The Braves Museum and Hall of Fame welcomed its inaugural class in 1999, with Warren Spahn, Phil Niekro, Eddie Matthews and Hank Aaron being honored for their legendary careers with the Braves organization.
The current list of 40 members is a cross-section of some of the greatest players, coaches, broadcasters, staff and executives to have been part of the franchise in Boston, Milwaukee and Atlanta.
The Braves Hall of Fame includes (along with the four inner-circle Hall of Famers previously mentioned): Ted Turner, Dale Murphy, Ernie Johnson, Sr., Lew Burdette, Johnny Sain, Bill Bartholomay, Del Crandall, Pete Van Wieren, Kid Nichols, Tommy Holmes, Skip Caray, Paul Snyder, Herman Long, Bill Lucas, Ralph Garr, David Justice, Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine, Bobby Cox, John Smoltz, Chipper Jones, Dave Pursley, Rabbit Maranville, Javy Lopez, Don Sutton, John Schuerholz, Andruw Jones, Joe Simpson, Tim Hudson, Hugh Duffy, Terry Pendleton, Joe Torre, Leo Mazzone, Joe Adcock, Fred Tenny and Rico Carty.
There is no guarantee that the Braves will have a 2024 class as the organization has not inducted new members in multiple years since it opened. It does seem likely that there will be a 2024 class given the Hall of Fame’s milestone anniversary.
With that in mind, here are some of the possible candidates for inclusion next season, in alphabetical order. (Active players and coaches are not included in this list.)
Felipe Alou spent six of his 17 big league seasons as a player as a Brave in both Milwaukee and Atlanta. In 1966 and 1968 Alou was named an All-Star and finished in the top ten in the NL MVP voting. In 1966, he led the league in at bats, runs and hits and in 1968 he again led the league in at bats and hits while also leading the league in plate appearances finishing fifth for the MVP award. In 841 games with the Braves, he slashed .295/.338/.440 for a 120 OPS+ with 989 hits and 94 home runs.
Jim Beauchamp played in parts of two seasons with the Braves in 1965 and 1967 going hitless in eight plate appearances in part of career that saw him appear in ten seasons at the MLB level for five organizations. A decade into his minor league coaching career, Beauchamp joined the Braves organization in 1985 as manager at Double-A Greenville and later Triple-A Richmond. He would join Atlanta as the team’s bench coach in 1991 and would serve in that role through the 2001 season before becoming a minor league field coordinator in 2002. Beauchamp passed away in 2007.
Wally Berger was a four-time All-Star from 1933 through 1936 with the Boston Braves. The outfielder also finished third in the MVP vote in 1933 and finished in the top 16 in five consecutive years starting in 1932. With Boston, he played in 1.057 games - primarily as the team’s centerfielder - collecting 1,263 hits while slugging 199 home runs, 248 doubles and 52 triples. His slash line during his eight seasons with the Braves was a stout .304/.362/.533 good for a 141 OPS+. Berger ranks third all-time for slugging percentage for his career as a Brave, behind only Aaron and Ronald Acuna, Jr. Berger also ranks in the top ten in numerous offensive categories including home runs and doubles.
Pat Corrales spent more than 50 years in baseball as a player, manager, coach and executive at the big-league level. Corrales joined the Braves organization as a scout in 1989 and join Atlanta’s coaching staff in 1990 as the team’s first base coach and then as its bench coach until he left the organization in before the 2007 season. He was a critical part of the coaching staff that led the Braves through their most lauded era, to date. Corrales passed away in 2023.
Bobby Dews was a long-time member of the organization, joining the team in 1974 and spending more than 35 years with the organization as a minor and major league coach, scout, coordinator and minor league manager. He spent time on Atlanta’s staff on three different occasions, from 1979-1981; 1985; and 1997-2006. Dews - who was also an author, writing several books - passed away in 2015.
Bob Horner is one of the few players to never play a game at the minor league level after being drafted as an amateur, debuting with Atlanta in 1978 after being chosen first overall out of Arizona State University. Despite a career that was shortened by injuries - and spackled with conflicts with the Braves organization - Horner played in 960 games during a nine-year run as the team’s third baseman or first baseman and slugged 215 home runs. As a Brave, Horner posted a .278/.339/.508 slash line that included 169 doubles and 685 RBI. The 1978 NL Rookie of the Year was an All-Star in 1982 and received NL MVP votes in three seasons during his career.
Glenn Hubbard spent ten years as a player with the Atlanta Braves from 1978 to 1987. The team’s starting second baseman for most of his time with Atlanta, he was an All-Star in 1983 and played in 1,196 career games before finishing his career with the Oakland Athletics in 1988 and 1989. A decade after his MLB career ended as a player, Hubbard was named Atlanta’s first base coach for the 1999 season and would remain in that role through the 2010 season. All totaled, Hubbard spent 22 seasons as a player or coach at the MLB level with Atlanta.
Gene Garber didn’t join the Atlanta Braves until his age 30 season, when the team traded for him mid-way through the 1978 season. Garber would go on to pitch ten seasons with Atlanta as a late inning reliever. The side-winding right-hander pitched in 557 games as a Brave collecting 141 saves through the 1987 season. A 19-year MLB veteran, Garber ranked fifth in games pitched when he retired after the 1988 season. With Atlanta, he finished seventh in the NL Cy Young vote - and 19th in the NL MVP vote - in 1982. His 388 games finished with the Braves is 147 games more than Craig Kimbrel, who currently ranks second.
After a brief cup of coffee in the big leagues, Clarence Jones became a star in Japan playing for both Nankai and Asaka. After the conclusion of his playing career, Jones joined the Braves organization as a hitting instructor and in 1988 Jones was added to the MLB coaching staff as hitting coach after the early season firing of manager Chuck Tanner. Jones would spend more than a decade as the Braves hitting coach, a role he would have through the 1998 season.
Sam Jethroe only played in three seasons with the Boston Braves from 1950 to 1952 but is one of the most historically important players in franchise history as he was the first African American player to appear at the MLB level for the Braves when he debuted on April 18, 1950. The 1950 Rookie of the Year, Jethroe led the league in stolen bases in 1950 and 1951 - his age 33 and 34 seasons. Although he appeared in only 440 games with the Braves, his historical importance to the franchisee cannot be understated.
Brian McCann was drafted by the Braves in 2002 and would debut with Atlanta in 2005. From 2006 through 2013, Atlanta’s starting catcher would be named an All-Star seven times - including six consecutive seasons beginning in 2006. He was also a six-time Silver Slugger while with Atlanta. McCann left Atlanta in 2014, but after five seasons, he would return to Atlanta in 2019, appearing in the last 85 games of his career. With the Braves, he appeared in 1,190 games collecting 1,139 hits while hitting 188 home runs and producing a .275/.348/.469 slash line with the team, good for a 115 OPS+.
Vic Wells pitched for Boston during the turn of the twentieth century, debuting for the team in 1898 and pitching through the 1905 season. During his eight seasons with Boston, he won 151 games and started 302 while delivering a 120 ERA+. His best season was in 1902 when he leads the league in games, starts, complete games, saves, innings pitched, strikeouts and batters faced. He still ranks in the top ten in Braves history in a number of pitching categories including ERA, wins, strikeouts and innings pitched.
Jim Whitney was a two-way player for Boston in the early 1880s, pitching and also playing first base an outfield for the team. Debuting in 1881, Whitney led the league in almost every pitching category including wins, losses, games, games started, complete games, innings pitched, and batters faced. During his five seasons with Boston, he compiled a 133-121 record will pitching in 266 games with a 114 ERA+. In 1883, Whitney played in 42 games in the outfield and first base in addition to 62 games as a pitcher. In 370 games with Boston, he hit .270/.316/.393 which was good for a 122 OPS+.
Prospective 2024 Inductees
Brian McCann seems to the likely of the above to receive this honor next season. If the team opts for multiple members in addition to McCann, one of the coaches and one of the players from the early years of the franchise could also be inducted.
Active players, coaches or staff likely to be enshrined in the future include Freddie Freeman, Eddie Perez, Brian Snitker, Ed Mangan and Craig Kimbrel. Other alumni of the organization that could merit induction include Felix Millan, Fred McGriff, Jeff Porter, Andrelton Simmons, Bruce Dal Canton and Billy Southworth.