ATLANTA -- The Braves’ two most recent World Series-winning teams will represent the organization in MLB Dream Bracket 2: Dream Seasons, which begins on Thursday. Major League Baseball, in conjunction with the makers of Out of the Park Baseball 21, have created this best-of-seven series simulation tournament, which includes some of the most successful clubs in each franchise’s history.
Hank Aaron and Eddie Mathews will match up against Randy Johnson and Curt Schilling when the 1957 Milwaukee Braves meet the 2001 D-backs in the first round of the National League’s Region 1. As you may remember, this is the same Arizona squad that needed just five games to eliminate Atlanta from the ‘01 NL Championship Series.
Chipper Jones and Atlanta’s Cy Young Award-winning trio of Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine and John Smoltz will battle Ryan Braun and Zack Greinke when the 1995 Braves face off against the 2011 Brewers in the other first-round matchup in the NL’s Region 2. Twenty-five years later, this remains the only Braves team to win a World Series since the franchise moved from Milwaukee to Atlanta in 1966.
Aaron, Mathews, Red Schoendienst and Warren Spahn were the Hall of Famers that highlighted the 1957 Braves roster. Aaron hit 44 homers and won his only NL Most Valuable Player Award at the end of this memorable season. Spahn also won his only Cy Young Award that year. As for Schoendienst, he proved to be a very valuable midseason acquisition.
The 1957 Braves clinched the World Series title when Lew Burdette tossed a shutout vs. Don Larsen and the Yankees in Game 7. Burdette went 3-0 with a 0.67 ERA in three starts during this Fall Classic, earning series MVP honors.
Spahn and Burdette could neutralize the strength of the D-backs’ rotation, which boasts Johnson and Schilling, who finished first and second, respectively, in balloting for the 2001 NL Cy Young Award.
With Jones, Maddux, Glavine and Smoltz, the 1995 Braves also enter this simulated bracket challenge with four Hall of Famers on their roster. The club’s Hall of Fame manager Bobby Cox had the luxury of penciling David Justice and Fred McGriff into his lineup on an everyday basis.
The 2011 Brewers won the NL Central and eliminated the D-backs in the NL Division Series. But their World Series aspirations ended during a NLCS matchup against the Cardinals, who had claimed the Wild Card spot the Braves seemed destined to land before freefalling in September.