Players Who Should Have Retired with Atlanta Braves

ST. LOUIS, MO - SEPTEMBER 3: Starting pitcher John Smoltz #30 of the St. Louis Cardinals throws against the Milwaukee Brewers on September 3, 2009 at Busch Stadium in St. Louis, Missouri. The Brewers beat the Cardinals 4-3. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
ST. LOUIS, MO - SEPTEMBER 3: Starting pitcher John Smoltz #30 of the St. Louis Cardinals throws against the Milwaukee Brewers on September 3, 2009 at Busch Stadium in St. Louis, Missouri. The Brewers beat the Cardinals 4-3. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images) /
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With Tom Brady announcing his retirement from the NFL on Saturday, it had me thinking about players who should have retired with the Atlanta Braves. 

Not everyone can be like Chipper Jones who spent his entire 19-year career with one team — the Atlanta Braves.

It’s even rarer in today’s game with free agency dollars and everyone looking to create the next superteam.

To me, it’s always been super special to see a player get drafted by a team, commit to that team, and spend his entire career there.

Of course, in order for that to happen, you have to be really good so the team wants to keep you around, and the team has to keep you well compensated.

That’s part of why I’m pushing so hard for the Braves to re-sign Freddie Freeman, so he’ll be the next Chipper Jones and spend his entire career with one team.

Tom Brady could have had that in New England after spending his first 20 seasons there. But then he spent the last two years in Tampa Bay, winning another Super Bowl.

Braves — Who Should have Retired with the Team

I posted this question from the Locked on Braves Twitter account on Saturday so you can see some of those responses here:

It ended up being a good business move for the Braves, but I wish Andruw Jones would have stayed in Atlanta.

After 12 seasons there he went for the big money in LA and was never the same. Perhaps his decline would have continued in Atlanta, but I think had he spent two or three more seasons in Atlanta and gone out on his own terms, he’d have a better shot in the Hall of Fame.

Andrelton Simmons’ career hasn’t gone smoothly either after leaving Atlanta, but he’s one of my favorite players of all-time and I wish they wouldn’t have let him go.

The obvious one here is John Smoltz. He wasn’t drafted by the Braves, but he spent his first 20 seasons in the big leagues with Atlanta before deciding to give it one more shot in 2009 with the Red Sox and Cardinals.

Before my time, but Dale Murphy is another good one. After spending 15 seasons with the Braves he ended his career with the Phillies and Rockies.

Another one that bugs me is Tom Glavine. Sixteen years with the Braves and then he goes to the hated Mets and spends five years there before spending one more year in Atlanta.

I also wish the Braves didn’t have to trade Craig Kimbrel. If he would have stayed in Atlanta he’s likely a first-ballot Hall of Famer — maybe he still will be.

Next. More is Better with Postseason. dark

Those are some of the top ones that came to mind for me, and there are some other great ones mentioned in that Twitter thread. Let me know in the comments what players you wish would have remained Braves their entire career.