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Atlanta Braves: The Oldest Team in America

1871 Boston Red Stockings

The Boston Red Stockings

The Atlanta Braves is touted as the oldest continuously operating sports team in America. Founded in Boston in 1871 as the Boston Red Stockings they were a charter member of the National Association of Professional Base Ball Players and won 4 out of 5 of the league’s championships. They then became a charter franchise of the National League and adopted the nickname the Red Caps. Today, the only two remaining charter members of the National League are the Braves and the Chicago Cubs. The Red Caps became the Beaneaters in 1883 and were a dominant team in the 19th century winning 8 pennants in the National League.

Slump & World Series Wins

The Beaneaters only won one season from 1900-1913 going on a losing slump. They also tried out media-driven names like the Doves in 1907 and the Rustlers in 1911 until settling on the Braves before the 1912 season. As underdogs they swept the Philadelphia Athletics in the 1914 World Series. New owners in 1935 changed the name again to the Boston Bees, but 5 years later another new owner, Lou Perini, changed it back to the Braves. He also moved the team to Milwaukee in 1953 since their top farm team, the Brewers, was there. In 1957 Hank Aaron led the Braves in his MVP season to win the World Series for the first time in over 40 years, defeating the New York Yankees.Atlanta Braves 1966

Move to Atlanta

Lou Perini sold the team to a group led by William Bartholomay who moved the team to Atlanta before the 1966 season drawing over 1.5 million people to the new Atlanta Stadium that year. Hank Aaron broke Babe Ruth’s home run record in the stadium on April 8th, 1974. Ted Turner bought the Atlanta Braves in 1976 to keep the team in Atlanta, and marketed it as “America’s Team,” freely broadcasting their games on his cable station WTBS. They showed division dominance from 1991 to 2005 and won the World Series against the Cleveland Indians in 1995, having won a World Series in all 3 cities they played in. They were sold to Liberty Media in 2007, and remain a staple of the Atlanta sports scene.

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