How the Braves got their name

December 1st, 2021

ATLANTA -- Ever wonder how the Atlanta Braves got their name? Well, the origins date back more than a century, when the team was located in Boston and owned by a member of Tammany Hall, a New York City political organization named after Tamanend, a Delaware Indian chief. 

The history of the Braves organization goes back to 1876, when they were known as the Red Stockings. In 1883, they became the Beaneaters and kept that name until 1907, when new owner George Dovey changed it to the Doves.

Back then, it was common for teams to be named after their owners. So, when William Russell bought the franchise before the 1911 season, the club became the Rustlers. The team was sold the following year to James Gaffney, an alderman for Tammany Hall, which used an Indian headdress for its emblem and referred to its members as Braves. 

Consequently, the franchise became known as the Braves for the first time in 1912. Any desire to alter the name was delayed in 1914, when the Miracle Braves battled back from last place in July to sweep the World Series.

The franchise continued to be known as the Braves until 1935, when owner Emil Fuchs’ financial woes forced MLB to take control of the team and eventually sell the club to a group headed by Bob Quinn. The new ownership group polled its fanbase and decided to change the team name to the Boston Bees, which stuck for five seasons. 

Recognizing the name change had not halted the club’s on-field woes, the franchise re-adopted the Braves name in 1941 and kept it while relocating to Milwaukee and Atlanta.