Who are the #Braves’ Franchise 4?

After Bad Henry at #1, it’s a tough call. Regardless of who you pick, at least three Hall of Famers are going to be left off.

Here’s my list:

#2 Greg Maddux. If you’re the best pitcher of your generation you qualify.

#3 Warren Spahn. Had a few more wins and a slightly better ERA than Mad Dog but didn’t have to face juiced-up freaks.

#4 Eddie Mathews.He was much better defensively than Chipper and, in his prime, the  better hitter, slugging 37 or more homers six times. Mathews leads in career WAR, too, but was pretty much a non-factor after his 33rd birthday. Chipper, meanwhile, hit .364 when he was he 36 years old and led in OPS (.930 to .855 — about the same when you adjust for era). I’ve gone back and forth between the two, but Mathews gets the slightest of nods due to his glove.

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5 comments

  1. We could quibble a bit. I would probably insert Niekro into the Maddux slot based on number of years with the team and what he meant as the face of the Braves. But a list without room for Glavine can always be argued.

  2. I agree with you that Niekro belongs there over Maddux, Jack. But Kid Nichols should be there over both of them.

    I like the other three choices.

  3. Your choices are the same as mine. But I’m afraid most fans don’t know who Eddie Mathews was.

    On the other hand, I told a Pirates fan friend of mine I was voting for Doc Ellis, Dale Berra, Omara Moreno and Steve Blass for his team.

  4. I have Chipper at number four but as you say, it’s a tossup.

    Take a step back and consider this: if that’s the list (and last I saw from the votes, it is) this franchise has such an amazing history that in picking those four, you have to leave off no less than FOUR 300 game winners (Glavine, Niekro, Nichols and John Clarkson) and one of the top five-six third basemen ever (that’s true if you keep Mathews over Chipper OR vice versa.) You could use those guys and make a four that would be better than most other teams top group.

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