The history of the Atlanta Braves uniforms since moving over from Milwaukee is much more extensive than you might think. Despite looking mostly the same for the last 35 seasons, the early years in Atlanta saw semi-annual changes. Even since 1987, when the Braves adapted their current look, there have been subtle (and not so subtle) changes from alternate uniforms and changed helmet logos to new caps.
Before we look at how the history of the Atlanta Braves uniforms have resorted to tinkered with their current set in the past few decades, let’s start with the team wore after moving from Milwaukee, when the change was constant.
The History of the Atlanta Braves uniforms (1966 – Present)
The history of the Atlanta Braves uniforms starts in 1966, when the team moved from Milwaukee to Atlanta, but the move didn’t really bring in new uniforms. In fact, they were nearly identical. The only difference between what the team wore during the final years in Milwaukee is the now iconic script A replacing the block M.
This navy and red cap was essentially the same as what the Braves have been wearing for the past 35 years. However, its initial run only lasted the first four seasons with the Braves.
The home and road jerseys were also nearly identical, with the only difference being the color (white for home and grey for away). During the team’s 13 seasons in Milwaukee, they never included their city name on the jersey, and this continued in Atlanta, as the Braves wore the team name on the road as well.
If this uniform looks familiar to you, it should. While I’ll get to alternate uniforms in a bit, one specific Braves alternate, which the team wore for ten seasons, was highly inspired by the jersey.
In 1968, the Atlanta Braves became a pinstripe team. Surprisingly, despite dropping nearly every ounce of red from the home jersey and only using it as the outline on the road, the Braves kept their navy and red cap. The usage was a bit unusual as well, as it was only used at home, where there wasn’t any red on the jersey.
The road jersey was a very simple uniform. With a navy script and red outlining, there was no piping, pinstripes, or numbers on the front.
In 1970, the Braves made a minor change, changing out the navy and red cap they were using at home to the all-navy cap that they were using on the road. This cap is more or less the same cap the team currently uses on the road, and it’s the look that Rico Carty is sporting in the image on the left.
Personally, this uniform set is the most boring to me. While the pinstripes were an interesting look, it doesn’t compare to the uniform that followed it, and didn’t have the 80s flare future jerseys had.
In the history of the Atlanta Braves uniforms, this Atlanta Braves uniform set is probably the most iconic in the team’s history aside from the current set. It’s the set that Hank Aaron broke Babe Ruth’s home run record in and it’s the throwback the team goes back to the most.
What most fans might not know, however, is that this set actually had two iterations. When the uniform first debuted, it had a thicker script with more western-style numbers.
However, in 1974, the year Hank Aaron passed Ruth, the Braves changed the script to a thinner script that’s very similar to the one the team still wears today. The number font was also changed from a curvy font to a block font.
This was a big departure from previous Atlanta Braves uniforms. The Braves switched from navy blue to royal blue and dropped the uppercase A for a red lowercase A. The team opted for a panel cap, with the red lowercase A being showcased against a white front panel, with the rest of the cap being the newly introduced royal blue.
In addition to having color-contrasting sleeves, the team also dropped the buttons, opting for pullover jerseys that became prominent during this era of baseball. The team added front numbers, which had been absent from the 1968-1971 set. Additionally, it was the first of three Atlanta Braves uniforms that did not have a road grey in the rotation. While this set only lasted four seasons, the next several sets were direct descendants.
1976 marked a new era in Atlanta Braves baseball and Atlanta Braves uniforms. At the beginning of the year, a businessman named Ted Turner bought the team. Turner was determined to take the team from “Loserville, USA” to “Winnerville, USA,” and to mark the beginning of that transition, the team introduced a new look.
While the caps remained the same, there were noticeable differences to the rest of the uniform, both home and away. The road jerseys were a grey version of the 1972-1975 road jerseys, as the feather sleeve design was kept, but the “Braves” was swapped for an “Atlanta” script. This was the first jersey that featured the team’s city name on it. The home jersey dropped the contrasting feather sleeves in favor of red pinstripes. Both jerseys added thick color contrasting collars.
This was also the uniform set the team wore when Ted Turner introduced nicknames on the back of players’ jerseys, instead of last names, a promotional stunt that lasted all of 28 games. The most notable of these nicknames was Andy Messersmith, who’s “nickname” was “Channel”. When combined with his uniform number, it produced SuperStation WTCG’s channel number, which was also owned by Ted Turner.
While this set had a few changes within it, for the sake of organization, I’m going to count it as one. This was the beginning (and end) of the Atlanta Braves powder blue era.
The initial set introduced in 1980 kept the lowercase A panel hat from the previous two sets. The road jersey also had a lowercase A, but switched to the uppercase A when the team reverted back to the uppercase A emblem from 1966. The cap switch also went for a solid royal blue cap instead of the panel cap from years prior, as you can see in the Niekro and Murphy pictures.
The home uniform was very similar to the previous home set, with the uniform just dropping the pinstripes and hoping for a red, white, and blue stripe pattern on the sleeves and collar instead of it being just a solid red.
The road uniform was a completely different look, going full powder blue and dropping the grey. This uniform also almost entirely void of red, with the only appearance being on the outline on the cap. The royal blue script was outlined in white, which was the only thing that kept it from being an all-blue uniform.
This was the only set in the history of the Atlanta Braves uniforms that dropped the traditional belts in exchange for what was called sansabelts, which was simply just an elastic waist belt. The Braves sansabelts striping matched the jersey striping on the sleeves and collars, which were different on the home and road.
Despite being the second-longest running set on this list, I find these uniforms rather unremarkable. They didn’t have the iconicity of the 1972-1975 set, nor did they have the flare of the 1976-1979 set.
This is the last home/road entry on the history of the Atlanta Braves uniforms, but I’ll be including the alternates right after. While this uniform set is how many of us have come to know and love the Braves, it hasn’t stayed constant in its entire history.
First introduced at the beginning of the 1987 season, they were highly inspired by what the team first wore as the Boston Braves, and then eventually the Milwaukee Braves. The team reverted back to navy and red after being a royal and red team for 15 years. The team brought back the original cap and returned to the triple piping that the Braves wore all the way back in Boston.
The key differences between the old uniform from the 50s and the new uniform that the tomahawk on the front chest was red instead navy blue/black and that the front numbers were omitted.
This is essentially the same uniform the Braves wear now, but there have been alternates over the years (which I’ll cover next) and minor changes to this uniform.
The most obvious change is that the Braves now wear a solid navy cap on the road instead of the navy and red cap that is still worn at home. This change was made in 2009, a year after the solid navy alternates were introduced.
An earlier change reduced the angle of the Braves script. As you can see in the picture of Mike Stanton, there was a more radical arch in the earlier years of this uniform than there is now. The Braves also changed what the A on the road jersey looked like. It went from the skinny A you see in the David Justice photo to what the team now wears in 2016. This new A matches that cap better.
A fourth and less obvious change was how players’ names were presented. Up until 2005, the team vertical arched last names. Paul Lukas of Uni-Watch demonstrated the difference best here. The Braves also used nameplates up until 2014 (from Uni-Watch as well).
The final noteworthy change is the helmet logo, of which there have been a few changes. The first was when the team switched from a fatter mismatched A to one that matched the hat logo back in 2014. The second change was when they went 3D on the batting helmet logo. They’d revert to 2D in 2018 but have worn 3D logos ever since.
The history of the Atlanta Braves uniforms (alternates)
The history of the Atlanta Braves uniforms doesn’t end at home and away jerseys. While the team didn’t introduce its first alternate uniform until 2005, there have been several in the years since. We’ll look at what they wore at home, what they wore on the road, and then a few one offs.
At home, the Braves have had four different alternate jerseys. In 2005, the Braves unveiled their red home jersey. This was essentially a copy of the Braves’ home jersey, but the script was changed to navy and outlined with white. The Braves also introduced a new cap for this jersey, which was a navy and red cap, but with a red A and a tomahawk running through it.https://mediadownloads.mlb.com/mlbam/2014/12/05/mlbtv_ariatl_37022823_1800K.mp4
The Braves wore the red jersey on Sunday up until 2012, when they introduced the weekend cream jerseys. These were very similar to what the team wore when they first moved to Atlanta, with the only difference being the patches. The jersey dropped the tomahawk, added front numbers, and became the first (and only) cream uniform in team history. This uniform was worn from 2012-2019 and then for one more run in 2021. It was discontinued after the 2021 season.
In 2014, the Braves introduced a new version of the red jersey, this time with stars within the Braves script, acting as a patriotic jersey. It also had an American flag sleeve patch, just in case you weren’t sure.
The Braves wore their regular home cap, as well, dropping the red tomahawk A cap they had worn with the previous red jerseys. This jersey was seldom used, only appearing in about five games a year.https://mediadownloads.mlb.com/mlbam/2015/08/16/mlbtv_ariatl_372793883_1200K.mp4
In 2019, the Braves introduced a new red home jersey to be worn on Friday home games. It was similar to the first red jersey the team wore, from 2005-2013, with only single piping down the front of the jersey instead of triple piping.
Thes Braves introduced their first away alternate in 2008. The first appearance was on March 30, 2008, when the Braves opened their season in Washington for the first ever game at Nationals Park. This road jersey had the Atlanta script with the tomahawk, but everything expect the white outline was navy. There was no red on this jersey aside from a small portion of the tomahawk and there was no piping. This also included the back numbers, which were navy outlined in white.
The team also introduced a solid navy cap to match the jersey. In 2008, the Braves would make this the defacto road cap, pushing the navy and red cap to be worn solely at home. While the team wore their regular road pants, with the red and navy triple piping for years, they switched in 2013 to pants with just a single navy piping when they wore this alternate.
This was an often-worn alternate jersey. Unlike the home alternates, which were worn on a scheduled day, this alternate was worn on the whims of the starting pitcher. This meant that in some seasons, it would actually be worn more than the road greys.
In 2019, when the Braves switched their home alternate, they also changed their road alternate. Instead of the all-navy jersey they had worn for 11 seasons, they changed the script to red with white outlining, and added silver piping on the front and on the sleeves. The back numbers were also changed from navy with white outlining to red with white outlining.
A few one offs
We’ll end the history of the Atlanta Braves uniforms with a few of my favorite one (or at least temporary uniforms).
The first of favorite one offs is not really what the Braves wore, but what their opponent wore. In June of 1998, the Milwaukee Brewers, who had just moved from the AL to the NL faced off against the Braves. As a promotion, the Brewers wore Milwaukee Braves jerseys, producing a Braves vs. Braves game.
They’d run this promotion two more times, once in 2004 and once in 2005. Sadly, there don’t seem to be too many pictures or videos still on the internet. It appears that the Atlanta Braves only wore throwbacks in one of those games, however.
In 2017, to celebrate the opening of the then-named SunTrust Park, the Braves introduced carbon fiber-patterned helmets. These helmets had a chain-pattern look design giving the helmet a textured look. Sadly, these helmets only lasted the opening weekend and were not seen again.
The Braves have also worn Los Bravos jerseys to celebrate Latino heritage. Introduced in 2017, the Braves have had a white version and a red version of the jersey.
After winning the World Series in 2021, the Braves introduced a gold trimmed jersey in 2022 to commemorate the championship, like many teams over the past decade. This was very similar to the everyday uniforms, with the exception of the white A on the caps and the script being outlined with gold.
Are there any that we missed on this list of the history of the Atlanta Braves uniforms? Can you help us find footage of the Milwaukee Braves vs. Milkwaukee Braves games from 1998, 2004, and 2005? Let us know below.