Ivers Whitney Adams founded the Boston Red Stockings in 1871, one of nine founding members of the NL. Throughout its 82-year tenure in Boston, the team was known as the Red Stockings, Red Caps, Rustlers, and Bees.
Their four NL pennants (1872–75), 10 NL pennants, and one World Series championship in 1914 earned them the nickname “Miracle Braves.” Their domination inspired the phrase “Spahn and Spain and pray for rain” in 1948.
After losing many fans to the American League’s Boston Red Sox, the Braves relocated to Milwaukee in 1953. (partly because the Braves had lost in all but 12 of the 38 seasons since their World Series victory). With Hank Aaron, Eddie Matthews, Spahn, and Lew Burdette, the reconstructed team won two pennants (1957, 1958). Following a 13-year run in Milwaukee, the Braves were relocated to Atlanta due to falling attendance in the 1960s.
Ted Turner bought the Braves in 1976 and began broadcasting their games on his cable “superstation,” WTCG (WTBS, or TBS, from 1979). However, the coverage increased the Braves’ national profile, and they soon became one of the country’s most popular teams.
It was general manager John Schuerholz and manager Bobby Cox that brought it back to prominence in the 1990s after a string of disappointing seasons. The Braves boasted young pitchers Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine, and John Smoltz, as well as batters David Justice and Chipper Jones.
The Braves won 14 straight division titles from 1991 to 2005 (except for 1994, which was truncated due to a labor conflict), and reached the World Series five times, winning their third in 1995. Time Warner sold the Braves in 2007, and TBS stopped airing their games.
Braves lost their first postseason series in 2010. It lost an 8 1/2-game lead in the Wild Card standings with four weeks left in 2011, the second-worst September collapse in baseball history.
The Braves were quickly eliminated by the Cardinals in the one-game Wild Card playoff (who had edged Atlanta for the Wild Card the previous season). After winning their eighth division title, the Braves lost their first postseason series.
Atlanta initiated a rebuilding phase after a disappointing 2015 season (67–95). To many baseball observers’ surprise, Atlanta moved from losing 90 games in 2017 to winning 90 games in 2018. To lose their first postseason series, the Braves won 97 games and the division in 2019. Atlanta lost a 3–1 series lead to the Los Angeles Dodgers in seven games in the 2020 NLCS.
The next season, they defeated the Dodgers in six games to reach their first World Series in 22 years. Atlanta then defeated the Houston Astros in six games.