One hundred and thirty-five years after their franchise was conceived in Boston, the Atlanta Braves are on the brink of becoming the third team to win 10,000 games in the major leagues.
Their first shot at five digits comes Friday night at Turner Field as the Washington Nationals come to town for a three-game series. Win and the Braves will join the San Francisco Giants (10,489) and Chicago Cubs (10,277) as the only teams to cross the 10K threshold.
• The path to 10,000 took the Braves through three different cities, and the team won a World Series championship at each stop (the only franchise to do so). In Boston, the team won 5,118 games from 1876-1952 as the Red Stockings, Beaneaters, Doves, Rustlers, the Braves, the Bees and then finally the Braves again. It won 1,146 games in Milwaukee after relocating for the 1953 season and then 3,735 games in Atlanta (and counting) after moving south in 1966.
• Depending on your methods of counting victories, the Braves could also be considered the fifth team to reach 10,000. The Los Angeles Dodgers (10,176) and St. Louis Cardinals (10,154) have both passed the number, but those totals include victories that came in the American Association, before each team joined the National League. (The Cincinnati Reds are also at 9,940 overall wins, but the 549 wins they compiled in the American Association from 1882-1889 sets the clock back a bit for 10,000 major league wins.)
• Once the Braves reach 10,000 wins, former manager Bobby Cox and his 2,149 victories will account for 21.49 percent of all Braves victories. (Wow, that math was easy.) Hall of Famer Frank Selee is next on the list with the 1,004 victories he compiled while winning five National League pennants with the Boston Beaneaters in the 1890s.
• Not that anyone's expecting this, but an extended losing streak out of the All-Star break could actually see the Braves first join the Philadelphia Phillies as the only team to lose more than 10,000 games. The Braves have 9,992 total losses heading into this first attempt at 10,000 wins.
• The Braves have a number of special activities planned for the milestone, including donating 10,000 Braves tickets to local charities, unfurling a special "10,000" flag at Turner Field and, most importantly, handing out 10,000 coupons for free Chick-fil-A.
• Finally, some of you might be wondering where your team ranks on the all-time wins list and how much further they have to go. Baseball-Reference makes it easy on this page. Of note, the New York Yankees have 9,723 victories and are the closest of any team in the American League, which started up in 1901. The team with the fewest total wins? That'd be the Tampa Bay Rays, who sport only 971 victories since their inception in 1998.