will see a lot of references to the All-Star game and the Junior Circuit. Who is the Junior Circuit? The American League of course. Who else would it be?

On July 10, 1984, National League beats the Junior Circuit at Candlestick Park, 3-1. Home runs hit by Expos‘ catcher Gary Carter, the game’s MVP, and Braves‘ outfielder Dale Murphy prove to be the difference in the 55th Midsummer Classic. Another reason I love Dale Murphy.

Candlestick Park was great. The new field for the Giants is very nice but Candlestick had a “nice feel” to it.

Atlanta Braves History: Tricky Nichols plays one game for the Braves (1876)

July 9, 2012 6 comments
Tricky Nichols

Tricky Nichols (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This is too good not to write about but there is not too much to write about. Most importantly, I love his name.  Frederick C. “Tricky” Nichols (July 26, 1850 – August 22, 1897) was a pitcher for six seasons from 1875 to 1882. He played for six teams: New Haven Elm Citys in 1875, Boston Red Caps in 1876, St. Louis Brown Stockings in 1877, Providence Grays in 1878, Worcester Ruby Legs in 1880, and Baltimore Orioles in 1882.

As best I can tell, he only played for the Braves in 1876 but he only pitched one game for us. He pitched a complete game and won it.

His record was 28-73 for his career. Not overwhelming with a .277% W-L record.

He died in his hometown of Bridgeport, Connecticut at the age of 47, and is interred at Lakeview Cemetery.


Atlanta Braves History: Joe Morgan goes 6-6 against the Braves (July 9, 1965)

July 8, 2012 3 comments

Joe Morgan sets an Astro record by going 6- for-6 at Milwaukee’s County Stadium on July 8, 1965 . The rookie second baseman’s stellar performance doesn’t stop the Milwaukee Braves from beating Houston, 9-8 that day.

Of course the Braves are now in Atlanta and we have the Milwaukee Brewers. Hard to keep up with it all some days. And the Astro’s no longer play at the Astro Dome. I saw lots of great games there when I lived in Houston.

Joe Morgan was a great though. Love to see him when he is announcing games.

Atlanta Braves History: Dave Bancroft argues with his manager (May 20, 1920)

July 8, 2012 1 comment
English: 1921 Exhibits Baseball Card of Dave B...

English: 1921 Exhibits Baseball Card of Dave Bancroft of the New York Giants (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When Dave Bancroft was at Philadelphia‚ on May 22, 1920, the Cubs outslug the Phils‚ 15-8. Renie Martin pitches the entire game for the Cubs‚ with both teams collecting 16 hits. Phils manager Gavvy Cravath lifts shortstop Dave Bancroft because of poor playing and the ensuing argument between the two almost comes to blows. Cy Williams has three hits‚ including a double a triple‚ and 4 runs scored.

He would come to the Braves in 1924. We could only hope he wouldn’t repeat this type of play.

Atlanta Braves History: Andy Leonard from 1876 – 1878

July 7, 2012 1 comment
English: Andy Leonard, Boston Red Stockings, 1...

Andy Leonard, Boston Red Stockings, 1874 left field (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Andrew (Andy) Jackson Leonard was born on Monday, June 1, 1846, in County Cavan, Ireland. Leonard was 29 years old when he broke into the big leagues on April 22, 1876, with the Boston Red Caps and played 3 seasons with them. He died on August 21, 1903 in Boston.

On July 7, 1871, the Olympics of Washington‚ at home‚ score 18 runs in the 6th and defeat Ft. Wayne‚ 32-12. Four players go to bat three times in the big inning-John Glenn‚ Andy LeonardAsa Brainard and George Hall. Leonard scores 3 times.

In Boston on June 14, 1873‚ 2‚000 spectators watch the Reds suffer a shutout for the first time in their history. Dick McBride of the Athletics holds the champions to only 2 hits. An unusual play occurs near the end of the game when Tim Murnane‚ who later as “Murnane” becomes a famous sports writer‚ avoids a tag by Andy by jumping over him to reach 2B. That may not have been too tough since I think he was only 5′ 7″ tall.

In 1877, At Boston’s South End Fair‚ he wins a gold watch valued at $300 for being voted the league’s “most popular player.” I’m not sure what the significance of receiving this on November 30.

Now with the  Cincinnati Reds on July 3, 1880, Andy makes 2 two-run errors to lose a game to Providence‚ 6-4. This will lead to Andy’s release‚ ending a career that dates back to the original Red Stockings of 1869.

Here’s what his pro career looked like.

Atlanta Braves History: Rico Carty was first write-in All-Star (July 7, 1970)

Rico Carty, the National League’s leading hitter, becomes the first player voted to play in the All-Star Game as a write-in candidate on July 7, 1970. The Braves outfielder name was left off the ballot that was drawn up by managers and general managers before the start of spring training.

Atlanta Braves History: Dale Murphy is picked by the Braves in the 1st round (June 5, 1974)

July 6, 2012 1 comment
Dale Murphy - Atlanta - 1983 Road

Dale Murphy – Atlanta – 1983 Road (Photo credit: BaseballBacks)

The June 5. 1974 draft produces just 725 picks‚ the fewest in history‚ and only 300 of these are from the college ranks‚ with the low number blamed on the introduction of aluminum bats this past season.

In the 1st round, with the 5th pick‚ the Braves select Dale Murphy. It is hard to know if they had a clue about the talent they just brought on board. Probably not. What a great pick it ended up being though.

The Padres‚ with their 3rd number-one free-agent pick in 5 years‚ select Brown University SS Bill Almon‚ the TSN College Player of the Year. They had selected him 3 years earlier out of high school‚ but he attended college instead. The Rangers take P Tommy Boggs with the 2nd pick and the Phils follow with prep OF Lonnie Smith. The Angels‚ picking 10th take the ill-fated Mike Miley‚ who quarterbacked LSU to a win in the Orange Bowl. the Tigers take Lance Parrish with the 16th pick‚ the Royals pick prep football star Willie Wilson with the 18th‚ and the Red Sox‚ picking 20th‚ take SS Eddie Ford‚ son of Whitey Ford. Picking next‚ the Dodgers get Rick Sutcliffe.

The Orioles‚ with the 24th pick in round 1 pick Rich Dauer‚ the top player for USC’s championship team; 4 of their other picks will end up in the NFL (QB’s Andy Johnson‚ Steve Bartkowski‚ and John Sciarra‚ and Anthony Davis). The Cards use a pick on the NFL Giants Brad Van Pelt‚ the 5th time he’s been selected. The Twins pick up prep C Butch Wynegar‚ who will make the AL All-star team at age 20.

And so, the Braves added to their roster a future star in 1974. Doesn’t always work out that way.

Atlanta Braves History: Chipper Jones breaks Dale Murphy’s home run record (July 5, 2007)

July 5, 2012 4 comments
English: Chipper Jones

English: Chipper Jones (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

At Dodger Stadium on July 5, 2007, Chipper Jones‘s two solo home runs is the difference in the Braves‘ 8-6 victory over Los Angeles. With his pair of round-trippers, the team’s third baseman surpasses Dale Murphy for the Atlanta team record of 372 homers.

Chipper will retire this year. I will miss him.

Atlanta Braves History: Game delay due to dog on the field (July 5, 1953)

July 5, 2012 1 comment

In their final season in Boston, on July 5, 1953, the Braves play in front of the largest home crowd of the season when 13,405 fans watch Brooklyn beat their team for the 12th consecutive time, a 5-3 complete-game victory by Carl Erskine. The most memorable moment of the contes

Brooklyn Dodgers at Braves Field

Brooklyn Dodgers at Braves Field (Photo credit: Boston Public Library)

t occurs in the second inning when the game is delayed because a small dog has to be escorted off the field by Dodger outfielders Carl Furillo and Duke Snider.

Atlanta Braves History: A gutsy move by Harry Wright (1877)

July 5, 2012 2 comments


English: Ezra Sutton, Boston Beaneaters, 3rd B...

English: Ezra Sutton, Boston Beaneaters, 3rd Base, 1879 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Ezra Sutton started with the Braves (then known as the Boston Red Caps) in 1877. He came to the Braves from Philadelphia. Manager Harry Wright placed the infielder in the lineup as a shortstop. That was a gutsy move since his brother George was currently playing the position. He moved George to second base. It was the only year George would not play shortstop.

It paid off for Harry. Sutton drove in 39 runs that year. That was good enough for third in the league that year. The Braves ended up winning the pennant 7 games ahead.

Atlanta Braves History: July 4, 1919

July 4, 2012 4 comments

My dad was born on this day. He loved the Atlanta Braves. They were the Boston Braves at this point. 1919 was not a great year for the Braves and July 4th would be fairly typical of the season. The played a double header on this day. They split the pair with the Brooklyn Dodgers. And so, my dad (Everett Wiley Wilson) was born and the Braves split a pair.

Atlanta Braves History: Tony Cloniger hits 2 grand slams (July 3, 1966)

In a 17-3 rout of the Giants on July 3, 1945, Tony Cloninger hits two grand slams in the same game and collects nine RBI’s in the Candlestick Park contest. The Braves’ pitcher is the first National league player to hit two home runs with the bases full in the same game.

Atlanta Braves History: Joe Adcock sets new record for total bases (1954)

July 2, 2012 3 comments

In the afternoon game on May 30, 1894‚ Boston 2B Bobby (Link) Lowe hits HRs in 4 consecutive at bats‚ including 2 in the 3rd inning‚ to lead his team to a 20-11 first-game conquest of Cincinnati and a sweep of the doubleheader. The homers came off Iceberg Chamberlain‚ and all were lofted over the 250-foot LF wall of Boston’s Congress Street Grounds‚ the Beaneater’s temporary home. Lowe also adds a single to total 17 bases for the game‚ a record tied but not beaten until Joe Adcock in 1954. After Lowe’s 4th homer‚ the crowd showers him with $160 in coins. There are 9 homers hit in the opener with Bug Holliday hitting 2. In the two games‚ Lowe’s teammate Herman Long sets a ML record by scoring 9 runs (5 runs in game 1)‚ which has since been tied only once. Lowe‚ who used the time between games of the twinbill to help himself to the shore dinner at the North Boston Railroad Station‚ will try the same meal tomorrow‚ but will go hitless.

Atlanta Braves History: April 19, 1919 second game of double header

And here are some details of the opening day game.

2B: R Maranville (1); A Wilson (1).

HBP: W Holke (1); J Kelly (1).

TB: B Herzog 3; R Maranville 2; A Wilson 2; R Powell; R Smith; T Miller; W Holke.

RBI: J Scott (1); B Herzog (1).

Team LOB: 12.


E: R Smith (1); W Holke (2); J Riggert (1); R Maranville (3).


SB: J Riggert (1, -1st base off  POCS).


Atlanta Braves History: Braves 4, Red Sox 1 – June 22, 2012

Great news for the Atlanta Braves last night. Jurrgens returned and did well. And, it was against Boston. Of course, Braves fans know that the Atlanta Braves started their franchise in Boston before there was a Red Sox team. While I am not a big fan of inter-league play, I love it when we play in Boston.

So Jair Jurrjens returned, and it was the Good Jurrjens, keeping the ball in the park, not walking people, but only getting a handful of strikeouts so you’re not too certain about his long-term outlook.

The game was scoreless through three when Matt Diaz grounded out to score Freddie Freeman, and Andrelton Simmons doubled home Jason Heyward (who was 3-4 with two doubles on the day) to make it 2-0. Simmons added an insurance run with a sac fly to score Heyward in the sixth.

Meanwhile, Jurrjens was cruising. He allowed a first inning single and a third inning walk, and that was it until the eighth. He allowed a leadoff double in that inning, and another double with two out to make it 3-1; Chad Durbin came in to get the last out. Freeman singled in Michael Bourn in the ninth to make it 4-1, and Craig Kimbrel had, yes, a 1-2-3 ninth for the easy save.

via Braves 4, Red Sox 1.

Atlanata Braves History: Braves 4, Blue Jays 3 – June 6, 2012

Great game last night. You always have to love a win in extra innings. I am very encourage with the Braves this year. They are hanging in there. Even with Chipper injured most of the season so far. Jason Heyward and Dan Uggla are impressive.

Is Jason Heyward waking up? He scored twice and drove in a run last night, one of the runs being a game winner.

The Braves’ first run came on a bases-loaded walk of Dan Uggla in the third, scoring Brandon Beachy, but Heyward flew out to end that threat. Beachy had a shutout going through five, but in the sixth allowed a leadoff homer to Jose Bautista and walked the next two, so Fredi brought in Chad Durbin. Beachy struck out six, but walked five, and threw 108 pitches in those mere five innings. Durbin let one of Beachy’s runs score to make it 2-1 Jays.

Uggla led off the bottom of the inning with a walk, and Heyward followed with a double to score him and tie the game. With two out, after pinch-hitter Freddie Freeman couldn’t get him home from third, Heyward scored on a balk to make it 3-2.

Jonny Venters walked a man, but otherwise was good in the seventh. The Braves blew a bases-loaded situation in the bottom of the inning, and in the eighth Eric O’Flaherty gave up the tying run, which scored on a Yunel Escobar groundout.

Craig Kimbrel pitched the ninth, allowing an infield single, and Cristhian Martinez pitched the tenth. Heyward led off the bottom of that inning with an infield single, and Jack Wilson bunted him to second. On his own initiative, Heyward stole third. The catcher threw the ball away and Heyward came around to win the game.

via Braves 4, Blue Jays 3 (10 innings).

Atlanta Braves History: Dan Uggla 2 run home run

Atlanta Braves’ Dan Uggla follows through with a two-run home run in the sixth inning of a baseball game against the Washington Nationals, Saturday, May 26, 2012, in Atlanta.

Crazy Stats From Last Night’s Braves-Phillies Game 18-13

The May 2 Braves Phillie game was crazy.  We won in extra innings. Here are some of the stats.

  • It was the highest-scoring extra-inning game in the Major Leagues since 2006.
  • It was the highest-scoring extra-inning game in the National League since July 4, 1985, when the Mets outlasted the Braves, 16-13, in 19 innings.
  • The only other major-league team in the past 30 years that won a game after rallying from a deficit of at least six runs and overcoming a separate disadvantage of four or more runs was the 1997 Mariners, in a 12-11 victory against the Rockies.
  • The last team to lose an 11+ inning game while scoring 13+ was the 116-win 2001 Mariners.
  • The last team to win in 11+ innings while scoring 13+ was managed by… Charlie Manuel, tonight’s losing manager.
  • This was the Braves’ 4th win since 1918 when allowing 13+ runs, and the 2nd in the last 60 years.
  • This was the first game in MLB history to end 15-13 in 11 or more innings (since 1918, anyway).
  • Roy Halladay gave up eight runs, the most he had allowed since surrendering nine on May 5, 2007 against the Rangers.
  • This is the first time in Halladay’s career that he’s given up more than 6 runs to an NL team.
  • Halladay was working with a 6-0 lead when he gave up six runs in the fifth inning and then two more in the sixth. He was 107-0 in his career in starts in which he was given a four-run lead. The Phillies, though, let him off the hook by rallying in the seventh.
  • The Braves had 3 bases-loaded hits all year coming into last night. They had 3 bases-loaded hits in the 5th inning of last night’s game… off Roy Halladay.
  • Brian McCann hit just the fourth grand slam ever given up by Halladay (Evan Longoria hit the last in 2008).
  • The I Hit A Slam Off Roy Halladay Club: Evan Longoria, Alfonso Soriano, Andy Sheets, and now Brian McCann.
  • That was the first homer allowed by Halladay in six starts this season.
  • Chipper Jones and Jason Giambi each hit game-ending home runs on Wednesday. It was the first day in major-league history on which two players age 40 or older hit walk-off homers.
  • Never before had two men, each with at least 400 career home runs to their credit, hit walk-off round-trippers on the same day.
  • Jones’s walkoff was his first since May 17, 2006 against the Marlins. It was the eighth of his career.

via Crazy Stats From Last Night’s Braves-Phillies Game – Talking Chop.

Atlanta Braves History: Jason Heyward’s fourth inning blast (2012)

Jason Heyward of the Atlanta Braves hits a fourth inning home run against the Milwaukee Brewers at Turner Field on April 15, 2012 in Atlanta, Georgia. All uniformed team members are wearing jersey number 42 in honor of Jackie Robinson Day.

Chipper is back

Chipper Jones hit a three-run homer in his return after missing two games, Brandon Beachy pitched seven strong innings and the surging Braves beat the Milwaukee Brewers 7-4 on Sunday for a three-game sweep.

Jackie Robinson Day 2012

Braves outfielders Michael Bourn and Jason Heyward were honored to once again wear the No. 42 on Jackie Robinson Day on Sunday.

Atlanta Braves History: Opening Day 2012

Tommy Hanson’s first opening day start was pretty good. Unfortunately Johan Santana, the Mets starter, did better as the Braves lost 1-0.

Santana was making his first start since September 2010 and as usual, he was stingy, allowing only one hit through the first four innings. The Braves threatened to score in the fifth, loading the bases on a double and two walks, but Santana escaped. They also put two on base in the sixth, but again failed to score.

The Braves were 0-for-6 with runners in scoring position.

That pretty much sums it up for the day. Great pitching, no hitting.

Atlanta Braves Report To Spring Training (FINALLY!)

February 19, 2012 Leave a comment

You have to love today. It is Happy Pitchers and Catchers day. Baseball is starting and none too soon!!

What seemed like an eternity since the Atlanta Braves made the final out against the Phillies is now in the past and fans can only look towards the upcoming season now. Which players emerge like Freddie Freeman did last season? Which players succumb to injuries for most of the year as Jason Heyward did? Do guys like Mike Minor, Julio Teheran and Arodys Vizcaino break out in 2012? We’ll know the answers to these questions and more in the near future.

On Sunday morning, Braves pitchers and catchers reported to Orlando for the first official team meet and to get a little work in. Many members from the roster showed up a few days early, most notably Jason Heyward and Chipper Jones. We have tweet updates, photos and some newsworthy bits after the page jump…

via Atlanta Braves Report To Spring Training (FINALLY!) – FairWeather Report – SB Nation Atlanta.

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Atlanta Braves History: Opening day April 19, 1919

February 19, 2012 Leave a comment

The Boston Braves opened the season at home in 1919 on April 19th.

Manager George Stallings ended up losing 5 to 2 against the Brooklyn Dodgers. This was the first game of a double header that day (They would also loose the second game as well). Dick Rudolph was the loosing pitcher. Rabbit Maranville and Art Wilson both had RBIs accounting for the Braves 2 runs. The Braves left 8 men on base missing scoring opportunities. The batting wasn’t too bad for the day with an average of .270 for the team. Dick Rudolph helped out going 2-4.

Atlanta Braves History: Joe Adcock hits a blast to center field at the Polo Grounds (1953)

February 13, 2012 Leave a comment

Some things aren’t easy. This was one of them. On April 29, 1953, Joe Adcock becomes the first ML player to homer into the Center Field bleacher seats in the Polo Grounds‚ over 475 feet away. His homer in the 3rd‚ with Pafko on‚ came off a Jim Hearn fast ball. Luke Easter‚ in a 1948 Negro League game‚ and Schoolboy Rowe‚ in batting practice before a 1933 exhibition game‚ also accomplished the feat.

Lou Brock and Hank Aaron will match it is as well in 1962. The Braves won the game 3-2 on a 9th-inning knuckler by Hoyt Wilhelm that eludes Sal Yvars for a wild pitch. Billy Bruton’s perfect throw cuts down Monte Irvin for the final out. After the game‚ manager Charlie Grimm buys Adcock’s homer for $25 from the fan who caught it. I wonder how much that is worth today?

Are the Atlanta Braves really that happy?

February 12, 2012 Leave a comment

With pitchers and catchers reporting to spring training one week from today, the Braves’ roster looks about the same as it did during the September swoon that kept them from the playoffs.

This disappoints me because I wanted general manager Frank Wren to shake things up. But players who endured one of the worst late-season collapses in history seem pleased to have the same cast as they crank things up again.

“I’m happy,” said closer Craig Kimbrel, National League Rookie of the Year after leading major league relievers with 127 strikeouts and tying for the NL lead with 46 saves.

“We have a good team. All the pieces are here. It’s not like we had to go out and get anybody. The team’s talented. We’re going to be fine. We’ve got a really good clubhouse; that’s a big part of having a good team. I’m glad we didn’t break that up.”

The Braves’ pitching staff, one of baseball’s best in 2011, could be even better if the Braves can stay reasonably healthy. They return all key members of the NL’s top-rated bullpen, led by Kimbrel, Jonny Venters and Eric O’Flaherty. Also back are their four best starters — Tim Hudson, Jair Jurrjens, Tommy Hanson, Brandon Beachy — and a group of young pitchers who will compete for the fifth rotation spot and one or two bullpen openings.

The Braves traded veteran pitcher Derek Lowe to Cleveland with a year left on his contract, agreeing to pay $10 million of his $15 million salary in order to turn the page after his second disappointing season and to open a rotation spot for a youngster from a group that includes Mike Minor, Julio Teheran and Randall Delgado.

Hudson had back surgery in November and will be brought along cautiously. He might not be ready at the season’s outset, but the Braves think the worst-case scenario is a return by early May.

Braves players understand we wanted change, even if some wanted change for change’s sake. Others were disappointed the Braves didn’t add the big outfield bat that general manager Frank Wren said he was looking for after the 2011 season. Wren says they could still add a hitter or fill other needs in the coming weeks, but the Braves will evaluate some of their own players during spring training to gauge those needs.

“Any time you struggle the way we did down the stretch, it’s the last thing anybody remembers,” said Venters, arguably the majors’ best reliever until his late slump contributed to the Braves’ 10-20 skid to the finish.

“[But] we had the fourth-best record in the game going in the last month. Our team’s great. The clubhouse chemistry is better than any that I’ve been a part of. I’m excited about the team.

“I think we have everything we need to be successful. I don’t think we needed to make any moves, and I think Frank did a great job with the way he approached the offseason and let it play out. I mean, we had some unfortunate things happen last year — Tommy getting hurt, J.J. [Jurrjens] got hurt, Brian [McCann] got hurt, [Martin] Prado. And then you had J-Hey [Jason Heyward]. He’s not going to do what he did [in 2011]. He’s too good of an athlete to not make the adjustments and figure it out.”

Jurrjens (knee) and Hanson (shoulder) missed most of the second half, and both are healthy now and without restrictions. Through July 9, Jurrjens and Hanson were a combined 22-7 with a 2.14 ERA in 33 starts. After July 9, they went 2-6 with a 6.75 ERA in 12 starts.

“There’s no doubt that our rotation was the strength of the team,” Venters said. “That’s why we [relievers] pitched so much because our starters kept us in so many games. If those guys stay healthy, there’s no telling. … I expect to be in the thick of the division race anyways. But having those two guys, they’re horses. They’re No. 1 starters on most teams.”

Jurrjens and left fielder Prado were at the center of many offseason trade rumors, but Wren said all along he wouldn’t trade key players in any deal unless it made the Braves better. The Braves didn’t sign a major league free agent from outside the organization.

“I don’t think any of us really expected [significant moves],” third baseman Chipper Jones said. “Nobody was going to be a free agent; everybody was coming back. The bottom line is, for 4 1/2, 5 months we were pretty dang good. We had the third- or fourth-best record in baseball. We were right there. We just didn’t finish it out. I think that’s the sour taste that everybody still has in their mouth — [everybody] that’s not inside this clubhouse.

“We’re confident that we can go out and still play the same brand. I really didn’t expect us to do anything position-player wise, other than maybe a move or two off the bench. I expected most of the movement that we made to be done in the pitching staff, and you’ve seen it. With the exception of D-Lowe, there hasn’t been much, period. We’re OK with that.

“You sit back and you watch some of the other teams in your division make moves, you’re thinking to yourself, ‘They’re getting better by the day.’ But that’s the nature of the beast. It really doesn’t mean anything.

“On paper it looks good for those people. It might sell a couple of extra tickets. But if you make all the moves and you look up at the end of July and you’re still five games under .500, it doesn’t do you a lot of good. We don’t plan on being in that spot.”

Atlanta Braves History: Dave Bancroft ruptures his appendix (July 1, 1924)

February 6, 2012 Leave a comment

1924 wasn’t a great year for the Boston Braves (now know as the Atlanta Braves). With a 53-100 record, they would finish 8th in National League. On July 1, the Braves’ player-manager Dave Bancroft ruptures his appendix. The future Hall of Fame short stop will not play again until September 10.

Some years are just like that. In baseball you can go from bad to worse. All you can do is persevere.

Atlanta Braves History – 1919 Summary

February 4, 2012 Leave a comment

1919 was not a very good year for the Braves. They were in Boston playing at Braves Field. The attendance for the year was 167,401 (7th of 8). Not overwhelming fan support.

They had a 57-82 record, finishing 6th in the National League. George Stallings is the manager. This is not George’s best year since he won the World Series in 1914. One more year and he will be out. Always sad to see that.

When you look at their run totals, that kind of tells the story. They scored 465 runs and allowed 563 runs.

I like the year 1919. Not because of the Braves because they kind of stunk but because my dad was born on July 4th in 1919. Because of that, I enjoy poking around what was going on with the Braves that year.

Atlanta Braves History: Sad trade for Dale Murphy (1993)

February 2, 2012 Leave a comment

April 3, 1993 was a sad day. The Rockies signed free agent veteran Atlanta Braves outfielder Dale Murphy. The two-time MVP will hit just .143 in 26 games for the Rocks. Unfortunately, I remember it. I wish he had simply retired in Atlanta.

Atlanta Braves History: Dale Murphy – An athlete who cared

February 1, 2012 Leave a comment

Dale Murphy’s clean-living habits off the diamond were frequently noted in the media. A devout Latter-day Saint, or Mormon, Murphy did not drink alcoholic beverages, would not allow women to be photographed embracing him and paid his teammates’ dinner checks as long as alcoholic beverages were not on the tab. He also refused to give television interviews unless he was fully dressed. Murphy had been introduced to the church by Barry Bonnell, a teammate early in his career.

For several years, the Atlanta Constitution ran a weekly column, wherein Murphy responded to young fans’ questions and letters. Murphy both advocated and financially profited from his reputation with frequent endorsements of family-friendly products such as milk, ice cream, and cameras in television commercials. In 1987, he shared Sports Illustrated magazine’s “Sportsmen and Sportswomen of the Year” award with seven others, characterized as “Athletes Who Care”, for his work with numerous charities.

Atlanta Braves CEO Terry McGuirk discusses payroll (Can we Moneyball it this year?)

January 31, 2012 Leave a comment

I don’t know what to make of this. I am generally a “Moneyball” fan but this level of commitment doesn’t seem like it will get the Atlanta Braves to where they need to go. It is interesting that this is half of what the Division winning Philadelphia team spent last year. What do you think? Can we “Moneyball” it this year?

The Atlanta Braves have set a player payroll budget of $94 million for this year, leaving them with several million dollars still to spend, the team’s chairman and CEO said.

Terry McGuirk, in a wide-ranging interview with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution in his Turner Field office, also said team owner Liberty Media has expressed no intention of selling the club.

And on another significant note, McGuirk disclosed that the Braves are locked into 25-year local TV contracts that will prevent the franchise from cashing in on Major League Baseball’s trend toward dramatically higher telecast rights fees.

The issues of payroll, ownership and TV rights are integral to the business of the Braves or any major professional sports franchise. Here is more of what McGuirk had to say about those topics:

McGuirk defended the Braves’ payroll, which ranks near the middle among MLB teams and has drawn sharp criticism from some fans during an offseason that has seen the team make no major acquisitions.

He said the Braves have “a little over $90 million right now” committed toward 2012 salaries and will reach the previously undisclosed $94 million budget, up slightly from last year, with acquisitions before or during the season.

“We will be spending 94 this year,” he said. “We’ve got a lot of young guys to look at in spring training. There are still decisions to be made.”

McGuirk said a $94 million payroll is the maximum amount supported by the Braves’ projected revenue, contending the team will operate at that level with “no profitability, no free cash flow.” The Braves ranked 15th in MLB in attendance last season, about the same as in payroll.

McGuirk acknowledged that a $94 million payroll “will look more like $84 million in actual players on the ground” because the team will pay $10 million toward pitcher Derek Lowe’s salary, even though Lowe — ineffective last season — was traded to the Cleveland Indians in October.

McGuirk made no apologies for the Braves’ payroll, which was barely half as large as NL East winner Philadelphia’s last season, or for their absence in recent years from competing for top-dollar free agents.

via | 01/29/2012 | Atlanta Braves CEO Terry McGuirk discusses payroll, ownership, TV deals.

Atlanta Braves History: Dale Murphy – Some after retirement activities

January 29, 2012 Leave a comment

Some players struggle with what to do after retirement. It can be a challenge when most of your life has been playing a sport. After retiring from baseball,  Dale Murphy served from 1997 to 2000 as president of the Massachusetts Boston Mission of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  He was said to be considering a run for Utah governor in 2004, but failed to generate enough interest within the Republican Party. In 2008, he was appointed to the National Advisory Board for the national children’s charity Operation Kids. He currently lives in Alpine, Utah. Murphy serves as a National Advisor to ASCEND: A Humanitarian Alliance.

In 2005 Murphy started a non-profit organization called the iWontCheat Foundation to promote ethical behavior, and deter steroid use and cheating in youth athletics. Since 2008 all players from the participating teams at the Little League World Series wear the “i WON’T CHEAT!” embroidered patch above the Little League Baseball logo on the left sleeve of their jerseys.

Atlanta Braves History: Dale Murphy – He is also an author

January 22, 2012 Leave a comment

Dale Murphy is talented in many ways. He has written three books. The first, The Scouting Report on Professional Athletics, elaborates details of the professional athlete’s lifestyle. Murphy discusses balancing career and family, working with agents, managing business affairs, serving one’s community, and preparing for retirement.

In his second book, an autobiography entitled Murph, he talked about his religious faith. He discussed the struggles of his early baseball career and how he overcame problems.

In 2007 Murphy wrote his third book, The Scouting Report for Youth Athletics, in response to what he saw as the increase in negative behavior in youth sports resulting from poor examples set by professional athletes. Included with each book is a 50-page insert which includes contributions from, among others, Peyton Manning, Dwyane Wade, Tom Glavine, and Danica Patrick. In a question-and-answer format, they discuss the lessons they learned from youth sports and how they apply the lessons today. There is also a physician-penned section about illegal performance-enhancing drug use in sports.

Murphy and his wife, Nancy, have eight children. They are sons Chad, Travis, Shawn, Tyson, Taylor, Jake, McKay and daughter, Madison. His son Shawn has played football for the National Football League.

Atlanta Braves History: Dale Murphy – His playing career

December 26, 2011 Leave a comment

In 1976 Murphy began his major league career with a nineteen game stint catching with the Atlanta Braves. He appeared in only eighteen games the following season. In 1978, Murphy played first base mostly. At the plate, he slumped to a .226 batting average, though he also showed hints of his future power by hitting 23 home runs.

Murphy switched to the outfield in 1980, a move that would help initiate a decade of highly productive play in the National League. Beginning in left field, he soon switched to center field, the position at which he would find his greatest success. By 1982, the most decorated year of Murphy’s career, the former bench-riding catcher had transformed himself into an All-Star MVP outfielder who appeared in each of Atlanta’s 162 games. His turnaround as a fielder was equally stark. In 1978, as a first baseman, Murphy had led all National League first-baggers in errors; in 1982, spending time at each of the three outfield positions, he won his first of five consecutive Gold Gloves.

Playing in the decade before the Braves began their unparalleled dominance of the National League East, Murphy also made his only postseason appearance in 1982, though the eventual World Series-champion St. Louis Cardinals eliminated the Braves in the first round of the playoffs. The league’s most valuable player failed to translate his regular season preeminence into October success, hitting safely but three times and scoring only one run. Murphy rebounded from the postseason sweep with another MVP award in 1983. The period ultimately proved the high-water era of Murphy’s career. Each year during the four season span from 1982 to 1986 he won a Gold Glove, appeared in the All-Star Game, and placed in the top ten in MVP voting.

In 1988, however, despite being voted to what would be his final All-Star appearance, Murphy’s production began an inexorable slide downward. Never a particularly high average hitter, Murphy saw his batting average free-fall from .295 in 1987 to .226 in 1988. Only once more, in 1991, would Murphy bat above .250. Once a consistent source of power at the plate, he never again hit even 25 home runs in a season. This fall off in production accompanied increased fragility. In the nine year span beginning with his first MVP season in 1982, Murphy missed an average of only three games each year; the final five years of his career found Murphy sitting out an average of over 90 games each season.

The Braves traded Murphy after fifteen seasons to the Philadelphia Phillies in 1990. Murphy’s three seasons with the Phillies were mostly uneventful, though in 1991 he did experience a return to at least reliability, if not excellence, by appearing in 154 games. In 1993, his final season, Murphy took a pay cut of over $2,000,000, down to the major league minimum, to join the Colorado Rockies for their inaugural season. During his last two years in the majors Murphy’s batting average lingered well beneath that mark of batting infamy, baseball’s Mendoza Line.

Atlanta Braves History: Dale Murphy – Some background

December 24, 2011 Leave a comment

So a little background on Dale (Bryan) Murphy. He was born March 12, 1956 in Portland, Oregon and  is a former Major League Baseball outfielder and first baseman. During an 18-year baseball career, 1976–1993, he played for three different teams, but is noted for his time with the Atlanta Braves.

Murphy won consecutive National League Most Valuable Player Awards in 1982–1983, the National League’s Silver Slugger Award four straight years 1982–1985, and the National League’s Gold Glove award five straight years 1982–1986.

Most important, I think, is that he was nicknamed the “Beeg Donkey” by Rico Carty.

Chipper Jones on the Braves chances

September 27, 2011 Leave a comment

Chipper Jones, after last night’s loss to Philadelphia, on if Braves still have what it takes to make it:

“Yes. no doubt. We can play tooth and nail with the best teams in the game. We’ve proven that. We proved it tonight with a guy who started the year in Double-A. He pitched great, we played good defense behind him. We swung the bats good in certain sections of the game, not so good in others. Again, when you’re running up against a Cy Young winner, he doesn’t make too many mistakes. I think we probably took advantage of the few that he did make.”

Playing baseball in a football stadium (2011)

September 20, 2011 Leave a comment

Chipper Jones and the Atlanta Braves are looking forward to playing in the Florida Marlins‘ new ballpark next year, especially after this difficult loss.

Jones lost Emilio Bonifacio‘s two-out chopper in the lights before Omar a game-ending homer off rookie closer Craig Kimbrel, giving the Marlins a 6-5 victory Monday night.

“You play baseball in a football stadium, I guess that happens from time to time, but it’s just extremely bad timing,” Jones said. “It’s a pretty helpless feeling when the game should be over and I had no clue where the ball was when it bounced.”

Atlanta now has dropped three of four, and its NL wild-card lead is down to 2½ games over surging St. Louis, which beat Roy Halladay and the Phillies 4-3 in Philadelphia. The Braves have eight games remaining, compared to nine for the Cardinals.

Some good news from Chipper

Atlanta Braves veteran Chipper Jones confirmed that he will return to play for the Braves in 2012, the Atlanta Journal Constitution reported. Jones’ announcement ended speculation that the 39-year-old third baseman might retire after this season and walk away with a year left.

Life without Phil Niekro. Atlanta Braves

Life without Phil Niekro. Atlanta Braves in 1984.

Braves win 3-0 over Giants

Tim Hudson made it sound so simple.

“I located my sinker really well, changed speeds with my cutter,” he said. “Change their eye level as much as I can. Stay down in the zone other than that.”

No big deal at all, just another victory for the tough right-hander.

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Atlanta Braves

Ian Desmond and Adam Dunn each homered, as the Washington Nationals edged the Atlanta Braves, 5-3, in the rubber match of a three-game series.

Scott Olsen (3-2), who was reinstated from the disabled list Thursday, got the victory after giving up three runs (two earned) on five hits and two walks in six innings.
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