Atlanta Braves Icons Wearing the Wrong Uniform Number

Miami Marlins v Atlanta Braves
Miami Marlins v Atlanta Braves / Kevin C. Cox/GettyImages

Recently, I wrote an article about a number John Smoltz didn't wear. This time, we're looking at Braves icons wearing the wrong number, for real this time. From the all-time greats, like Hank Aaron and Chipper Jones, to

Atlanta Braves Icons Wearing the Wrong Uniform Number

Hank Aaron #5

Believe it or not, Hammerin' Hank broke into the bigs wearing #5. While I couldn't find any videos from his rookie year, there are a few photos floating out there where he's wearing that unfamiliar number.

But why the change? Turns out, he felt that 44 was a lucky number. He probably was right. Hank Aaron's rookie year in 1954 was the worst season he had as an Atlanta Brave. It was also the fewest homers he hit in a season with 13, until he played for the Brewers in 1975. Wearing #44, Aaron became one of the best hitters in baseball history.

Chipper Jones #16

While we all remember Chipper Jones wearing his iconic #10, when he had first cup of coffee with the Braves in 1993, #10 was taken by Greg Olson.

Chipper only played eight games in 1993, collecting two hits in four plate appearances. He mostly came into the game as a defensive replacement or pinch runner.

The video below is when he entered as a pinch-hitter and struck out. Interestingly, he's wearing a two-flap helmet instead of a single-flap helmet. Based on the number on the back of the helmet, it belonged to Ramón Caraballo. When Chipper got his first at-bat a day earlier, he had a single-flap helmet.

Jones continued to wear #16 during Spring Training in 1994, but he suffered an ACL injury before the season started, which sidelined him the entire season.

When 1995 started, Chipper switched to the #10 we all know him for. It looks like this switch happened before Spring Training began as well.

Jeff Francoeur #18

When Jeff Francoeur first came up in 2005 and lit the baseball world on fire, he wore #7. If you were a Braves fan during his first stint with the Braves, this is probably the number you most associate him with.

Frenchy wore #7 throughout his entire first stint, which means that, unlike everyone else on this list, he didn't switch his number after his rookie year.

Francoeur's first stint ended in 2009 after being traded mid-season to the Mets. He bounced around afterward, playing for the Rangers, Royals, Giants, Padres, and Phillies. In 2016, he signed a minor league deal with the Braves. His old number, 7, was assigned to Gordon Beckham, so he chose #18, "for Peyton Manning."

Dansby Swanson #2

When Dansby Swanson was first called up in 2016, he ran into the same problem his teammate of eight days, Jeff Francoeur, ran into: #7 was taken by Gordon Beckham.

Swanson had worn #7 since his first season at Vanderbilt University, but with Beckham holding it, Swanson chose #2.

Swanson got 145 PAs wearing #2. One of my favorite plays from his first cup of coffee was this inside-the-park homer in Washington D.C, which also happened to be his first homer.

Beckham departed at the end of the season (quite literally –– he was traded in the final week of the season), and Swanson, as expected switched to the #7 he wore for the final six years he wore a Braves uniform.

Max Fried #61

Max Fried has been the de facto ace of the Braves for three years now. But Fried didn't come up and start dominating right away.

In fact, despite first appearing at the big league level in 2017, he didn't start a full season's worth of games until 2019. Because of this, you probably don't remember that the first number he wore with the team was #61.

Fried pitched 26 innings in 2017 wearing this number, before switching to #54, which he has dominated batters with ever since.

Spencer Strider #65

Strider might not be an all-time icon yet, but with the flame-throwing righty locked in for the next six years, there's a good chance we'll look back at his incredible 2022 and think that #65 looked odd on him.

This is because Strider switched to #99 this offseason, becoming the first wearer in team history. Here's to looking forward to years more of 99 MPH strikeouts.