This is the most complete record book ever written about the Atlanta Braves. It places every season and career record in batting, pitching, and fielding in chronological order.
Typical record books eliminate old records when new ones are created but this book never eliminates records, instead adding them to existing chronology lists so that no players or their records are ever forgotten and the history of records will forever be preserved.
Four never-before-seen features are offered. First are the “Chronology Lists,” which begin in the team’s first year of play, lists all original “Record Setters,” shows how long each record lasted before being broken, reveals every subsequent “Record Breaker,” and ends with the present record holder.
The second feature is the “Record Holders List,” which is shown at the end of each chapter listing the team’s top record producers.
The third feature is the “Record Profiles,” which is a total of the team’s top players’ records placed in individual profiles. This gives honor to the team’s greatest players.
The fourth feature is the “Composite Record Holders List” which is a compilation of every season and career record of every player in Braves history. Two lists are presented, one for players and one for pitchers. The lists begin with the player and pitcher with the most records and ends with those with the fewest records. Now for the first time, it will be learned exactly how many records each player has created. No one is left out; nothing could be more complete and easy to understand. This information was never before available.
Records are also presented for rookies and managers with a complete list of every Braves manager. The book ends with a list of Braves Hall of Famers.
THE SEASON HOME RUN CHRONOLOGY LIST
The best way to understand the chronology lists and their value is to see this history of the season home runs record.
This is the complete history of the season home run record. It may be surprising to see that only two home runs won the title in the first year of play, and it was shared by four players. The record was tied in 1877 by Deacon White and broken in 1879, when Charley Jones belted nine home runs.
In 1887, John Morrill became the next home-run champion by exciting Braves fans with a dozen round trippers. A year later his record was tied by Dick Johnston. A new champion was crowned in 1891 when Harry Stovey reached the seats 16 times and his record was broken by Hugh Duffy in 1894 with 18 dingers. This was a result of the mound being moved back to 60’6” and the fact that Duffy was a great player who would become a Hall of Famer.
Duffy’s fine record would stand for 34 years before broken by Rogers Hornsby, who hammered 21 long balls. This was a result of the live ball era and the fact that he too was a great player and became a Hall of Famer. In 1930, Wally Berger was the new home-run champion as he smashed 38 balls into the stands. His mighty record would last for 23 years before Eddie Mathews blasted 47 balls out of the reach of all outfielders. Then 18 years would go by before Hank Aaron would tie the record, and 34 years would fly by before Andrew Jones would become the present-day champion with 51 homers.
This represents the entire history of the Braves season home-run record. Nothing could be more complete. The entire book uses this chronology concept of record keeping in every category of batting, pitching and fielding. Now you see why we say this is the most complete record book ever written about the Atlanta Braves.
When the National League began play in 1876, the game was played before the invention of the radio, telephone, the light bulb and while General Custer was fighting in the battle of Little Big Horn, just two states away. One finds it difficult to believe we were playing baseball and fighting the battle of Little Big Horn at the same time. But as Casey Stengel said, “You could look it up.”
The team was called the “Red Stockings” from 1876 to 1882, during which time they won consecutive pennants in 1877 and 1888. From 1883 to 1906, the team was called the “Beaneaters.” When John Morrill took over in mid-season as first baseman in 1883, he led them to another pennant.
They won another pennant in 1891 under Frank Selee and repeated in 1892. Attempting to increase interest in the league and trying to bolster attendance, the owners decided to play a split season with the winners playing a “World Championship Series.” Selee’s team came out on top in a five-game series. This proved to be a bust and the split season was discontinued. Selee would bring home pennants in 1893, 1897, and 1898.
From 1907 to 1910 the team was called “The Doves.” The new name did no good and the team would not win another pennant until “The Miracle Braves” of 1914 with George Stallings as manager.
The name was changed to “The Rustlers” in 1911 and became known as the “Braves” for the first time in 1912. The name was changed to the “Bees” in 1936. The name change again did not help until 1948, when they won under Billy Southworth. The name was changed back to the Braves in 1941, now only cities would change as the team moved from Boston to Milwaukee.
The team won the World Series in 1957 and another pennant in 1958, but then would not win again until 1969, and that was only a division title. They did not win another division title until Joe Torre took over in 1982. They struggled until 1991, when Bobby Cox became the manager. He led them to 12 consecutive division titles but could win only one World Series in five tries. They have been in contention ever since and have had one of the richest traditions in baseball history.