The New York Yankees are often considered the team of the 1990s, but sometimes the Atlanta Braves are overlooked.
During the decade, Atlanta made the playoffs nearly every year (exception to the 1990 season and the strike-shortened 1994 season), winning eight division titles and appearing in five World Series in nine years.
Seeing as it is the longest running franchise in American sports, the Braves organization has also impressively won a World Series in each of the three cities it has been in: 1914 in Boston, 1957 in Milwaukee, and 1995 in Atlanta. Needless to say, there has been no shortage of World Series performances for the Braves.
World Series Titles: 3 (1914, 1957, 1995)
World Series Appearances: 9 (1914, 1948, 1957, 1958, 1991, 1992, 1995, 1996, 1999)
World Series MVP Awards: 2 (Lew Burdette - 1957; Tom Glavine - 1995)
World Series Win-Loss Record: 24-29
Now, it is tough for me to comment on World Series moments from anything before the 1991 World Series because it was simply before my time and box scores won't give those World Series' justice. However, what I can do is reflect on the World Series moments I have had the benefit of watching and living through.
- 1991 World Series (Twins win series 4-3): Considered by most baseball pundits as one of the greatest World Series games to ever be played, Game 7 of the 1991 World Series against the Minnesota Twins was instant classic. Although considered by some Braves fans as an unsavory moment, what transpired in Game 7 was a colossal pitching dual between Atlanta's John Smoltz and Minnesota's Jack Morris -- the likes that we have never seen before. Both pitchers pitched lights-out baseball, and Game 7 would go to the 10th inning when Twins utility man Gene Larkin drove in in the lone run and a walkoff World Series win for Minnesota.
- 1992 World Series (Blue Jays win series 4-2): The 1992 Braves established that the 1991 season was no fluke, and they demonstrated this by winning back-to-back National League pennants. Standing in the way of the Braves and a World Series title were the Toronto Blue Jays. Even though the Braves outscored Toronto 20-17 in the series, as a result of clutch hitting and timely pitching the Blue Jays won what was their first of two consecutive World Series titles. This World Series is also significant because Game 3 was the first time a World Series game had been played on Canadian soil.
- 1995 World Series (Braves win series 4-2): Game 6 of the 1995 World Series against the Cleveland Indians will be considered by most Braves fans as the crown jewel of Braves memories. The Braves defeated the Indians 1-0 in Game 6 behind a David Justice solo home run and Tom Glavine's spectacular pitching performance. That win clinched the one and only championship in Atlanta since the Braves relocated to the city from Milwaukee.
- 1996 World Series (Yankees win series 4-2): In the 1996 World Series it seemed as if the Braves were destined to repeat as champions. They had a strong regular season, won another National League pennant, and found themselves up 2-0 on the New York Yankees in the Fall Classic. Not only were the Braves up 2-0 in the series, but they eviscerated the Yankees by outscoring them a total of 16-1 in the first two games. However, the Yankees caught fire and won four straight games to win the World Series, thus winning the first championship in what would ignite a dynasty.
- 1999 World Series (Yankees win series 4-0): Some Braves fans probably would like to forget the 1999 World Series -- and for good reason. Although the Braves had leads in Game 1 and Game 3, the New York Yankees overcame those deficits and swept the Braves with ease. Not to pile it on, but the Braves were outscored 21-9 in the 1999 World Series.
Benjamin Hanes has lived in Atlanta for the past 23 years where he has been a constant observer of all Atlanta sports.