Schlossberg on Baseball: Remembering the 14 Straight • Latino Sports


Schlossberg on Baseball: Remembering the 14 Straight


FLUSHING, NY — Seeing the Atlanta Braves start a three-game set at CitiField Tuesday sparked a memory of a milestone.

It was 10 years ago that the Braves won the last of an unprecedented 14 straight divisional titles.

Bobby Cox (right) and Fredi Gonzalez

Bobby Cox (right) and Fredi Gonzalez

Then led by Bobby Cox, the team won its first three crowns in the National League West, then 10 more after transferring to the NL East in the 1994 realignment that gave each league three divisions and created the wild-card (the second-place team with the best record).

For those who challenge the streak, keep in mind that there was no finish to the ’94 campaign because of the 232-day player strike. So, for every complete season from 1991-2005, the Atlanta Braves finished first.

No other team in professional sports can make that claim — or even come close.

Cox, who joined Braves pitchers Greg Maddux and Tom Glavine in

Tom Glavine hbad five 20-win seasons in Atlanta

Tom Glavine had five 20-win seasons in Atlanta

the Hall of Fame last July, has yielded the dugout reigns to Fredi Gonzalez but remains active in the Atlanta front office. He even sits on the club’s board of directors.

Perhaps the most remarkable aspect of Atlanta’s run was a change in ownership from TV magnate Ted Turner, who had an open checkbook, to various corporations, who don’t like losing money.

Even though some of those Braves teams drew more than three million fans, corporate decisions forced general manager to slice payroll and eventually let Maddux and Glavine leave as free agents.

Both pitchers won their 300th games elsewhere — Maddux for the

Greg Maddux won 355 games, more than any living pitcher

Greg Maddux won 355 games, more than any living pitcher

Cubs and Glavine for the Mets.

Those two pitchers, coupled with newly-minted Hall of Famer John Smoltz and soon-to-be-inducted slugger Chipper Jones, were the backbone of the Braves for most of the 14-year run. In fact, Smoltz was the only player who was there for the whole thing.

The current Braves, who made more than a dozen deals since John Hart became their chief trade-maker last fall, aren’t planning anything to mark the anniversary. But they should: it’s an achievement just as likely to stand forever as Cal Ripken’s streak.

Elsewhere in baseball:

The Mets will miss injured catcher Travis d'Arnaud

The Mets will miss injured catcher Travis d’Arnaud

Although the Mets jumped off to the best start in their history, injuries to David Wright (hamstring), Travis d’Arnaud (broken hand), and Jeremy Blevins (broken arm) will be tough to overcome . . .

Mike Redmond (Marlins) and Ron Roenicke (Brewers) seem to be staging a contest to see who can become the first manager fired this year . . .

Although the Chicago Cubs are disappointed so far in free agent signee Jon Lester, they are enamored with the new left side of their infield: rookies Addison Russell at short and Kris Bryant at third . . .

Is that really Ryan Howard batting seventh for Philadelphia? . . .

The Royals have found another burner in Brazilian outfielder Pablo Orlando . . .

Believe it or not, Toronto employs four of the Canadian players in the big leagues . . .

Although Safeco Field is a graveyard for hitters, Nelson Cruz has

Nelson Cruz hasn't stopped hitting

Nelson Cruz hasn’t stopped hitting

more total bases so far than any American League slugger . . .

Texas powerhouse Prince Fielder is 0-for-14 lifetime against Seattle ace Felix Hernandez — his worst mark against any pitcher.

About Dan Schlossberg

Former AP sportswriter Dan Schlossberg of Fair Lawn, NJ has produced 35 baseball books, including autobiographies of Ron Blomberg, Al Clark, and Milo Hamilton. Also a broadcaster, he is the host and executive producer of Braves Banter and Travel Itch Radio and a contributor to Sirius XM.

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