Atlanta Braves Ranked: Greatest Teams since 1990
By Michael Neal
Since the Atlanta Braves franchise made its way to Georgia in 1966, the organization has captured one World Series title, five NL pennants, and made 22 playoff appearances.
The oldest operating professional sports franchise in America, however, has not always enjoyed a reputation of storied success and winning ways. For this reason, we’re taking a deeper dive from arguably the greatest era in Atlanta Braves baseball history: the dynasty of the 1990s, up to today’s club in 2021.
Historic teams like the 1914 Miracle Braves, and legendary ballplayers like Aaron, Niekro, and Spahn set the stage for the unique story of the Braves, but the modern-day clubs of the ’90s and beyond painted the picture of true dominance for a franchise that had been searching for success in several decades prior.
Of course, rankings are subjective and could be compiled based on a number of metrics.
Which team do you consider to be the greatest?
5. The 1995 Braves, (90-54)
The 1995 Braves brought the long-awaited World Series championship to Atlanta in the season of the MLB strike, and still remains the city’s sole title.
This team didn’t provide quite the firepower of some other notable Braves teams of the 90’s, but the group stitched together a 20-5 run before the All-Star break that helped capture the newly aligned NL East title by 21 games over the second-place Phillies and Mets.
The postseason run for the Braves proved to be a relatively easy one. The club defeated the Colorado Rockies (3-1) in the NLDS, and later swept the Cincinnati Reds (4-0) in the NLCS before capturing the World Championship over the Cleveland Indians (4-2).
Greg Maddux claimed his fourth straight Cy Young award, leading the league in ERA (1.63) and wins (19), and Marquis Grissom won a Gold Glove in center field.
Breakout seasons from Javy Lopez (.315 BA, 14 HR) and Ryan Klesko (.310 BA, 23 HR) helped propel the offense alongside David Justice, Fred McGriff and 23-year-old Chipper Jones.
The rest of the Maddux-led rotation was rounded out by Tom Glavine, John Smoltz, Steve Avery, and Kent Mercker.