October 13, 2001 |
There were teams lined up along the foul lines at the beginning and fireworks at the end, but it wasn't much like a playoff game at all. Turner Field was pockmarked with huge, unsightly patches of empty seats. The heroes were not superstars but a 29-year-old journeyman catcher and a 40-something Mexican League refugee. And there are played-out immune systems everywhere that can muster more resistance than the Houston Astros displayed. But the calendar said it was October, and the program said it was a National League division series, so the Braves quickly said goodbye to the befuddled Astros.
October 1, 2013 |
ATLANTA - Zach Miner, who before last month hadn't appeared in the big leagues since 2009, made his third straight start. Erik Kratz, who was a 32-year-old rookie last year, ended the franchise's longest home-run drought in 24 years. John Mayberry Jr. came off the bench and reached on an error, a fitting likely end to his era with the team. Michael Martinez, having one of the worst seasons in baseball history, came in during a double switch to replace All-Star outfielder Domonic Brown, who failed to hit a home run in the season's final 6 1/2 weeks.
August 2, 1995 |
It all could have disintegrated right here. The Phillies, teetering on extinction's edge, might easily have come apart for good in the home of the Braves, land of the three-run homer. But something - perhaps Mariano Duncan's bad-boy collision at home plate, perhaps a recollection of their sweet May sweep here, most likely their manager's stern pregame words - infused the Phillies last night with a passion they had been missing. And on a night when Gregg Jefferies never even tossed a helmet, this reeling team salvaged some pride.
October 19, 1996 |
The champagne bottles were too thick for Mark Lemke's fat little hands. And even when he gripped them by their necks, he was too short to hoist them over taller heads and shower his teammates. So in the bubbling tumult that followed the Braves' fourth National League championship series victory of the '90s, Lemke improvised. The 5-foot-9 Atlanta second baseman, an impish grin on his stubbled face, simply held the champagne beneath their chins, the ascending spray finding its way into the noses and mouths of several surprised Braves.
October 23, 1999 |
For just a moment, Tom Glavine sounded a wistful note. "I know that my career isn't going to last forever," the Braves lefthander said. "I know this team's not going to stay together forever. You have to start wondering how many chances you're going to get at this and you want to start taking advantage of some of the ones you have left. " This, understand, is about as close as any of the Braves have come to acknowledging something more is at stake than just winning a World Series against the Yankees beginning tonight (Channel 10 8:05)
April 9, 1999 |
The Atlanta Braves wanted this to be a special night for one of their former players. It ended up being a special night for two of their former players. On the 25th anniversary of Hank Aaron's historic 715th home run, Braves castoff Paul Byrd came back and spiked the party punch. Waived by Atlanta in August, Byrd returned with the Phillies last night and pitched brilliantly as they won, 6-3, at sold-out Turner Field to salvage a confidence-building split in a season-opening four-game series.
October 8, 1993 |
This had some volatile possibilities. All these Braves fans with their war paint and tomahawks and incessant chants and woofing noises (for Fred "Crime Dog" McGriff, of course) were up in the 700 level last night, right there with a bunch of guys with backward Phillies caps and tattoos and cut-off T- shirts and a steady beer supply. This little cross-section of America got together and watched Crime Dog hit the upper deck and the rest of the Braves chase Tommy Greene in the third inning.
October 21, 1996 |
Opposing players often find their first visit to Yankee Stadium a lot like their first shot of whiskey. It smells funny and, before you get used to the sting, it can buckle your knees. But Andruw Jones, who won't be old enough to drink for another 18 months, savored his first taste of the Bronx stadium and the World Series last night. "It was fun," he said. The 19-year-old rookie from Curacao belted two long home runs in his first Series at-bats as the Braves rapidly deflated the New York Yankees and their wildly expectant fans with a 12-1 victory in Game 1. "He likes to hit balls that are up," Yankees manager Joe Torre said of his club's scouting report on Jones, "and that held true.
February 14, 1993 |
Thanks primarily to free agency, dynasties are obsolete in baseball. That's the theory, anyway. The Atlanta Braves, however, are doing their best to change that thinking. The Braves of the '90s could become the "Damn Yankees" of their era - the team everyone loves to hate, the team that is in the World Series every year. When Atlanta righthander John Smoltz signed a four-year, $16 million contract last week, it meant the Braves would have four of the majors' top starting pitchers.
July 30, 1999 |
The Phillies, once again, were without Scott Rolen, their top home-run hitter and unquestioned team leader. So, once again, they trotted out a lineup that had a cleanup hitter who has ripped exactly one homer this year. And, once again, their offense looked unstoppable, slamming 13 hits and three homers in a 12-1 romp past the out-of-water Florida Marlins at Veterans Stadium yesterday. Go figure. The resilient Phillies, with rightfielder Bobby Abreu delivering four hits and Chad Ogea pitching one of his strongest games of the season, moved 10 games over .500 for the first time since July 13, 1995.