15 Reasons Why You Know You’re a Fan of the Atlanta Braves
15 Reasons Why You Know You're a Fan of the Atlanta Braves
Fans of Major League Baseball are easily some of the most passionate in all of professional sports. All sports fans are passionate sure but baseball fans tend to carry with them more superstition, quirks and any number of rallying traditions they can carry through the years. After all when it comes to a baseball game, a fan will do whatever it takes to win.
For some fans that means turning a cap inside out or wearing it like a fin on their head. For a fan of the Atlanta Braves however it means moving their arm in a chopping motion and seriously, with passion, doing “the chop”. Sure it gets mocked and made fun of but Braves fans do not care. That is what it means to cheer the Braves on towards victory so that is exactly what they will do.
Never let it be said that it doesn’t work either. After all, there is any number of times in the last few decades that the chop certainly seemed to make a large difference. There was the six-run comeback against the Cincinnati Reds that time and who could forget every single home game during the 1991 postseason?
Sure every baseball team has something but absolutely no other team in the game has the chop. Whether it was that or the longest division title reign in the history of sports, there are always a ton of reasons to be a Braves fan. Not everyone who likes the Braves could really be a long-term passionate and dramatic fan though. Here are a few reasons why you know you’re a fan of the Braves.
Honorable Mention: You Remember When Rick Mahler was the Braves’ Ace
Mahler might not seem like an ace in most people’s memory but this guy had double digit wins from 1984 through 1986. Considering in ’86 he wound up with 14 wins but 18 losses with a decent ERA, I think we all know how difficult being the ace for the Braves was back in those days.
Honorable Mention: You Think Bobby Cox Has Never Been Wrong in an Argument with an Umpire
We all love to see Bobby run out and take up for one of his players. It went further than just taking up for them at all costs however. He never once was wrong in a stance he took against an umpire and no umpire was ever right in throwing him out. It really is quite amazing.
15 – You Never Really Minded the 1994 Strike as Much as Other MLB Fans
Sure the strike was bad for the game and everything but that season the Braves had only won three straight division titles from 1991 through 1993. The Expos were ahead in the NL West, yes the West, and pulling away. The streak may have never continued if it weren’t for that strike in 1994.
14 – You are Certain the Braves Were Robbed of Wildcard Playoff Win in 2012
Even though they were behind and still had some work to do, the Braves’ chances of winning were squashed by one utterly ridiculous call by an umpire. You remember it right? The fly-ball to straight away, mid-distance back in left field was somehow called an infield fly rule. I still shake my head at that. For that play alone I say thank God for Instant Replay.
13 – You Believe Andruw Jones to be One of the Best Center Fielders Ever
No matter how bad he did after he left the Braves, we all know just how amazing Andruw Jones was when he was at his best. For the period of time he spent in a Braves uniform he was one of the best ever. I guess he should have just never taken it off.
12 – Ken Caminiti is Still on Your Poop List for Running Over Greg Olson
You remember it well. The Braves were headed towards another long and difficult pennant race before the days of the wildcard or the second wildcard. Their best catcher was Greg Olson and no disrespect to Damon Berryhill but the Braves lost something big that year with Olson gone.
Even Caminiti’s time at third with the Braves doesn’t completely get him forgiven for that bowl-over at home. After all, a collision is one thing but Olson wasn’t even in position or looking his way yet. I should stop here before I get carried away.
11 – If Ron Gant Picked up a Bat Today and Hit a Homer, You Know Where it Would Go
Ron Gant was the man in left field even though it looked like he ordered his jersey a size too small so everyone could see those big arms at the plate. One thing we know for sure about Gant, he might have his strikeouts and his pop-ups, but pal if you threw a ball middle in and got it in the wheelhouse, that baby was landing somewhere over the left field wall if Gant could keep it fair.
10 – You’re Favorite Home Run Hitters List Includes Ryan Klesko
There was just something about Klesko’s large frame standing in the left-handed batters box that was simply awesome. I know people today who list him as one of their all-time favorite players. I still wish we could have seen him in the home run derby one year because the world may have never forgotten his name if that were to have happened. I mean 16 years, 278 home runs and just under 1000 RBI with about a .280 batting average isn’t all that bad. But Braves fans know he was much better than those numbers suggest.
9 – For You There is One and Only One Home Run Champion of All-Time
Debates and asterisks can go on all day long, every week forever but there is no debate for a long-term Braves fan. There is a clear and obvious all-time home run king and he never had a day where someone questioned his integrity. The MLB all-time home run king for Braves fans is and likely always will be Hank Aaron; period.
8 – Otis Nixon is Still One of Your Favorite All-Time Center Fielders
Okay we could have done without the bunt attempt for the last out of a World Series but there is always a special place for old number 1. The times when he found himself on the basepaths were fun to watch but that isn’t what we remember most. How many times would you have to see that play to truly believe that he actually caught that ball off the bat of Andy Van Slyke? Like the legendary Skip Caray, I still don’t believe it. I can still hear that call: “He caught the ball! He caught the ball!” then, “I don’t believe it!”
7 – You Know Exactly Who the “Lemmer” Is
Mark Lemke made a name for himself as one of the more reliable post season performers of the early part of the Braves’ 14 year streak. For true Braves fans there may never be a better turner of the double play. Sure his 1991 World Series performance was awesome but Lemmer was always awesome!
6 – Hideo Nomo Winning 1995 Rookie of the Year Will Never be Okay
The 1994 season was a little darker because rookie sensation Chipper Jones went down for the year with a knee injury in spring training. In 1995 the race for ROTY was on! The only real competition he had for the first half of the season was Hideo Nomo. The fact that Nomo won is still irritating to Braves fans. First of all he was a pitcher instead of an everyday player. Secondly Nomo wasn’t even a real rookie because he had played professional ball elsewhere. Oh, don’t get me or Braves fans started.
5 – David Justice Went from Your Least Favorite to Most Favorite Braves Player in Hours
The 1995 World Series was dramatic for many reasons but one was the comment made by David Justice that the Cleveland Indians fans were louder and maybe even more passionate than Braves fans. Going back to Atlanta Fulton County Stadium for game 6, the result was instant. Justice had stirred up Braves nation and they were incredibly loud; though many did boo Justice. That is until his home run provided all of the support that Tom Glavine needed to clinch the series.
4 – It Offends You a Little that Greg Maddux is Not Going into Hall-of-Fame as a Braves Player
Sure we know that Greg Maddux started his career with the Chicago Cubs and went back to them after several years with the Braves but doggone it, his best years came with Atlanta and we know he is a Braves legend first. We’ll respect his decision but at the same time we really wish he had a Braves logo on that plaque.
3 – You Would Sign Anything if it Included a Hall-of-Fame Petition for Dale Murphy
Numbers are not everything in MLB and that is never more apparent than when it comes to Dale Murphy. That guy was one of the best players of his era, bar none. If he came up in the clutch you could bet he would come through. There were times he was almost automatic in clutch situations. Never mind that he was loyal and steady stuck with the Braves throughout their down years. This man should be in the HOF, no matter who says different.
2 – You Still Don’t Know Why Lonnie Smith Bought the Decoy Throw in 1991
Braves fans are shaking their head already at the thought of this play. Lonnie Smith was on base when the ball was crushed into the gap in Minnesota. There was no way even Smith wouldn’t score, as long as he didn’t slip down on the turf. Except for the fact that a simple decoy at second base, where the shortstop pretended he had the ball, caused Smith to stop dead still on the bases.
Because of that he only made it to third base. The Braves famously went on to lose that game barely thanks to Kirby Puckett and Smith buying the decoy. If he had scored on that play, the Braves likely would have won their first Series in 1991.
1 – You Know Exactly Where You Were When Sid Bream Slid Safely into Home
Bream was a reliable first baseman and was good with the bat. He couldn’t run a lick though. When he scored from second base to complete the Braves improbable ninth inning comeback in that famous 1992 NLCS against the Pittsburgh Pirates, Braves nation exploded.
As soon as Pirates second baseman Jose Lind committed an Error to start the rally, you knew something was going to happen. Who would have thought Bream would have beaten out a throw to home? What a great moment.