Chipper Jones

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Posted by kaori 05/05/2009 @ 02:09

Tags : chipper jones, baseball players, baseball, sports

News headlines
Play by play - USA Today
None on with two outs and Chipper Jones due up. Out: Chipper Jones grounded out to first to end the inning. Out: Alex Rodriguez flied out to right. None on with one out and Robinson Cano due up. Hit-by-pitch: Robinson Cano was hit by a pitch....
> Brian MacPherson's Sox Beat: Talking hitting with Mr. Jones - The Union Leader
BOSTON – It might not seem like it, but there was a time when Chipper Jones didn't have a perfect approach at the plate. The defending National League batting champion struck out more than he walked in Double-A and Triple-A, as well as in each of his...
Jones, Cox, O'Flaherty ejected in finale - MLB.com
By Mark Bowman / MLB.com BOSTON -- When Chipper Jones uncharacteristically lost his cool on Sunday afternoon at Fenway Park, he was bothered by home-plate umpire Bill Hohn's strike zone and further incensed by what he perceived as Hohn's desire to...
Play by play - USA Today
None on with two outs and Chipper Jones due up. Out: Chipper Jones grounded out first to the pitcher to end the inning. Out: Alex Rodriguez lined out to center. None on with one out and Robinson Cano due up. Out: Robinson Cano flied out to left....
Chipper: Not facing Smoltz for the best - MLB.com
By Mark Bowman / MLB.com CINCINNATI -- Strictly from a competitive standpoint, Chipper Jones would have enjoyed the opportunity to challenge himself against John Smoltz. But at the same time, the Braves third baseman wasn't crushed when the Red Sox...
Johnson leaves game with leg cramps - MLB.com
He was forced to leave Monday's game when he experienced cramping in both legs while running to third base on Chipper Jones' fifth-inning double. The Braves announced his status as day-to-day. While assessing Johnson's inability to avoid extended...
1996 World Series: Game 5 - Subway Squawkers
Pettitte countered by getting Marquis Grissom and Mark Lemke to swing through strike threes and then retiring Chipper Jones on a long fly to left. Smoltz and Pettitte both allowed baserunners in the second inning, but each avoided trouble with two...
Gameday Live 70: Yankees at Braves - Newsday
Chipper Jones walked to put runners on the corners for McCann, who doubled off the wall in left-center to score Escobar and give the Braves a 1-0 lead. It was McCann's second hit tonight, 13th double of the year and 29th RBI....
Chipper steals show in Hanson's debut - MLB.com
Staring at the possibility that Chipper Jones' two-homer performance would go unrewarded at Turner Field on Sunday afternoon, the Braves produced a three-run eighth inning that enhanced Nate McLouth's comfort level and allowed them to claim an 8-7 win...
Q and A with Braves slugger Chipper Jones - FOXSports.com
Of all the players who appeared with the Braves in the 1995 World Series, only Chipper Jones is still with the team. Over 14 years, that type of turnover is to be expected. Of all the players who appeared for the Braves in the 2005 National League...

Chipper Jones

ChipperJones.jpg

Lawrence Wayne "Chipper" Jones, Jr. (born April 24, 1972 in DeLand, Florida) is an American Major League baseball player. Although initially a shortstop, he has spent most of his career as the starting third baseman for the Atlanta Braves. In 2002 and 2003, Jones primarily played left field before returning to third base in 2004.

Jones debuted in 1993 and has played his entire career with the Atlanta Braves. Chipper won the 1999 National League Most Valuable Player Award, as well as the 1999 and 2000 National League Silver Slugger Award for third basemen. He currently holds the Braves team record for career on base percentage (.406), and on May 31, 2006, he passed Hank Aaron for second place on the Atlanta Braves all-time career home run list. On July 5, 2007, he passed Dale Murphy for the Atlanta club record of 372 home runs.

In his career, through the 2008 season, Jones is a .310/.408/.548 hitter with 409 home runs, 1,243 walks and 1,374 RBI in 2,023 games. He is behind only Mickey Mantle and Eddie Murray on the all-time switch hitters career home run list. He is considered one of the game's best all-around hitters, and one of the best switch hitters in the history of the game. He is the only switch hitter in Major League Baseball history to have a .300+ career (.310 at the end of the 2008 season) batting average and 400 home runs.

After he completed his high school career at the Bolles School in Jacksonville, Florida, Jones was selected by the Atlanta Braves with the 1st pick overall in the 1990 amateur draft. Jones was not the Braves original choice in the draft. General Manager Bobby Cox had been looking at Todd Van Poppel, but Van Poppel said he would not sign if he was drafted by Atlanta. Scouting Director Paul Snyder wanted Jones anyway. Jones then played three years in the Braves Minor League system before making his major league debut.

Jones debuted on September 11, 1993, as the youngest player in the league. In 1994, Jones suffered an ACL tear in his left knee, after he had been expected to compete for the starting left field job after veteran Ron Gant broke his leg during an offseason dirt bike accident. As a result of the injury, he missed the entire 1994 season.

In 1995, Jones led all major league rookies in RBI (86), games played (145), games started (123), plate appearances (602), at bats (524), and runs scored (87). That year, he finished second in the Baseball Writers' Rookie of the Year balloting behind Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Hideo Nomo. In addition to achieving a level of personal success, Jones participated in the 1995 World Series. The Braves won the series in six games over the Cleveland Indians. He also participated in the 1996 World Series, in which the New York Yankees defeated the Braves in 6 games.

In 1998, Jones came in 9th in the voting for NL MVP, as he scored 123 runs and had 96 walks (both 4th best in the league).

In 1999, Jones won the National League MVP award after becoming the first player to ever hit over .300 (.319) while slugging 40 or more home runs (45; 3rd in the NL) and doubles (41), drawing 100 or more walks (126; 3rd in the league), notching 100 or more RBI (110) and Runs scored (116), and stealing 20 or more bases (25). He was also walked intentionally 18 times; 2nd in the league, and his .633 slugging percentage was 4th best in the NL. Jones led the Braves to the World Series against the New York Yankees that year, in which the Braves were swept. He did, however, hit their only home run in the series, against Yankees' starter Orlando Hernández.

Jones signed a six-year, $90 million deal in 2000. Jones batted .330 in 2001, 5th best in the league, and led the league with a .349 road batting average. On his birthday, he hit two home runs. On defense, however, his range factor of 2.14 placed him last among the regular major league third basemen who qualified for the fielding ranking.

In 2001, a season of flux for the Braves who had won consecutive division titles since their 1995 World Series victory without winning again, Jones was involved in a public "lingering feud" with former teammate John Rocker. Rocker referred to Jones on the radio by saying "Chip's white trash" and "as two-faced as they came." By late June the two claimed the feud had been put to bed.

Before the start of the 2002 season, Jones announced his willingness to move from third base to left field, to make room for the incoming Vinny Castilla. Jones proved adequate in left field, but following two more early playoff exits in 2002 and 2003, a hamstring pull in the early 2004 season and (then) 3rd baseman Mark DeRosa's struggles, he moved back to his regular position of third base.

In 2002, he batted .327, again 5th best in the NL. Jones was 3rd in the league with a .435 on base percentage. On August 16, 2004, he hit the 300th home run of his career in a 5-4 victory over the Cincinnati Reds. Following the 2005 season, Jones reworked his contract with the Braves -- freeing up money for the Braves to pursue elite free agents, while virtually assuring he will end his career in Atlanta. The revamped deal gave the Braves $15 million over the course of the next three years, as well as $6 million to use in 2006. The new deal also converted two final team option years to guaranteed contracts.

Jones was selected to play in the inaugural 2006 World Baseball Classic (along with Braves teammate Jeff Francoeur). He hit a home run in his first at bat of the Classic against Mexico off of former Atlanta Braves teammate Oscar Villarreal, who was with the team from 2006-2007. Chipper went 6-17 with a double and two homers in the tournament.

The 2006 season was one of numerous milestones for Jones. On June 10, he became the Atlanta Braves' all-time RBI leader when he drove in his 1,144th run against the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park, passing former outfielder Dale Murphy and placing Jones third on the franchise's all-time list (including Braves teams based in Boston and Milwaukee), behind Hank Aaron (2,202) and Eddie Mathews (1,388).

On July 15, 2006, Jones recorded his 1,902nd career hit, to become the Atlanta Braves' all-time hits leader, passing Hank Aaron. The next day he hit a home run to extend his extra-base hitting streak to 14 games, matching the Major League record set by Pittsburgh's Paul Waner in 1927. A month later, on August 14, Jones had his first career three-home run game. Jones homered in his final three at bats in the Braves' 10-4 win over the Washington Nationals, finishing the night 4-for-5 with 5 RBI.

Despite successes at the plate, injuries dogged Jones throughout the season and for the first time in his career, the Braves failed to qualify for postseason play.

2007 was another year of impressive feats by Jones. On June 17, he hit a single in the second inning against the Cleveland Indians for his 2,000th career hit. On July 5, Jones tied and passed Braves legend Dale Murphy for first on the all-time Atlanta Braves home run list when he belted his 371st and 372nd home runs against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium. This game was also the first time he hit homers from both sides of the plate since 2000. The next day, he had his 400th career double in the ninth inning against San Diego Padres pitcher Kevin Cameron, who had previously only allowed one extra-base hit all year. On July 29, Jones matched a career-high with 5 RBIs as the Braves shut out the Arizona Diamondbacks 14-0. He accomplished the feat again on August 23 against the Cincinnati Reds. In the fifth inning of an August 9 game at Shea Stadium, Jones hit a towering three-run homer to right field off Mets starter John Maine. It would later be measured at 470 feet.

Jones finished the season 2nd in NL batting average (.337), 3rd in NL OBP (.425), 3rd in NL SLG (.604), and 1st in NL OPS (1.029). He was also sixth in MVP voting, his highest finish since winning the award in 1999.

While the Braves enjoyed some early successes, injuries to the pitching staff spoiled the ample contributions from Atlanta's potent offense. While the Braves posted a winning record, they finished third in the National League East, and sat out the postseason.

He opened the Chipper Jones' 10th Inning Baseball Academy in Suwanee, Georgia in late 2007.

Jones began the 2008 season where he left off in 2007, hitting over .400 in April while slugging 7 home runs. He also had back-to-back games in which he hit two home runs. Despite these accomplishments, he ultimately lost the NL Player of the Month award in April to Chase Utley. On June 13, Jones was hitting .414 with 15 home runs, but his average dropped to .393 by June 22.

He hit his 400th home run on June 5 off Ricky Nolasco of the Florida Marlins, and he was named NL Player of the Week for the week of June 2nd - 8th. He was picked to start in the All-Star game, receiving the most votes by fans, managers, and other players of any NL third basemen. Jones won his first batting title at age 36, the oldest switch-hitter ever to win a batting title. Jones hit .364 during 2008, one point off the all-time switch-hitter high for a season of .365, set by Mickey Mantle.

In December 2008, Jones accepted an invitation to play for the USA team in the 2009 World Baseball Classic. He will play alongside teammate Brian McCann. Jones was scratched from an elimination game in the 2009 World Baseball Classic after straining his right oblique muscle, while playing for team USA. The announcement came an hour before the game was to be played against team Netherlands. As reported by the CBC on March 13, 2009, Chipper criticized Toronto and the play schedule of the World Baseball Classic.

On March 31, 2009 Jones agreed to a three-year $42 million contract extension with the Braves; the deal includes an option that could become worth up to $61 million over four seasons.

The nickname "Chipper" came from family members who felt he was a "chip-off-the-old-block" of his father.

Chipper met his first wife, Karin Fulford while he was playing with the Braves class A affiliate in Macon, Georgia. The couple divorced after it was revealed that Jones had had an 18-month affair with a Hooters waitress which produced a son out of wedlock, Matthew, born in 1997. He married Sharon Logonov in March 2000 in Pierson, FL. They have three sons: Larry Wayne III (Trey), Tristen, and Shea (named after Shea Stadium).

In 2008, Chipper Jones released a charity wine called "Chipper Chardonnay" with 100% of his proceeds supporting the Miracle League, an organization serving children with disabilities.

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List of Major League Baseball players with 400 doubles

Below is the list of 155 Major League Baseball players who have reached the 400 doubles milestone.

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List of Major League Baseball players with 1000 runs

Below is the list of 300 Major League Baseball players who have reached the 1,000 runs milestone.

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Atlanta Braves

Atlanta Braves Insignia.svg

The Atlanta Braves are a professional baseball team based in Atlanta, Georgia. The Braves are a member of the Eastern Division of Major League Baseball's National League. From 1997 to the present, the Braves have played in Turner Field.

The "Braves" name, which was first used in 1912, originates from a term for a Native American warrior. They are nicknamed "the Bravos", and often self-styled as "America's Team" in reference to the team's games being broadcast on the nationally available TBS until the 2008 season, gaining a wide fanbase.

From 1991–2005 the Braves were arguaby the most successful franchises in baseball, winning division titles an unprecedented 14 consecutive times in that period (omitting the strike-shortened 1994 season in which there were no official division champions). The Braves won the NL West 1991-1993 and the NL East 1995-2005. The Braves advanced to the World Series five times in the 1990s, winning the title in 1995. Since their debut in the National League in 1876, the franchise has won 16 divisional titles, 17 National League pennants, as well as three World Series championships—in 1914 as the Boston Braves, in 1957 as the Milwaukee Braves, and in 1995 in Atlanta. The Braves are the only MLB franchise to have won the Series in three different home cities.

One of the National League's two remaining charter franchises (the other being the Chicago Cubs), the club was founded in Boston, Massachusetts in 1871 as the Boston Red Stockings (not to be confused with the American League's Boston Red Sox or the NL Central's Cincinnati Reds). The team moved to Milwaukee, Wisconsin in 1953 and became the Milwaukee Braves. In 1966, the team moved to Atlanta. The team's tenure in Atlanta is famous for Hank Aaron's breaking Babe Ruth's career home run record in 1974. His record stood until 2007.

The Cincinnati Red Stockings, established in 1869 as the first professional baseball team, voted to dissolve after the 1870 season. Player-manager Harry Wright then went to Boston, Massachusetts at the invitation of Boston Red Stockings founder Ivers Whitney Adams, with brother George and two other Cincinnati players, to form the nucleus of the Boston Red Stockings, a charter member of the National Association of Professional Base Ball Players. The original Boston Red Stockings team and its successors can lay claim to being the oldest continuously playing team in American professional sports. (The only other team that has been organized as long, the Chicago Cubs, did not play for the two years following the Great Chicago Fire of 1871.) Two young players hired away from the Forest City club of Rockford, Illinois, turned out to be the biggest stars during the NAPBBP years: pitcher Al Spalding (founder of Spalding sporting goods) and second baseman Ross Barnes.

Led by the Wright brothers, Barnes, and Spalding, the Red Stockings dominated the National Association, winning four of that league's five championships. The team became one of the National League's charter franchises in 1876, sometimes called the "Red Caps" (as a new Cincinnati Red Stockings club was another charter member). Boston came to be called the Beaneaters in 1883, while retaining red as the team color.

Although somewhat stripped of talent in the National League's inaugural year, Boston bounced back to win the 1877 and 1878 pennants. The Red Caps/Beaneaters were one of the league's dominant teams during the 19th century, winning a total of eight pennants. For most of that time, their manager was Frank Selee, the first manager not to double as a player as well. The 1898 team finished 102-47, a club record for wins that would stand for almost a century. Stars of those 1890s Beaneater teams included the "Heavenly Twins", Hugh Duffy and Tommy McCarthy, as well as "Slidin'" Billy Hamilton.

The team was decimated when the American League's new Boston entry set up shop in 1901. Many of the Beaneaters' stars jumped to the new team, which offered contracts that the Beaneaters' owners didn't even bother to match. They only managed one winning season from 1900 to 1913, and lost 100 games five times. In 1907, the Beaneaters (temporarily) eliminated the last bit of red from their stockings because their manager thought the red dye could cause wounds to become infected (as noted in The Sporting News Baseball Guide during the 1940s when each team's entry had a history of its nickname(s). See details in History of baseball team nicknames). The American League club's owner, Charles Taylor, wasted little time in changing his team's name to the Red Sox, in place of the generic "Americans". Media-driven nickname changes to the Doves in 1907 and the Rustlers in 1911 did nothing to change the National League club's luck. The team became the Braves for the first time in 1912. Their owner, James Gaffney, was a member of New York City's political machine, Tammany Hall, which used an Indian chief as their symbol.

Two years later, the Braves put together one of the most memorable seasons in baseball history. After a dismal 4-18 start, the Braves seemed to be on pace for a last place finish. On July 4, 1914, the Braves lost both games of a doubleheader to the Brooklyn Dodgers. The consecutive losses put their record at 26-40 and the Braves were in last place, 15 games behind the league-leading New York Giants, who had won the previous three league pennants. After a day off, the Braves started to put together a hot streak, and from July 6 through September 5, the Braves went 41-12. On September 7th and 8th, the Braves took 2 of 3 from the New York Giants and moved into first place. The Braves tore through September and early October, closing with 25 wins against 6 losses, while the Giants went 16-16. They are the only team to win a pennant after being in last place on the Fourth of July. They were in last place as late as July 18, but were close to the pack, moving into fourth on July 21 and second place on August 12.

Despite their amazing comeback, the Braves entered the World Series as a heavy underdog to Connie Mack's Philadelphia A's. Nevertheless, the Braves swept the Athletics--the first unqualified sweep in the young history of the modern World Series (the 1907 Series had had one tied game)--to win the world championship. Meanwhile, Johnny Evers won the Chalmers Award.

The Braves played the World Series (as well as the last few games of the 1914 season) at Fenway Park, since their normal home, the South End Grounds, was too small. However, the Braves' success inspired owner Gaffney to build a modern park, Braves Field, which opened in August 1915. It was the largest park in the majors at the time, with 40,000 seats and also a very spacious outfield. The park was novel for its time; public transportation brought fans right into the park.

After contending for most of 1915 and 1916, the Braves only twice posted winning records from 1917 to 1932. The lone highlight of those years came when Judge Emil Fuchs bought the team in 1923 to bring his longtime friend, pitching great Christy Mathewson, back into the game. However, Mathewson died in 1925, leaving Fuchs in control of the team.

Fuchs was committed to building a winner, but the damage from the years prior to his arrival took some time to overcome. The Braves finally managed to compete in 1933 and 1934 under manager Bill McKechnie, but Fuchs' revenue was severely depleted due to the Great Depression.

Looking for a way to get more fans and more money, Fuchs worked out a deal with the New York Yankees to acquire Babe Ruth, who had, ironically, started his career with the Red Sox. Fuchs made Ruth team vice president, and promised him a share of the profits. He was also granted the title of assistant manager, and was to be consulted on all of the Braves' deals. Fuchs even suggested that Ruth, who had long had his heart set on managing, could take over as manager once McKechnie stepped down--perhaps as early as 1936.

At first, it looked like Ruth was the final piece team needed in 1935. On opening day, he had a hand in all of the Braves' runs in a 4-2 win over the Giants. However, that proved to be the only time the Braves were over .500 all year. Events went downhill quickly. While Ruth could still hit, he could do little else. He couldn't run, and his fielding was so terrible that three of the Braves' pitchers threatened to go on strike if Ruth were in the lineup. It soon became obvious that he was vice president and assistant manager in name only and Fuchs' promise of a share of team profits was hot air. In fact, Ruth discovered that Fuchs expected him to invest some of his money in the team.

Seeing a franchise in complete disarray, Ruth retired on June 1--only six days after he clouted, in what remains one of the most memorable afternoons in baseball history, what turned out to be the last three home runs of his career. He'd wanted to quit as early as May 12, but Fuchs wanted him to hang on so he could play in every National League park. The Braves finished 38-115, the worst season in franchise history. Their .248 winning percentage is the third-worst in baseball history, and the second-worst in National League history (behind only the 1899 Cleveland Spiders).

Fuchs lost control of the team in August 1935, and the new owners tried to change the team's image by renaming it the Boston Bees. This did little to change the team's fortunes. After five uneven years, a new owner, construction magnate Lou Perini, changed the nickname back to the Braves. He immediately set about rebuilding the team. World War II slowed things down a little, but the team rode the pitching of Warren Spahn to impressive seasons in 1946 and 1947.

The 1948 World Series, which the Braves lost in 6 games to the Indians, turned out to be the Braves' last hurrah in Boston. Amid four mediocre seasons, attendance steadily dwindled until, on March 13, 1953, Perini, who had recently bought out his original partners, announced he was moving the team to Milwaukee, where the Braves had their top farm club, the Brewers. Milwaukee had long been a possible target for relocation. Bill Veeck had tried to move his St. Louis Browns there earlier the same year (ironically, Milwaukee was the original home of that franchise), but his proposal had been voted down by the other American League owners.

Milwaukee went wild over the Braves, who were welcomed as genuine heroes. The Braves finished 92-62 in their first season in Milwaukee, and drew a then-NL record 1.8 million fans. The success of the team was noted by many owners. Not coincidentally, the Philadelphia Athletics, St. Louis Browns, Brooklyn Dodgers and New York Giants would leave their original hometowns in the next five years.

As the 1950s progressed, the reinvigorated Braves became increasingly competitive. Sluggers Eddie Mathews and Hank Aaron drove the offense (they would hit a combined 1,226 home runs as Braves, with 850 of those coming while the franchise was in Milwaukee), whilst Spahn, Lew Burdette and Bob Buhl anchored the rotation. In 1957, the Braves celebrated their first pennant in nine years spearheaded by Aaron's MVP season, as he led the National League in home runs and RBI. Perhaps the most memorable of his 44 round-trippers that season came on September 23, a two-run walk-off home run that gave the Braves a 4-2 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals and clinched the League championship. The team then went on to its first World Series win in over 40 years, defeating the New York Yankees of Berra, Mantle, and Ford in seven games. Burdette, the Series MVP, threw three complete game victories, giving up only two earned runs.

In 1958, the Braves again won the National League pennant and jumped out to a three games to one lead in the World Series against New York once more, thanks in part to the strength of Spahn's and Burdette's pitching. But the Yankees stormed back to take the last three games, in large part to World Series MVP Bob Turley's pitching. The 1959 season saw the Braves finish the season in a tie with the Los Angeles Dodgers. Many residents of Chicago and Milwaukee were hoping for a Sox-Braves Series, as the cities are only about 75 miles (121 km) apart, but it was not to be because Milwaukee fell in a best-of-3 playoff with two straight losses to the Dodgers. The Dodgers would go on to defeat the Chicago White Sox in the World Series.

The next six years were up-and-down for the Braves. The 1960 season featured two no-hitters by Burdette and Spahn, and Milwaukee finished seven games behind the Pittsburgh Pirates, who ultimately were to win the World Series that year, in second place. The 1961 season saw a drop in the standings for the Braves down to fourth, despite Spahn recording his 300th victory and pitching another no-hitter that year.

Aaron hit 45 home runs in 1962, a Milwaukee career high for him, but this did not translate into wins for the Braves, as they finished fifth. The next season, Aaron again hit 44 home runs and notched 130 RBI, and Spahn was once again the ace of the staff, going 23-7. However, none of the other Braves produced at that level, and the team finished in the lower half of the league, or "second division", for the first time in its short history in Milwaukee.

The Braves were somewhat mediocre as the 1960s began, but fattened up on the expansion New York Mets and Houston Colt .45s. To this day, the Milwaukee Braves are the only major league team who played more than one season and never had a losing record.

Perini sold the Braves to a Chicago-based group led by William Bartholomay in 1962. The ink was barely dry on the deal when Bartholomay started shopping the Braves to a larger television market. Keen to attract them, the fast-growing city of Atlanta, led by Mayor Ivan Allen, constructed a new $18 million, 52,000-seat ballpark in less than one year, Atlanta Stadium, which was officially opened in 1965 in hopes of luring an existing major league baseball and/or NFL/AFL team. After the city failed to lure the Kansas City A's to Atlanta (the A's would move to Oakland in 1968), the Braves announced their intention to move to Atlanta for the 1965 season. However, an injunction filed in Wisconsin kept the Braves in Milwaukee for one final year. In 1966, the Braves completed the move to Atlanta.

Eddie Mathews is the only Braves player to have played for the organization in all three cities that they have been based in. Mathews played with the Braves for their last season in Boston, the team's entire tenure in Milwaukee, and the Braves' first season in Atlanta.

The Braves were a .500 team in their first few years in Atlanta; 85-77 in 1966, 77-85 in 1967, and 81-81 in 1968. The 1967 season was the Braves' first losing season since 1952, their last year in Boston. In 1969, with the onset of divisional play, the Braves won the first-ever National League West Division title, before being swept by the "Miracle Mets" in the National League Championship Series. They would not be a factor during the next decade, posting only two winning seasons between 1970 and 1981 - in some cases, fielding teams as bad as the worst Boston teams.

In the meantime, fans had to be satisfied with the achievements of Hank Aaron. In the relatively hitter-friendly confines and higher-than-average altitude of Atlanta Stadium ("The Launching Pad"), he actually increased his offensive production. Atlanta also produced batting champions in Rico Carty (in 1970) and Ralph Garr (in 1974). In the shadow of Aaron's historical home run pursuit, was the fact that three Atlanta sluggers hit 40 or more home runs in 1973 -- Darrell Evans, Davey Johnson and, of course, Aaron.

By the end of the 1973 season Aaron had hit 713 home runs, one short of Ruth's record. Throughout the winter he received racially motivated death threats, but stood up well under the pressure. The next season, it was only a matter of time before he set a new record. On April 4, opening day, he hit #714 in Cincinnati, and on April 8, in front of his home fans and a national television audience he finally beat Ruth's mark with a home run to left-center field off left-hander Al Downing of the Los Angeles Dodgers. In fact, until Barry Bonds eclipsed the 714 home runs hit by Babe Ruth, the top two home run hitters in Major League history had at one time been Braves. Henry Aaron spent most of his career as a Milwaukee and Atlanta Brave before asking to be traded to the Milwaukee Brewers, while Ruth finished his career as a Boston Brave.

In 1976 the team was purchased by media magnate Ted Turner, owner of superstation WTBS, as a means to keep the team (and one of his main programming staples) in Atlanta. The financially-strapped Turner used money already paid to the team for their broadcast rights as a down-payment. It was then that Atlanta Stadium was re-named Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium. Turner quickly gained a reputation as a quirky, hands-on baseball owner. On May 11, 1977, Turner appointed himself manager, but because MLB passed a rule in the 1950s barring managers from holding a financial stake in their teams, Turner was ordered to relinquish that position after one game (the Braves lost 2-1 to the Pittsburgh Pirates to bring their losing streak to 17 games).

Turner used the Braves as a major programming draw for his fledgling cable network, making the Braves the first franchise to have a nationwide audience and fanbase. WTBS marketed the team as "The Atlanta Braves: America's Team", a nickname that still sticks in some areas of the country, especially the South. Among other things, in 1976 Turner suggested the nickname "Channel" for pitcher Andy Messersmith and jersey number 17, in order to promote the television station that aired Braves games. Major League Baseball quickly nixed the idea.

After three straight losing seasons, Bobby Cox was hired for his first stint as manager for the 1978 season. He promoted 22-year-old slugger Dale Murphy into the starting lineup. Murphy hit 77 home runs over the next three seasons but he struggled on defense, unable to adeptly play either catcher or first base. In 1980 Murphy was moved to center field and demonstrated excellent range and throwing ability, while the Braves earned their first winning season since 1974. Cox was fired after the 1981 season and replaced with Joe Torre, under whose leadership the Braves attained their first divisional title since 1969. Strong performances from Bob Horner, Chris Chambliss, pitcher Phil Niekro, and short relief pitcher Gene Garber helped the Braves, but no Brave was more acclaimed than Murphy, who won both a Most Valuable Player and a Gold Glove award. Murphy also won a Most Valuable Player award the following season, but the Braves began a period of decline that defined the team throughout the 1980s. Murphy, excelling in defense, hitting, and running, was consistently recognized as one of the league's best players, but the Braves averaged only 65 wins per season between 1985 and 1990. Their lowest point came in 1988, when they lost 106 games. The 1986 season saw the return of Bobby Cox as general manager. Also in 1986, the team stopped using their Native American-themed mascot, Chief Noc-A-Homa.

Cox returned to the dugout as manager in the middle of the 1990 season, replacing Russ Nixon. The Braves finished the year with the worst record in baseball, at 65-97. They traded Dale Murphy to the Philadelphia Phillies after it was clear he was becoming a less dominant player. Pitching coach Leo Mazzone began developing young pitchers Tom Glavine, Steve Avery, and John Smoltz into future stars. That same year, the Braves used the number one overall pick in the Major League Baseball Draft to select Chipper Jones, who has become one of the best hitters in team history. Perhaps the Braves' most important move was not on the field, but in the front office. Immediately after the season, John Schuerholz was hired away from the Kansas City Royals as general manager.

The following season, Glavine, Avery, and Smoltz would be recognized as the best young pitchers in the league, winning 52 games among them. Meanwhile, behind position players Dave Justice, Ron Gant and unexpected league Most Valuable Player and batting champion Terry Pendleton, the Braves overcame a 39-40 start, winning 55 of their final 83 games over the last three months of the season and edging the Los Angeles Dodgers by one game in one of baseball's more memorable playoff races. The "Worst to First" Braves, who had not won a divisional title since 1982, captivated the city of Atlanta (and the entire southeast) during their improbable run to the flag. They defeated the Pittsburgh Pirates in a very tightly contested seven-game NLCS only to lose the World Series, also in seven games, to the Minnesota Twins. The series, considered by many to be one of the greatest ever, was the first time a team that had finished last in its division one year went to the World Series the next; both the Twins and Braves accomplished the feat.

During the Braves' rise to prominence in the early 1990s, their long-standing ethnic nickname came under much closer scrutiny, even being protested in Minneapolis when the Braves visited the Twins for Game 1 of the 1991 World Series. The team was especially criticized for selling plastic and foam tomahawks, encouraging the so-called "tomahawk chop" and the accompanying war cry emitted by the fans. When the team logos were painted on the field at the Metrodome, the tomahawk was omitted from the script "Braves" logo. The war cry and tomahawk chop are similar to what Florida State University fans do at their games. Deion Sanders, a former Braves outfielder who played both football and baseball at Florida State, is credited with bringing the chant and chop to Atlanta.

Despite the 1991 World Series loss, the Braves' success would continue. In 1992 the Braves returned to the NLCS and once again defeated the Pirates in seven games, culminating in a dramatic game seven win. Francisco Cabrera's two-out single that scored David Justice and Sid Bream capped a three-run rally in the bottom of the ninth inning that gave the Braves a 3-2 victory. It was the first time in post season history that the tying and winning run had scored on a single play in the ninth inning. The Braves however lost the World Series to the Toronto Blue Jays. In 1993, the Braves signed Cy Young Award winning pitcher Greg Maddux from the Chicago Cubs, leading many baseball insiders to declare the team's pitching staff the best at that time. The 1993 team posted a franchise-best 104 wins after a dramatic pennant race with the San Francisco Giants, who won 103 games. The Braves needed a stunning 55-19 finish to edge out the Giants, who led the Braves by nine games in the standings as late as August 11. However, the Braves fell in the NLCS to the Philadelphia Phillies in a six-game upset.

In 1994, in a realignment of the National League's divisions following the 1993 expansion, the Braves moved to the Eastern Division. The player's strike cut short the 1994 season, prior to the division championships, with the Braves six games behind the Montreal Expos with 48 games left to play.

The Braves returned strong the following strike-shortened (teams played 144 games instead of the customary 162) year and beat the Cleveland Indians in the 1995 World Series. This squelched claims by many Braves critics that they were the "Buffalo Bills of Baseball" (January 1996 issue of Beckett Baseball Card Monthly). With this World Series victory, the Braves became the first team in Major League Baseball to win world championships in three different cities. With their strong pitching being a constant, the Braves would also appear in the 1996 and 1999 World Series (they lost both series to the New York Yankees, however), and had a streak of division titles from 1991 to 2005 (three in the Western Division and eleven in the Eastern) interrupted only in 1994 when the strike ended the season early. Pitching is not the only constant in the Braves organization — Cox is still the Braves' manager, while Schuerholz remained the team's GM until after the 2007 season when he was promoted to team president. Pendleton did not finish his playing career in Atlanta, but returned to the Braves system as the hitting coach.

A 95-67 record in 2000 produced a ninth consecutive division title. However, a sweep at the hands of the St. Louis Cardinals prevented the Braves from reaching the NLCS. In 2001, Atlanta won the National League East division yet again, swept the NLDS against the Houston Astros, then lost to the Arizona Diamondbacks in the National League Championship Series four games to one. In 2002, 2003 and 2004, the Braves won their division again, but lost in the NLDS in all three years in the same fashion: 3 games to 2 to the San Francisco Giants, Chicago Cubs, and Houston Astros.

In 2005, the Braves won the Division championship for the fourteenth consecutive time from 1991 to 2005. Fourteen consecutive division titles stands as the record for all major league baseball. The 2005 title marked the first time any MLB team made the postseason with more than 4 rookies who each had more than 100 ABs (Wilson Betemit, Brian McCann, Pete Orr, Ryan Langerhans, Jeff Francoeur). Catcher Brian McCann, right fielder Jeff Francoeur, and pitcher Kyle Davies all grew up in the suburbs of Atlanta. The large number of rookies to debut in 2005 were nicknamed the "Baby Braves" by fans and became an Atlanta-area sensation, helping to lead the club to a record of 90-72.

However, the season would end on a sour note as the Braves lost the National League Division series to the Astros in four games. In Game 4, with the Braves leading by 5 in the eighth inning, the Astros battled back with a Lance Berkman grand slam and a two-out, ninth inning Brad Ausmus home run off of Braves closer Kyle Farnsworth. The game didn't end until the 18th inning, becoming the longest game in playoff history at 5 hours 50 minutes. Chris Burke ended the marathon with a home run off of Joey Devine.

After the 2005 season, the Braves lost their long-time pitching coach Leo Mazzone, who left to go to the Baltimore Orioles. Roger McDowell took his place in the Atlanta dugout. Unable to re-sign shortstop Rafael Furcal, the Braves acquired shortstop Edgar Rentería from the Boston Red Sox.

In December 2005, team owner Time Warner, who inherited the Braves after purchasing TBS in 1996, announced it was placing the team for sale. Liberty Media began negotiations to purchase the team.

In 2006, the Braves did not perform at the level they had grown accustomed to. Due to an offensive slump, injuries to their starting rotation, and subpar bullpen performances, the Braves compiled a 6-21 record for the month of June, the worst month ever in the city of Atlanta, and just percentage points better than the Boston Braves of May 1935 (4-20).

The Braves made their move in July, going 14-10. However, the team remained in the bottom half of the NL East and trailed the Mets by a double-digit deficit for much of the season (13 games at the All-Star Break). However, despite their struggles, the Braves entered the break down by only six and a half games to the Dodgers for the NL Wild Card slot after winning seven of their last ten games.

The Braves made their first trade of the season on July 20 to shore up the bullpen, sending Class A Rome catcher Max Ramirez to Cleveland for closer Bob Wickman. He served as the Braves' closer for the remainder of the season, taking over for an embattled Jorge Sosa, who was subsequently traded on the July 31 trade deadline for St. Louis minor league pitcher Rich Scalamandre.

On July 29, the Braves traded reserve third baseman/shortstop Wilson Betemit to the Los Angeles Dodgers for reliever Danys Baez and infielder Willy Aybar. The move came on the night that starting third baseman Chipper Jones went on the 15-day disabled list with a strained oblique muscle. With Betemit gone, the Atlanta called up infielder Tony Pena Jr. from AAA Richmond to supplement Pete Orr.

Before the expansion of rosters on September 1, the Braves acquired Daryle Ward from the Washington Nationals for Class A Myrtle Beach pitcher Luis Atilano, in hopes that he would be a valuable pinch-hitter in the postseason.

However, on September 18, the New York Mets' win over the Florida Marlins mathematically eliminated the Braves from winning the NL East, ending the Atlanta Braves eleven year reign over the NL East. On September 24, the Braves' loss to the Colorado Rockies mathematically eliminated the Braves from winning the NL Wild Card, making 2006 the first year that the Braves would not compete in the postseason since 1990, not counting the strike-shortened 1994 season.

Also, a loss to the Mets on September 28 guaranteed the Braves their first losing season since 1990. Although the Braves won two of their last three games against the Astros, including rookie Chuck James besting Roger Clemens, Atlanta finished the season in third place, one game ahead of the Marlins, at 79-83.

After the season, the Atlanta coaching staff underwent a few changes. Brian Snitker became the third base coach after Fredi Gonzalez left to become the manager for the Florida Marlins. Chino Cadahia replaced Pat Corrales as bench coach and former catcher Eddie Perez became the new bullpen coach, replacing Bobby Dews.

In February 2007, after more than a year of negotiations, Time Warner agreed to a deal that would sell the Braves to Liberty Media Group (a company which owned a large amount of stock in Time Warner, Inc.), pending approval by 75 percent of MLB owners and the Commissioner of Baseball, Bud Selig. The deal included the exchange of the Braves, valued in the deal at $450 million, a hobbyist magazine publishing company, and $980 million cash, for 68.5 million shares of Time Warner stock held by Liberty Media, then worth approximately $1.48 billion. Team President Terry McGuirk anticipated no change in the current front office structure, personnel, or day-to-day operations of the Braves. Liberty Media is not expected to take any type of "active" ownership in terms of day to day operations.

On May 16, 2007, Major League Baseball's owners approved the sale of the Braves from Time Warner to Liberty Media.

The Braves made their first moves by re-signing Bob Wickman to a one year deal and picking up John Smoltz's option in September 2006. They traded starting pitcher Horacio Ramírez to the Seattle Mariners for pitcher Rafael Soriano, an American League reliever with a 2.20 ERA in 2006. They also denied arbitration to pitcher Chris Reitsma and second baseman Marcus Giles. The Braves signed utility-man Chris Woodward to fill a spot on the bench. The biggest trade in the offseason involved first baseman Adam LaRoche and a minor league player for Pittsburgh Pirates closer Mike González and a minor league infielder, Brent Lillibridge. Gonzalez, who converted 24 of 24 save opportunities in 2006, joined Soriano as a set up man for Wickman in the bullpen. The team then signed first baseman Craig Wilson to a one year deal to platoon with Scott Thorman. The Braves also had solid relievers in Macay McBride, Blaine Boyer, and Tyler Yates. In addition, the majority of the Braves' offense, which was second in the NL in runs scored in 2006, returned in 2007. However, Mike Hampton was sidelined for the entire 2007 season with yet another surgery. Mike González was later sidelined for the season while recovering from Tommy John surgery.

The Braves' bullpen and offense came through in the clutch early on, helping the Braves to a 7-1 start, their best start since winning the World Series in 1995. The team finished April with a 16-9 record, but struggled during May, finishing 14-14. The Braves also struggled during interleague play, finishing with an NL-worst 4-11 record. On June 24, the Braves fell to .500 for the first time in the 2007 season, but rebounded by winning the next 5 games.

On July 5, Chipper Jones surpassed Dale Murphy for the Atlanta club record of 372 home runs by belting two against the Los Angeles Dodgers. On July 31, 2007, the Braves finalized the deal to acquire slugger first baseman Mark Teixeira and LHP Ron Mahay from the Texas Rangers for catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia and four minor-leaguers. The Braves also acquired Octavio Dotel from the Kansas City Royals for Kyle Davies and also traded LHP Wilfredo Ledezma and RHP Will Startup to the San Diego Padres for Royce Ring. On August 19, 2007 John Smoltz passed Phil Niekro for 1st place on the Braves' all-time strikeout list. Braves manager Bobby Cox broke the all-time MLB record for most career ejections by a manager in August 2007.

After struggling during the second half of the 2007 season, Atlanta finished over .500 and missed the post season again. On October 12, 2007, John Schuerholz stepped down as General Manager to take over as team president. Assistant GM Frank Wren took over as General Manager.

In December 2007, the team announced it would not re-sign center fielder Andruw Jones (who later would sign with the Dodgers). Another major move was acquiring CF Gorkys Hernandez and RHP Jair Jurrjens from the Detroit Tigers in exchange for SS Edgar Rentería and cash considerations. Next, LHP Tom Glavine was signed to a one-year contract. They also acquired LHP Will Ohman and INF Omar Infante from the Cubs in exchange for RHP Jose Ascanio.

The team's first new move for 2008 was acquiring OF Mark Kotsay from the A's (to replace Jones) in exchange for RHP Joey Devine, RHP Jamie Richmond and cash considerations. Days later, Wren traded Willy Aybar, outfielder Tom Lindsey, and infielder Chase Fontaine to the Rays in exchange for left-hand reliever Jeff Ridgway.

Before the trade deadline the Braves traded 1B Mark Teixeira to the Los Angeles Angels for first baseman Casey Kotchman and LHP William Ward. The Braves failed to make the playoffs for the third straight season.

On December 4, 2008, the Atlanta Braves received Javier Vázquez and Boone Logan, while the Chicago White Sox received prospects catcher Tyler Flowers, shortstop Brent Lillibridge, third baseman Jon Gilmore and pitcher Santos Rodriguez. They signed free agent pitchers Derek Lowe and Japanese pitcher Kenshin Kawakami. Just before spring training they signed outfielder Garret Anderson.

This list only covers the franchise's season-by-season results while in Atlanta. For a full season-by-season list, see Atlanta Braves season records.

The Braves currently have four uniforms. The first is a white home jersey with Braves written across the breastplate. The away jersey is gray with Atlanta written across the chest. These uniforms have been worn since 1987, and are similar to the uniforms the Braves wore from 1946 to 1963.

Their alternate home jersey is a red jersey with Braves written across the chest. The red jerseys are only worn on Sunday home games, and they were worn the last time the Braves made the playoffs, in 2005. On opening night of the 2008 season against the Nationals, they debuted an alternate dark blue away jersey with Atlanta written in the same dark blue with white outline.

There are three hats that the Braves wear; the standard game hat is one worn with the white home jerseys. It has a red brim and navy blue top with a white A on the front for Atlanta. The hat worn with the Red Jerseys is the same color scheme as the standard game hat but has a red A with a tomahawk across the A. The hat worn with the blue road jerseys and grey road jerseys has a navy blue top and brim with a white A on the front, similar to the team's away hat from 1966-1971.

On April 5, 2009 it was announced that former Brave Greg Maddux's number 31 will be retired following a pre-game ceremony on July 17, 2009. Maddux's number will mark the sixth number to be retired by the franchise..

After years of stability, the Braves have faced a period of transition in their radio and television coverage.

The 2007 season was the last for Braves baseball on the TBS Superstation. TBS showed 70 games throughout the country, then cleared the decks to make way for a new national broadcast package that will begin in earnest with the 2007 postseason, and will expand to Sunday afternoon games in 2008. Chip Caray, one of the Braves' current broadcasters, is expected to call play-by-play for the national package, which will include the Division Series every season and alternating coverage of the American League Championship Series and National League Championship Series. Braves baseball has been seen on TBS since it was WTCG in 1971 and has been a cornerstone of the national superstation since it began in 1976. WPCH-TV/Peachtree TV, formerly WTBS Atlanta, will still carry Braves games after this point, but only in parts of the Southern United States. On DirecTV, channel 651 is used exclusively for Braves games produced by Peachtree TV, for viewers outside of its over-the-air coverage area. The Comcast/Charter Sports Southeast cable sports network will also simulcast these games on cable systems throughout Alabama, Mississippi, Tennessee, and South Carolina, and outside of Metro Atlanta in Georgia.

After the 2004 season, longtime radio flagship station 750 WSB was replaced by WGST 640AM. Due to WGST's weak signal at night, which fails to cover the entire Atlanta metropolitan area, all games began to be simulcast on FM radio when the rights were transferred. The games first appeared on 96.1 WKLS (formerly "96rock") in 2005, but moved to country music station 94.9 WUBL ("94.9 The Bull") in 2007 after WKLS underwent a change in format from classic rock to active rock and became Project 9-6-1.

The Atlanta Braves radio network currently serves 152 radio stations across the Southern United States, including 19 in Alabama, 5 in Florida, 71 in Georgia, 4 in Mississippi, 18 in North Carolina, 14 in South Carolina, 15 in Tennessee, 1 in the U.S. Virgin Islands, 2 in Virginia, and 2 in West Virginia.

In addition to Chip Caray, the other broadcasters are Mark Lemke, Joe Simpson, and Jon Sciambi. Don Sutton was released after the 2006 season and was a broadcaster with the Washington Nationals from 2007-2008, but he has since returned for the 2009 season. Longtime Braves voices Skip Caray and Pete Van Wieren were the primary play-by-play voices of Braves baseball until Skip's sudden death on August 3, 2008, and Van Wieren's retirement after the 2008 season.

Van Wieren did all 162 regular season games on radio, and was working alongside Skip Caray until the latter's death. Chip Caray, Joe Simpson, Jon Sciambi and Mark Lemke have also teamed up with Van Wieren on radio broadcasts during 2007. Chip Caray works all games carried on Peachtree TV. Simpson is the color commentator for all games he does on TV. Jim Powell was hired as a radio broadcaster on January 21, 2009; he was the Milwaukee Brewers radio broadcaster for 13 years. Sutton was released from the Nationals on January 27, 2009, and signed with the Braves later that day to join Powell on the radio.

Braves games can also be seen on FSN South and SportSouth (which changed its name from Turner South shortly after the 2006 baseball season ended). Jon Sciambi is the play-by-play announcer and Simpson is the color commentator.

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1996 World Series

1996 World Series Logo

The 1996 World Series matched the defending champion Atlanta Braves against the New York Yankees, with the Yankees winning in six games to capture their first championship since 1978, and their 23rd overall. The Yankees became the third team to win a World Series after dropping Games 1 and 2 at home, following the 1985 Kansas City Royals and the 1986 New York Mets. They also became the first team since the 1981 Los Angeles Dodgers to win four straight games after dropping the first two.

Game 5 was the final game to be played at Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium. Atlanta became the first city to host the World Series and the Olympics in the same year.

The 1996 World Series marked the beginning of the New York Yankees' dynasty of the late 1990s and early 2000s. Despite the rich playoff history of the Yankees, the defending champion Atlanta Braves entered the Series as heavy favorites.

The Yankees had reached the Fall Classic after their ALCS victory over the Baltimore Orioles, while the Braves had rallied from a 3-1 deficit to defeat the St. Louis Cardinals in the NLCS.

The Braves used the dominant pitching of Greg Maddux and Tom Glavine, as well as timely hitting, to defeat the Indians the year before, and looked to reuse that recipe against the upstart Yankees. In 1996, John Smoltz returned to form, winning 24 games and a Cy Young Award, providing another serious pitching threat for Atlanta. New York brought a lineup mixed with veterans, like Paul O'Neill, and young stars, like rookie Derek Jeter. The Yankees bullpen was also vastly superior to the Atlanta bullpen, which would prove to be the deciding factor in the Series.

After victory in 1996, New York would go on to win the Series three of the next four years. The Braves, while winning their division every season from 1991 through 2005, have not won a World Series game since Game 2 of this series.

Over the course of the 1996 World Series, the Braves hit .315 during the first six innings and .176 afterward. Atlanta had more hits, runs, homers, and a lower team ERA during the course of the series, but still lost. (Much like the Yankees 1960 performance against Pittsburgh).

Game 1 and Game 2 were originally scheduled for Saturday October 19 and Sunday October 20 respectively. Rain on October 19, however, washed out Game 1. The schedule was moved up one day, with Game 1 and Game 2 rescheduled for October 20 and October 21. The Monday travel day was eliminated. This was the last rain out in a World Series game until Game 4 of the 2006 World Series.

The Braves, who had won the last three games of the NLCS by a combined score of 32-1, continued their roll early in the Fall Classic. Nineteen-year old rookie center fielder Andruw Jones became the youngest player to homer in a World Series game in the second inning. He went deep to left again off Brian Boehringer in the third inning to provide the fireworks in a six-run inning for the Braves. A Fred McGriff home run off the foul pole in the fifth left Atlanta ahead 9-0. Jones had his third hit and scored in Atlanta's three-run sixth. Braves starter John Smoltz would pitch six easy innings before turning it over to the bullpen in Atlanta's 12-1 rout.

After showcasing their big bats in Game 1, the Braves used the dominant pitching of Greg Maddux to win Game 2. Fred McGriff, who went 2 for 3 with a sacrifice fly, had single RBIs in the first, third, and fifth innings, while Marquis Grissom added a run-scoring single in the sixth. This was more than enough for Maddux, who pitched a gem, scattering six hits in eight innings. Mark Wohlers pitched the ninth to combine with Maddux on the 4–0 shutout. With the series going to Atlanta, the Braves appeared on the brink of a championship repeat.

After Game 2, Joe Torre and his first base coach José Cardenal met with the furious Yankees owner George Steinbrenner, at that post-game meeting. Torre guaranteed three victories in Atlanta and then bringing the series back to Yankee Stadium to clinch at home. Steinbrenner doubted Torre, saying, "If you guys can't beat the Braves at home, you surely can't beat them down in Atlanta." The Yankees ended it up winning next four games to win the series.

The Yankees needed a solid performance from David Cone and got one, with him pitching six innings and only giving up one run. Tom Glavine also turned in a fine start for the Braves, pitching seven innings giving up two runs, only one of them earned, but with New York clinging to a 2-1 lead in the eighth, Bernie Williams, who had two RBIs in the game, launched a two-run homer off Braves reliever Greg McMichael, which put the game out of reach. After the Braves got a run off Yankees rookie Mariano Rivera, closer John Wetteland had two strikeouts in a perfect ninth.

Game 4 would prove to be the decisive game of the 1996 World Series. Fred McGriff had a home run and Marquis Grissom hit a two-run double to deep center as the Braves stormed out to a 6–0 lead by the fifth inning. New York starter Kenny Rogers lasted only two innings, while Braves starter Denny Neagle was in control. However, he suddenly ran into trouble in the sixth inning, which began when Derek Jeter's seemingly catchable foul-fly was not caught when right field umpire Tim Welke got in the way of Braves right fielder Jermaine Dye. Given a second chance, Jeter responded with a lead-off hit that opened the door to three runs, with two of them coming off a Cecil Fielder single which was aided by an error on right fielder Dye. Neagle was knocked out of the game, leaving the 6–3 Atlanta lead in the hands of their bullpen. Mike Bielecki came in with nobody out to strike out the side in three straight. The Braves could not score on the New York bullpen and in the eighth, manager Bobby Cox decided to put closer Mark Wohlers in the game an inning early. Wohlers allowed two hits, then reserve catcher Jim Leyritz connected for a stunning game-tying home run. In the tenth, Steve Avery walked in the go-ahead run following a somewhat questionable move on the part of Cox to advance two runners by intentionally walking Bernie Williams with runners on first and second, then Braves first baseman Ryan Klesko lost a routine pop-up in the lights, leading to another Yankee run. John Wetteland shut the Braves down in the bottom of the inning as the Yankees, who had come back from a 6–0 hole, won 8–6 and firmly shifted the momentum of the series.

The Leyritz home run is viewed as a watershed event in Yankees and Braves history. For the Yankees, it launched their late-90's dynasty and is seen as the passing of the torch of baseball's most dominant team from Atlanta to New York. For the Braves, it represents a curse that has led to years of playoff struggle. Wohlers, who gave up the blast, never quite recovered from the play. He inexplicably lost his accuracy throughout 1997 and 1998, never again showing the dominance he had before the Leyritz home run.

This was the second biggest comeback in World Series history. The 1929 Philadelphia Athletics scored 10 runs in the seventh inning to defeat the Chicago Cubs 10-8 in Game 4.

With the series tied at two apiece, John Smoltz and Andy Pettitte faced off in a pitcher's duel in the final game at Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium and gave up a total of zero earned runs. After an error by center fielder Marquis Grissom allowed Charlie Hayes to reach opening the fourth inning, Cecil Fielder doubled in the unearned run. Pettitte, who was torched in Game 1, was dominant for New York, pitching 8 1/3 shutout innings. He allowed a leadoff double to Chipper Jones in the ninth, but John Wetteland came on and closed out the Braves, preserving the 1-0 win. Smoltz was the hard-luck loser, pitching eight innings, giving up only four hits and one unearned run. The Yankees had swept the Braves in Atlanta, and now returned to the Bronx with a 3-2 series lead.

The Braves joined the 1905 Philadelphia Athletics, the 1921 New York Yankees and the 1986 New York Mets as the only teams to lose a 1-0 World Series game on an unearned run.

Prior to Game 6, Yankees manager Joe Torre's brother Frank underwent heart transplant surgery.

The Yankees, seeking to clinch their first world championship since 1978, tagged Atlanta ace Greg Maddux for three runs off four hits in the third inning. The Braves loaded the bases on Jimmy Key in the fourth, but could only get one run. Key pitched into the sixth, only giving up the single run, before turning the game over to the Yankee bullpen. Maddux, meanwhile, kept the game close, pitching 7 2/3 innings with three runs allowed. In the ninth, John Wetteland gave up a run, making it 3-2, but got the save when Mark Lemke popped out to third baseman Charlie Hayes with the tying run on second. The Yankees were champions once again, with Wetteland notching saves in all four of New York's victories, earning him the Series MVP.

Bobby Cox was ejected in the 5th inning after an argument that began when Marquis Grissom was called out by umpire Terry Tata after attempting to take second on a passed ball. Replays clearly showed Grissom to have been safe, and the missed call possibly cost the Braves a run as Chipper Jones doubled one batter later. Though the argument began between Cox and Tata, it was ultimately umpire Tim Welke who tossed Cox when he shouted something in Welke's direction on his way back to the dugout after the Tata argument. Cox was undoubtedly still furious with Welke from the play in Game 4 when he had obstructed Jermaine Dye's attempt to catch a pop-up, leading directly to a Yankee run and opening the door for New York's comeback in that game. An in-game statistic, as well as the commentary for the video recap of the series, erroneously reported that Cox's ejection was the first since Whitey Herzog's ejection in Game 7 of the 1985 World Series, ignoring that Cox had been ejected once before in the World Series (in Game 3 of the 1992 World Series for throwing a batting helmet onto the field).

It took Yankee manager Joe Torre 4,272 games to get to the World Series as a player or manager, the biggest drought for any player or manager in the history of Major League Baseball. He and the Yankees were bestowed the Commissioner's Trophy by American League President Gene Budig, who presided over the trophy presentation instead of the Commissioner, who was not yet named as of 1996. For the Yankees and their fans, the World Series win ended the longest drought in franchise history, but the team was still reeling from lost opportunities that resulted from the player's strike two years before and the fallout from it, as they had the best record in the American League that year and was looking to the postseason, a possible World Series appearance and possibly, a win. The strike worsened the drought and had brought misery, outrage, anger, and indescribable grief to the Yankees and their fans because their star player then, Don Mattingly, had never played in the post-season.

They said they could beat the '27 Yankees. But they forgot about the '96 Yankees.

We play today, we win today. 'Das it.

The Yankees have marched through Georgia, and where have we heard that before?

Again the 2-2 to Leyritz...in the air to left field...back...at the track...at the wall...we are tied!

Once again, it will be a 3-2. The stretch and pitch. Swung on and popped up again off 3rd. Hayes has room. Hayes make the catch! Yankees win! The Yankees win! The New York Yankees have won the 1996 World Series. They have surmounted every challenge! They have climbed every mountain and the New York Yankees are World Champions!

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Paul Waner

Paul-waner.jpg

Paul Glee Waner (April 16, 1903 - August 29, 1965) was a German-American player in professional baseball who, along with his brother Lloyd, starred in the Pittsburgh Pirates' outfield in the 1920s and 1930s. Born in Harrah, Oklahoma and nicknamed "Big Poison," he led the National League in batting on three occasions and accumulated over 3,000 hits in his career from 1926 to 1945. He collected 200 or more hits on eight occasions, was voted the NL's Most Valuable Player in 1927, and compiled a lifetime batting average of .333. He was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1952. He is tied with Chipper Jones with the Major League record for consecutive games with an extra-base hit, with 14 (June 6 through June 20, 1927).

Waner was also nearsighted, a fact that Pirate management only learned late in his career when he remarked that he had difficulty reading the ads posted on the outfield walls. Fitting him with glasses, however, only interfered with his hitting, as Waner now had to contend with a small spinning projectile rather than the fuzzy grapefruit-sized object he had been hitting before.

Waner died in Sarasota, Florida at age 62. In 1999, he ranked Number 62 on The Sporting News' list of the 100 Greatest Baseball Players, and was nominated as a finalist for the Major League Baseball All-Century Team.

He (3,152) and his younger brother, Lloyd (2,459), hold the career record for hits by brothers (5,611), outpacing the three Alou brothers (5,094): Felipe (2,101), Matty (1,777) and Jesús (1,216), and the three DiMaggio brothers (4,853): Joe (2,214), Dom (1,680) and Vince (959), among others. For most of the period from 1927 to 1940, Paul patrolled right field at Forbes Field while Lloyd covered the ground next to him in center field. Paul was known as "Big Poison" and Lloyd was known as "Little Poison." A possibly apocryphal story claims that their nicknames reflect a Brooklyn Dodgers fan's pronunciation of "Big Person" and "Little Person." In 1927, the season the brothers accumulated 460 hits, the fan is said to have remarked, "Them Waners! It's always the little poison on thoid (third) and the big poison on foist (first)!" But given that Lloyd was actually taller, this story would seem somewhat incongruous.

The Pirates retired Waner's No. 11 in a ceremony before their game vs. the Astros on July 21, 2007, the anniversary of Paul's 1952 Hall of Fame induction. A plaque has been placed in the interior of PNC Park to commemorate the retiring of Paul Waner's jersey.

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Mark DeRosa

Mark DeRosa warms up before a game on July 9, 2008.

Mark Thomas DeRosa (born February 26, 1975, in Carlstadt, New Jersey) is a Major League Baseball infielder for the Cleveland Indians. DeRosa is a utility player who has been primarily a second baseman, but can play other positions; he played six positions for the Chicago Cubs. He is currently Cleveland's full-time 3rd baseman. He bats right-handed.

DeRosa was selected by the Atlanta Braves in the 7th round of the June 1996 free agent draft. In his 2,409 career at bats through 2008, he had a .279 batting average, 69 home runs, 740 hits, 406 runs, and 352 RBIs.

DeRosa attended Bergen Catholic High School in Oradell, New Jersey, with Jim Finn of the New York Giants, where he earned all-state honors in baseball and football.

He attended the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, where he was the starting quarterback in the 1993-95 seasons, as well as playing varsity baseball from 1994 to 1996. He is a member of the Sigma Chi Fraternity. DeRosa was also one of six Ivy Leaguers on major league rosters at the beginnning of the 2009 season.

DeRosa made his MLB debut on September 2, 1998 as a shortstop for the Atlanta Braves. From '98-'01, DeRosa spent much of his time as a backup utility player, playing both infield and outfield. In 2002, though still playing as a backup, DeRosa was starting to play more and more, and enjoyed a sucessful batting average of .297.

DeRosa started the 2004 season as the starting third baseman for the Braves. He had been strictly a backup the previous bunch of years, but the departure of Vinny Castilla opened the spot for him. His performance as a starter was widely considered unacceptable. DeRosa himself spoke openly of his poor performance, declaring in one interview that even his mother couldn't tell him she thought he was playing well. After about a month, DeRosa was demoted back to a backup. Chipper Jones moved from left field to third base, where he had played his whole career until 2002. Jones was replaced in left field by a platoon of Charles Thomas, an unknown rookie, and Eli Marrero, a fairly obscure catcher/outfielder who was considered the much less important half of the trade in which the Braves acquired him and J. D. Drew for pitchers Jason Marquis, Ray King, and Adam Wainwright. At the end of 2004, the Braves declined to offer DeRosa a contract for the 2005 season.

After the Braves declined to offer DeRosa a contract, he signed with the Texas Rangers. He logged little playing time due to injuries in 2005 which delayed him from playing in the starting lineup. Finally healthy in May of 2006, he received the opportunity to start. DeRosa responded to this by hitting well over .300 for the first half of the season. At season's end, he topped his career high in RBI with 74, eclipsing his previous career high of 31. DeRosa also set a career high in home runs, with 13, and batted a respectable .296. He set a career high with getting 40 doubles.

On November 14, 2006 he signed to a three-year, $13 million contract with the Chicago Cubs. DeRosa's signing was one of several off-season acquisitions by the Cubs in their spending spree. He was a pleasant surprise at the plate in 2007, his first year with the Cubs. He appeared in 149 games for the Cubs, with the majority of his time at second base, but filling in at times all over the field. DeRosa batted .293 with 10 home runs and 74 RBIs. DeRosa on February 23, 2008, was taken to a hospital after having trouble breathing and having a rapid heart beat.

On February 28, 2008 DeRosa had a successful heart procedure at Northwestern Memorial Hospital to correct an irregular heartbeat. His heart procedure earned him the nickname of "the Pulse", which is also the name of his blog on www.cubs.com.

DeRosa had a very successful 2008 season, where he helped the Cubs to the best record in the National League. He had career highs in home runs with 21 and RBIs with 87.

On December 31, 2008, DeRosa was traded to the Cleveland Indians for minor league pitchers Jeff Stevens, Chris Archer, and John Gaub. DeRosa is expected to play third base for the Indians for the 2009 season. He had his first hit with the Tribe on April 10 and his first Home Run on April 12. He starts at 3rd base, but manager Eric Wedge has said that he could see some time at 1st base and in the outfield.

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List of top 500 Major League Baseball home run hitters

This is a list of the top 500 Major League Baseball home run hitters. In the sport of baseball, a home run is a hit in which the batter scores by circling all the bases and reaching home plate in one play, without the benefit of a fielding error. This can be accomplished either by hitting the ball out of play while it is still in fair territory (a conventional home run), or by an inside the park home run.

Barry Bonds holds the Major League Baseball home run record with 762. He passed Hank Aaron, who is currently second with 755, on August 7, 2007. Third is Babe Ruth with 714. Willie Mays (660), Ken Griffey, Jr. (613) and Sammy Sosa (609) are the only other players to have hit 600 or more.

The last change in the cutoff for the top 500 was on April 24, 2009, when Hank Blalock hit his 131st homer and displaced nine players from the list.

Listed are all Major League Baseball players with 131 or more home runs, the current cutoff for the top 500 (includes ties for the top 500, whenever applicable). Players in bold face are active as of the 2009 Major League Baseball season (including free agents), with the number in parentheses designating the number of home runs they hit during the 2009 season.

The stats are updated as of May 3, 2009.

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Source : Wikipedia