10 players you forgot were Braves

December 1st, 2021

ATLANTA -- The list of Hall of Famers who have played for the Braves includes a Babe (Ruth), a Kid (Nichols), a Rabbit (Maranville), an Old Hoss (Radbourn) and a Deacon (White).

Some of these Hall of Famers enjoyed long careers within the Braves organization. Others, like Ruth, simply stopped by for what amounted to a little more than a cup of coffee.

Many likely remember The Great Bambino hit the last of his 714 homers as he closed his legendary career with the 1935 Boston Braves. Others may remember Phil Niekro wasn't the only Hall of Fame knuckleballer who was on Atlanta's pitching staff from 1969-71. He shares that distinction with Hoyt Wilhelm, who was 46 when he made the first of 61 appearances for the Braves.

But only the most devoted historians might remember Rogers Hornsby spent one season (1928) with the Braves and then went to the Cubs the following season, during which he won his second MVP Award.

Here is a list of 10 other players you may not remember once played for the Braves.

Cy Young
Long before Atlanta's Big Three began collecting Cy Young Awards during the 1990s, the legendary hurler for which the award is named ended his career with the 1911 Boston Rustlers (a nickname attached to the organization for just one season). Young posted a 3.71 ERA over 11 starts for the Braves. He recorded the last of his 511 wins on Sept. 22, when he tossed a nine-hit shutout against the Pirates.

Tony La Russa
When Bobby Cox, Joe Torre and Tony La Russa were inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2014, some baseball fans might not have realized Cox was the only member of this hallowed trio of managers who never played at the Major League level for the Braves. La Russa's time with the Braves consisted of nine games and eight plate appearances in 1971. He recorded the last of his eight career multi-hit games while recording a pair of singles during a Sept. 30 win over the Reds.

Gaylord Perry
Given he played for eight organizations over a 22-season career, there may have been reason to guess this Hall of Fame hurler spent some time with the Braves. His lone season with Atlanta was 1981, when he was a 42-year-old pitcher playing for Cox, who was just 40 at the time. He went 8-9 with a 3.94 ERA and exited the strike-shortened season three shy of his 300th career win.

Bruce Sutter
After constructing his Hall of Fame career with the Cubs and Cardinals, Sutter joined the Braves in 1985, when he signed a six-year, $4.8 million contract that included deferred payments over the course of 30 years. The accomplished closer underwent two shoulder surgeries and posted a 4.55 ERA while making just 112 appearances over the course of four seasons with Atlanta. When he retired after the 1988 season, his 300 saves ranked third on the all-time list.

Ken Griffey
After debuting as a member of the Big Red Machine and spending a few years with the Yankees, this three-time All-Star was traded to Atlanta in 1986. The outfielder who might now be better recognized as Jr.'s father hit .285 and produced a .784 OPS while playing 271 games for the Braves. He rejoined the Reds after being released by the Braves during the 1988 season.

Ozzie Guillen
After being released by the Orioles during the 1998 season, Guillen began a two-season stint with the Braves. He shared the shortstop position with current Atlanta bench coach Walt Weiss, who was bothered by injuries during this two-year stretch. The vocal former infielder, who managed the White Sox to the 2005 World Series title, produced a .651 OPS over 550 plate appearances for Atlanta. But some fans will forever remember the game-tying, 10th-inning single he produced in the decisive Game 6 of the 1999 National League Championship Series.

Ben Sheets
Sheets retired after the 2010 season and then found himself back in the big leagues when a trip to coach his son's team in Atlanta led to an unexpected workout. The four-time All-Star produced a 3.47 ERA over nine starts for the Braves. Knowing he'd physically exhausted all he had to offer, he unleashed everything he had left in his surgically repaired shoulder during a planned one-inning swan song completed during the Oct. 3 season finale in Pittsburgh. He motioned a thanks to his teammates, went to the clubhouse and then headed to his Louisiana home to enjoy retirement.

Bret Boone
Other than accounting for him playing for the Braves in 1999, Boone's Wikipedia page has no mention of his only season in Atlanta. The former second baseman averaged 32 homers and produced a .885 OPS while with the Mariners from 2001-03. He showed some power as he homered 20 times and constructed a .726 OPS while helping the Braves reach the World Series. But he was traded to the Padres before the start of the 2000 season.

Chris Woodward
Braves fans may remember current Nationals manager Dave Martinez was one of Atlanta's top pinch-hit options in 2001. But they may not remember that Rangers manager Chris Woodward played 92 games for Atlanta in 2007. His one-season stint with the club was not exactly memorable as he hit .199 with a .531 OPS over 151 plate appearances.

Derrek Lee
Troy Glaus arrived in Atlanta before the start of the 2010 season and proved to be one of the team's most valuable offensive assets through the end of June. But as Glaus' knee issues grew worse, the Braves acquired Lee from the Cubs in August and made him their everyday first baseman over the course of the season. Lee produced a .849 OPS over 39 regular season games. His leadoff single sparked a game-tying three-run eighth that helped the Braves claim an 11-inning win over the Giants in Game 2 of the 2010 NL Division Series.