1997 Atlanta Braves season

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The 1997 Atlanta Braves season marked the franchise's 32nd season in Atlanta. The Braves won their sixth consecutive division title, taking the National League East title by 7 games over the second place Florida Marlins. However, the Marlins would later defeat the Braves in the National League Championship Series. 1997 was the first year that the Braves played their home games in Turner Field, which originally served as a venue for the 1996 Summer Olympic Games.

1997 Atlanta Braves
1997 National League East Champs
Major League affiliations
Record 101–61 (.623)
Divisional place 1st
Other information
Owner(s) Time Warner
General manager(s) John Schuerholz
Manager(s) Bobby Cox
Local television WTBS
TBS Superstation
(Pete Van Wieren, Skip Caray, Don Sutton, Joe Simpson)
(Tim Brando, Ernie Johnson, Bob Rathbun)
Local radio WSB (AM)
(Pete Van Wieren, Skip Caray, Don Sutton, Joe Simpson)
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Off season[edit]

  • November 20, 1996: John Smoltz was signed as a Free Agent with the Atlanta Braves.[1]
  • November 25, 1996: Paul Byrd was traded by the New York Mets with a player to be named later to the Atlanta Braves for Greg McMichael. The New York Mets sent Andy Zwirchitz (minors) (May 25, 1997) to the Atlanta Braves to complete the trade.[2]
  • December 19, 1996: Mike Bielecki was signed as a Free Agent with the Atlanta Braves.[3]
  • March 25, 1997: Kenny Lofton was traded by the Cleveland Indians with Alan Embree to the Atlanta Braves for Marquis Grissom and David Justice.

Regular season[edit]

Opening day starters[edit]

Season standings[edit]

NL East W L Pct. GB
Atlanta Braves 101 61 .623 --
Florida Marlins 92 70 .568 9
New York Mets 88 74 .543 13
Montreal Expos 78 84 .481 23
Philadelphia Phillies 68 94 .420 33


1997 Atlanta Braves
Pitchers Catchers





Player stats[edit]


Starters by position[edit]

Note: Pos = Position; G = Games played; AB = At Bats; H = Hits; Avg. = Batting Average; HR = Home Runs; RBI = Runs Batted In

Pos Player G AB H Avg. HR RBI

Other batters[edit]

Note: G = Games played; AB = At Bats; H = Hits; Avg. = Batting Average; HR = Home Runs; RBI = Runs Batted In

Player G AB H Avg. HR RBI


Starting pitchers[edit]

Player G IP W L ERA SO

Other pitchers[edit]

Player G IP W L ERA SO

Relief pitchers[edit]

Player G W L SV ERA SO

Turner Field[edit]

In 1997, the Braves moved into Turner Field. The ballpark was built across the street from the former home of the Braves, Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium, which was demolished in the summer of 1997.

The most popular name choice among Atlanta residents for the new stadium at the time of its construction (according to a poll in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution) was Hank Aaron Stadium. After the ballpark was instead named after Ted Turner, the city of Atlanta renamed the section of Capitol Avenue on which the stadium sits Hank Aaron Drive, giving Turner Field the street number 755, after Aaron's home run total.

After the 1996 Summer Olympics were complete the stadium was officially given as a gift to the Atlanta National League Baseball Club, Inc. (the Atlanta Braves) Ted Turner, then owner of the Braves, agreed to pay a large sum of the cost to build Centennial Olympic Stadium (approximately $170 million of the $209 million bill), if in turn, the stadium was built in a way that it could be converted to a new baseball stadium and that the Atlanta Committee for the Olympic Games (ACOG) paid for the conversion.[4] This was considered a good agreement for both the Olympic Committee and the Braves, because there would be no use for a permanent 85,000 seat track and field stadium in Downtown Atlanta (as the 71,000 seat Georgia Dome was completed four years earlier by the state of Georgia) and the Braves had already been exploring opportunities for a new stadium.[5]

Turner Field exterior from Ralph David Abernathy Boulevard

1997 National League Division Series[edit]

Houston Astros vs. Atlanta Braves[edit]

Atlanta wins the series, 3-0

Game Score Date Location Attendance
1 Houston Astros - 1, Atlanta Braves - 2 September 30 Turner Field 46,467[6]
2 Houston Astros - 3, Atlanta Braves - 13 October 1 Turner Field 49,200[7]
3 Atlanta Braves - 4, Houston Astros - 1 October 3 Astrodome 53,688[8]

1997 National League Championship Series[edit]

Game Date Visitor Score Home Score Record


1 October 7 Florida 5 Atlanta 3 1-0 49,244
2 October 8 Florida 1 Atlanta 7 1-1 48,933
3 October 10 Atlanta 2 Florida 5 2-1 53,857
4 October 11 Atlanta 4 Florida 0 2-2 54,890
5 October 12 Atlanta 1 Florida 2 3-2 46,496
6 October 14 Florida 7 Atlanta 4 4-2 50,466
Florida wins series 4–2 and advance to the World Series

Farm system[edit]

Level Team League Manager
AAA Richmond Braves International League Bill Dancy
AA Greenville Braves Southern League Randy Ingle
A Durham Bulls Carolina League Paul Runge
A Macon Braves South Atlantic League Brian Snitker
Short-Season A Eugene Emeralds Northwest League Jim Saul
Rookie Danville Braves Appalachian League Rick Albert
Rookie GCL Braves Gulf Coast League Frank Howard



  1. ^ http://www.baseball-reference.com/s/smoltjo01.shtml
  2. ^ Paul Byrd Statistics - Baseball-Reference.com
  3. ^ http://www.baseball-reference.com/b/bielemi01.shtml
  4. ^ Sandomir, Richard (July 30, 1996). "At Close of Games, Braves Will Move Into Olympic Stadium". The New York Times (The New York Times Company). Archived from the original on June 28, 2008. Retrieved July 24, 2008. 
  5. ^ Kendrick, Scott. "Turner Field". About.com. The New York Times Company. Retrieved July 24, 2008. 
  6. ^ "1997 NLDS - Atlanta Braves vs. Houston Astros - Game 1". Retrosheet. Retrieved June 16, 2008. 
  7. ^ "1997 NLDS - Atlanta Braves vs. Houston Astros - Game 2". Retrosheet. Retrieved June 16, 2008. 
  8. ^ "1997 NLDS - Atlanta Braves vs. Houston Astros - Game 3". Retrosheet. Retrieved June 16, 2008. 
  9. ^ Johnson, Lloyd, and Wolff, Miles, ed., The Encyclopedia of Minor League Baseball, 3rd edition. Durham, N.C.: Baseball America, 2007

External links[edit]