Over the course of the next month, LWOSports will be breaking down the top five MLB players in franchise history for all 30 teams. This article will rank the top five Atlanta Braves players from least to best by who had the biggest impact for the team. You can check out the other series articles here.
Top Five Atlanta Braves Players
5. Tom Glavine
Tom Glavine played in the majors for 22 seasons including 17 of those seasons with the Atlanta Braves after debuting for Atlanta in 1987. Glavine formed one of the best pitching trios in baseball history in Atlanta with Greg Maddux and John Smoltz. The three of them were dynamic and carried the Braves to a World Series in 1995, where Glavine won the MVP award of the World Series. Over his career, Glavine was a 10-time all-star, two-time National League Cy Young winner, four-time Silver Slugger winner, and a five-time National League wins leader. Glavine is one of 24 pitchers to have over 300 career wins with his overall record being 205-203. Glavine has his number 47 retired by the Atlanta Braves while also being a member of the baseball Hall of Fame with his election in 2014 as a first-time vote getter.
4. John Smoltz
John Smoltz played 22 seasons in the majors and 21 of them were with the Atlanta Braves after debuting with the team in 1988. Smoltz was another piece of the trio that carried the Braves for over a decade. Smoltz was known in his career as a dominant starting pitcher but in 2001 after having Tommy John Surgery, Smoltz was moved to the teams closer role for four seasons where he was also dominate. In 2002, Smoltz set a record with 55 saves and becoming one of only two pitchers to have a 20 win season and a 50 save season in their career. Over his career, Smoltz was an eight-time all-star, World Series champion, National League Cy Young winner, Silver Slugger winner, Roberto Clemente winner, two-time National League wins and strikeouts leader, and National League saves leader in 2002. Smoltz is the only pitcher in baseball history to record 200 wins and 150 saves in their career which just shows you how dominant of a pitcher he was. Smoltz’s number 29 was retired by the Atlanta Braves and he was also elected into the baseball Hall of Fame in 2015 as a first vote getter.
3. Greg Maddux
Greg Maddux played in the majors for 23 seasons while spending 11 of those seasons with the Atlanta Braves. Maddux was the final piece for their trio in Atlanta which resulted in winning the World Series in 1995. Maddux was the first ever pitcher to win four Cy Young’s in four consecutive years while dominating the league. He was 75-29 over that span with a 1.98 ERA and allowing just under one base runner per inning which is a remarkable accomplishment. Maddux was an eight-time all-star, World Series champion, four-time NL Cy Young winner, 18 time Gold Glove winner, three-time MLB wins leader, and four-time MLB ERA leader. Over his career, Maddux was 355-227 with a 3.16 ERA and over 3,300 strikeouts. Maddux’s number 31 was retired by the Atlanta Braves and he was elected into the baseball Hall of Fame in 2014 as a first vote getter.
2. Chipper Jones
Chipper Jones played in the majors for 19 seasons and all of them being with the Atlanta Braves after making his debut in 1993. Jones was the number one overall pick in the 1990 MLB draft by the Atlanta Braves. Jones was an eight-time all-star, World Series champion, National League MVP, two-time Silver Slugger Winner, and the MLB batting champion in 2008. Over his career, Jones was a .303 hitter with over 2,700 hits and 468 home runs to account for 1,600 RBI’s. Jones was one of the best switch hitters in baseball history. He played third base and left field for the Braves and thrived in both positions which were key to their success. Jones will be the greatest Atlanta Braves player of all time to most who watched his success on the field as well as what he did off the field for the community. Jones number 10 is retired by the Atlanta Braves and he was elected into the baseball Hall of Fame in 2018 as a first-time vote getter.
1. Hank Aaron
Hank Aaron played 21 seasons in the majors and 20 of them with the Milwaukee/Atlanta Braves after making his debut in 1954. Aaron held the record for most home runs in a career with 755 before it was broken by Barry Bonds. He is also one of two players in history to have 30 home runs in 15+ seasons. In his career, Aaron batted .305 with over 3,700 hits and 755 home runs while driving in 2,300 runs. Aaron was a 25-time all-star, World Series champion in 1957, National League MVP, three-time Gold Glove winner, two-time National League batting champion, and four-time National League home run and RBI leader. He holds MLB records for runs batted in with 2,297, total bases with 6,856, and extra-base hits with 1,477. Aaron has his number 44 retired by the Atlanta Braves and he was nominated for the Major League Baseball All-Century Team. In 1982, Aaron was elected into the baseball Hall of Fame as a first-time vote getter and will go down as one of the best baseball players to ever play in the Majors.
The Atlanta Braves were one of the most dominant teams in baseball history during the ’90s with the dominance at starting pitching with John Smoltz, Greg Maddux, and Tom Glavine. The Braves had some of the best pitchers of their era as well as all time all in the same rotation which is remarkable. Atlanta also had one of the more underrated players of all-time in Chipper Jones as his numbers didn’t stand out to many but what he brought to the field and to the community was even more recognizable. The Braves will forever be remembered by their dominance in the ’90s with their stand out players who carried them to the promised land. You can check out our other player rankings here.
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