Opening day is here!
The Braves have fairly rich tradition on Opening Day between memorable starts from Maddux, Glavine, and Lowe to breakout offensive performances from Fred McGriff, Jason Heyward, and Freddie Freeman.
In that spirit, here are some neat Opening Day facts about the Braves franchise to hold you over for a couple of the minutes you will be counting down until the first pitch of the Braves’ season is thrown this afternoon. Happy Opening Day!
Braves Franchise Opening Day Fun Tidbits
- Going back all the way to 1876 when they were the the Boston Red Stockings, the Braves have a total record of 78-62-1 on Opening Day.
- Their first Opening Day game, according to Baseball Almanac, was against the Hartford Dark Blues (old time baseball names are weird) which they lost 3-2
- Tie games are rare in baseball these days, but that didn’t stop the Braves from playing the Phillies to a 2-2 tie on Opening Day 1950
- The Braves pitcher with the most Opening Day starts in the franchise’s history is Phil Niekro with 8. Greg Maddux came in a close second with 7.
- Speaking of Maddux, between 1990-2003...the only pitchers to make Opening Day starts for the Braves were Tom Glavine, Greg Maddux, and John Smoltz to the surprise of exactly no one. Who was the pitcher who broke the streak? Russ Ortiz
- Julio Teheran is about to make his 4th consecutive Opening Day start for the Braves. The other two pitchers for the franchise since it moved to Atlanta to accomplish the same feat? Rick Mahler (1985-1988) and Greg Maddux (1993-1996)
- The Braves played an insane Opening Day game in their game in Atlanta where Tony Cloninger pitched 13 innings (!) while striking out 12 batters and future skipper of the Evil Empire Joe Torre drove in the Braves only two runs on a pair of solo shots. It is worth noting that the Braves lost the game despite Cloninger going 13 innings which had to feel.....not great assuming he had any feeling left in his body after that start.