History of the Atlanta Braves

After the Cincinnati Red Stockings disbanded in 1869, their player-manager, Harry Wright, joined with the owner of the Boston Red Stockings to form a better, new team. One of the major players on this revived team was pitcher Al Spalding, who later went on to establish Spalding sporting goods. The revitalized Boston Red Stockings became a successful team in the National Association of Professional Base Ball Players, winning four out of five league championships. In 1876, when the National League was established, the team's name was changed to the Boston Red Caps, a name that lasted only six years.

The Boston Red Caps began a winning streak in 1877 when they won the National League pennant. They won it again in 1878 and then in 1883, after changing the team's name to the Boston Beaneaters. The Boston Beaneaters won a total of six National League pennants from 1883 until 1898. The team's success, however, came to an end at the start of the 20th century with the establishment of the American League's Boston Red Sox. The owners of the team lured away the best players from the Beaneaters and the team went from a winning team to a losing one. Even changing the team's name three more times did not help. The Beaneaters became the Boston Doves (1907), then the Boston Rustlers (1911) and, finally, the Boston Braves in 1912.

Two years after becoming the Boston Braves, the team made an amazing comeback and, in 1914, the Boston Braves won the National League pennant and went on to defeat the Philadelphia A's in the World Series. The following year, the team began the new season in a brand new stadium, Braves Field, that had a record-breaking seating capacity of 40,000.

Unfortunately, the 1914 win and a new ball park did not lead to success for the Boston Braves. Even acquiring the great Babe Ruth in 1935 did not turn things around for the team. Ruth retired from baseball on June 1st of that year and the Braves ended up with their worst season, winning only 38 games and losing 115 games.

At the end of 1935, new owners took over the Boston Braves and renamed the team the Boston Bees. This name lasted four years and, in 1941, the team became the Boston Braves again. Seven years later, the team had improved significantly, in large part due to the pitching of Warren Spahn and Johnny Sain. The team won the National League pennant in 1948 but ended up losing the World Series. The next few seasons were not good for the team and, when attendance at games decreased, the owner of the Braves, Lou Perini, moved the team to Milwaukee in 1953.

The Milwaukee Braves prospered the first few years in their new home. They still had Spahn pitching and they had two great hitters in Hank Aaron and Eddie Mathews. In 1957, the team won the pennant and faced the powerhouse Yankees with Yogi Berra, Mickey Mantle and Whitey Ford in the World Series. The Milwaukee Braves won the World Series in 1957 and the following year, they won the National League pennant but lost their second chance at the World Series to the Yankees.

The Braves stayed in Milwaukee until 1966 and then the new owner moved the team to Atlanta. The team did not do well in Atlanta, but the fans still went to the game to see Hank Aaron, especially as he neared Babe Ruth's home run record in 1973.

In 1976, the Atlanta Braves gained a new owner - Ted Turner. Two years later, the Braves acquired Bobby Cox as a manager and a new young player named Dale Murphy. The team, however, still didn't win the pennant and Cox was replaced in 1981 by Joe Torre. Five years later, Cox returned as general manager and, in 1990, Cox went back to managing the team from the dugout.

Cox built up the Atlanta Braves with young players, including Tom Glavine, John Smoltz and Chipper Jones. The Braves' domination of the National League began with the 1991 season and lasted until 2005, with the Braves winning 14 division championships, 5 league pennants and one World Series (1995).

The Braves fell to the power of the Philadelphia Phillies from 2006 through 2009, but they emerged as the National League Wild Card leaders in 2010 and 2012. Unlike some other teams that keep consistent lineups, the Braves keep changing theirs with only a few remaining players, like Brian McCann and Tim Hudson, from the Braves of just a few years ago. These constant changes might be the reason the Braves have been unable to move past the initial round of playoff games even though they have had good season records in recent years.

Source for Information
Wikipedia - Atlanta Braves