Globe iconLogin iconRecap iconSearch iconTickets icon
The Official Site of the Atlanta Braves
news

Braves Team News

Braves' all-time retired numbers

ATLANTA, GA - JUNE 28: Chipper Jones #10 of the Atlanta Braves speaks to fans during his number retirement ceremony before the game against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Turner Field on June 28, 2013 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Daniel Shirey/Getty Images) (Daniel Shirey/Getty Images)
@mlbbowman
November 1, 2018

ATLANTA -- There is certainly reason for the Braves to proudly display each of the 10 numbers they have retired to honor the legendary figures who enriched baseball while representing the organization. Nine of the numbers retired were worn by players and a manager who have been enshrined in the

ATLANTA -- There is certainly reason for the Braves to proudly display each of the 10 numbers they have retired to honor the legendary figures who enriched baseball while representing the organization.

Nine of the numbers retired were worn by players and a manager who have been enshrined in the Baseball Hall of Fame. The other belonged to Dale Murphy, who ranks with Hank Aaron and Chipper Jones as the three most widely beloved figures in franchise history.

Here is a look at each of the figures who have had their number retired by the Braves:

Dale Murphy, OF: No. 3
Number retired: June 13, 1994
One of the most beloved players in franchise history, Murphy established himself as an iconic figure as TBS helped the Braves become America's Team during the 1980s. He debuted as a catcher in 1976 and was introduced to a young first-time manager named Bobby Cox two years later. Cox's decision to convert the young slugger into an outfielder was a career-altering decision. Murphy won consecutive National League MVP Awards (1982 and '83) and five consecutive Gold Glove Awards (1982-86). He finished with 398 home runs, but his Hall of Fame resume was weakened by an abrupt decline influenced by his bad knees.

Bobby Cox, MGR: No. 6
Number retired: Aug. 12, 2011
When former owner Ted Turner fired Cox after the 1981 season, he said his ideal replacement would be somebody just like Cox. Four years and a successful managerial stint in Toronto later, Cox returned to Atlanta to become the general manager who revitalized the organization by overhauling the farm system with the addition of high-quality pitching prospects. His 2014 induction into the Baseball Hall of Fame was a product of the tremendous success he had while serving as Atlanta's manager from 1991-2010. The Braves won 14 consecutive division titles outside of the 1994 strike year (1991-2005), won a World Series, captured five NL pennants and made 15 trips to the postseason under his direction.

Chipper Jones, 3B: No. 10
Number retired: June 28, 2013
When Jones was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2018, he joined Ken Griffey Jr. as the only players to ever receive this honor after being selected with the top overall pick in the MLB Draft. The Braves selected the skinny prep shortstop in 1990 and then spent the next two decades watching him become of the game's most recognizable legends. Jones hit 468 career home runs and retired as one of two switch-hitters in baseball history to have a .300 career batting average from both the right and left sides of the plate. The eight-time All-Star won the 1999 NL MVP Award and notched his only career batting title in 2008, when at 36 years old he hit .364. Fittingly, his number was the 10th to be retired by the organization.

Warren Spahn, LHP: No. 21
Number retired: Dec. 11, 1965
Considered one of the greatest left-handed pitchers in baseball history, Spahn was the first player in franchise history to have his number retired. He is also the franchise's only player to receive this honor without ever playing in Atlanta. After his career was interrupted due to a three-year stint serving in World War II, Spahn rejoined the Boston Braves in 1946 and began fashioning a career that included 363 wins -- easily the most recorded by any southpaw in MLB history. He helped Boston reach the World Series in 1948 and then starred for the Milwaukee Braves, who won a world championship in 1957 and returned to the Fall Classic the following year. The 14-time All-Star hurler set an NL record by notching at least 20 wins in 13 separate seasons.

John Smoltz, RHP: No. 29
Number retired: June 8, 2012
One of the most accomplished pitchers in postseason history, Smoltz was the only player who was part of the Braves' roster throughout the club's stretch of 14 consecutive division titles. He introduced himself to the baseball world with his memorable battle against Jack Morris in Game 7 of the 1991 World Series and retired with the second-most postseason wins (15) in MLB history. The right-hander returned from Tommy John surgery in 2001 and immediately established himself as an elite closer, setting a NL record with 55 saves in 2002. The highly-competitive hurler earned two of his eight All-Star selections after making a successful return to Atlanta's rotation in 2005. He retired with the distinction of being the only pitcher to record at least 200 wins and 150 saves in a career.

Greg Maddux, RHP: No. 31
Number retired: July 17, 2009
The most influential free-agent acquisition in franchise history, Maddux joined the Braves a few weeks after he captured the 1992 NL Cy Young Award while pitching for the Cubs. He earned this honor each of the next three years and notched 194 of his 355 career wins while pitching for Atlanta from 1993-2003. Nicknamed "The Professor" because of his impressive baseball IQ, the right-hander posted an incredible 1.60 ERA (265 ERA+) over his 53 starts across 1994-95. He won 18 Gold Glove Awards over a 19-season span from 1990-2008. He joined teammate Tom Glavine and his Atlanta manager Bobby Cox as members of the 2014 Hall of Fame induction class.

Phil Niekro, RHP: No. 35
Number retired: Aug. 8, 1984
Born on April 1, 1939, Niekro spent portions of three decades fooling and baffling opponents with the knuckleball he learned from his father, who developed the pitch after developing arm problems while pitching in coal-mining leagues. Niekro notched 268 of his 318 career wins while pitching for the Braves from 1964-83. He reluctantly left Atlanta and pursued his 300th career win while pitching for the Yankees in 1984. Former owner Ted Turner's appreciation for Niekro led the Braves to retire Niekro's number during one of the Yankees' offdays that same year. Three years later, at the age of 48, Niekro rejoined Atlanta to make one last start in the team's home finale. He then fulfilled his wish to retire as a Brave.

Eddie Mathews, 3B: No. 41
Number retired: July 26, 1969
The only Braves player to have been on the franchise's Major League roster across Boston, Milwaukee and Atlanta, Mathews teamed with Hank Aaron to serve as one of baseball's most successful duos during the 1950s and '60s. Mathews hit 493 of his 512 career homers while with the Braves from 1952-66. The Hall of Fame third baseman finished second in NL MVP Award voting in 1953 and 1959 -- the two years he led the Senior Circuit in home runs. According to the National Baseball Hall of Fame's website, Ty Cobb once said, "I've only known three or four perfect swings in my lifetime. This lad [Mathews] has one of them." That swing led to nine consecutive 30-plus-homer seasons and the distinction of being just the seventh player to reach the 500-homer milestone.

Hank Aaron, OF: No. 44
Number retired: April 15, 1977
Aaron created one of history's most memorable moments when he broke Babe Ruth's "unbreakable" home run record on April 8, 1974. The Hammer finished his career with 755 home runs, which stood as MLB's record until Barry Bonds broke it in 2007. Aaron debuted in 1954 and won the NL MVP Award three years later while guiding the Braves to their second World Series title. The 21-time All-Star moved with the Braves to Atlanta in 1966 and then returned to Milwaukee in 1975 to play the final two seasons of his career for the Brewers. Long after he retired, Aaron still owned MLB's record for total bases and RBIs.

Tom Glavine, LHP: No. 47
Number retired: Aug. 7, 2010
Glavine cemented his place in Atlanta's sports history when he limited the Indians to just one hit over eight scoreless inning in Game 6 of the 1995 World Series. The 1-0 win registered that night provided the Braves their third World Series title in franchise history. Glavine recorded 244 of his 305 career wins while pitching for the Braves from 1987-2002 and again in 2008. The heralded southpaw won the first of his two Cy Young Awards during Atlanta's memorable "Worst-to-First" season in 1991. He recorded five 20-win seasons over a 10-season span (1991-2000) and recorded his 300th victory while pitching for the Mets in 2007.

Note: On April 15, 1997, the Braves joined every team in MLB in retiring No. 42 in honor of Jackie Robinson.

Mark Bowman has covered the Braves for MLB.com since 2001.