Milwaukee Braves: What Could Have Been

In the 1953 the Braves franchise moved from Boston to Milwaukee.  It’s (at least) the second time a major league team had been in Milwaukee as the current Baltimore Orioles had their roots in Milwaukee as the Milwaukee Brewers.

The Braves won their first World Series in Milwaukee as they defeated the New York Yankees in 1957 and were actually one of 3 teams not from New York to win a championship in the entire decade of the 50’s (the Los Angeles Dodgers won in 1959 and the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1960) They were a very good team as they had Hank Aaron, Warren Spahn and Eddie Mathew‘s, among other solid players (like Frank Torre, Joe Torre‘s brother who oddly enough managed the Yankees to their own dynasty in the late 90’s)

Eddie Mathews Hall of Fame Plaque
Eddie Mathews Hall of Fame Plaque

One has to wonder, however, what the fate of the Braves in Milwaukee could have been as the following year they held a 3-1 lead vs the same New York Yankees. After losing a game 5 they then lost two games at home in Milwaukee County Stadium, an extra inning game 6 and a game 7 that was tied in the 8th inning, a game 7 where the first two runs were scored after 2 errors by the aforementioned Frank Torre.

In 1959 the team then lost a tiebreaking playoff vs the Los Angeles Dodgers. The Dodgers went on to win the championship this season so realistically the Braves were only 3 wins or so from winning 3 championships in a row which is something a non-Yankees team had never accomplish. One has to wonder if they had done so would they still be in Milwaukee.

It’s hard to say as, while the Braves franchise was terrible in Boston, in Milwaukee the team never had a losing season so with this it seems that the reason for the move wasn’t associated with winning. Even winning championships wasn’t enough to keep a franchise around. The Dodgers moved from Brooklyn just 2 years after winning a championship and after nearly a decade of dominating the National League.

Still, one has to wonder if a championship dynasty would have made it more difficult to move this team in just less than a decade. This is more minor but still something to consider as well. The top sports team in the state of Wisconsin to the majority is definitely the Green Bay Packers but most of this stems from the franchises success in the 60’s (probably to the 20’s to an extent too but I have a narrative here) but Green Bay was not good in the 50’s until the very end when Vince Lombardi entered the picture. What if the Braves had completed the 3-peat? Would they still be in Milwaukee? Would the Atlanta Braves be something the Atlanta Peaches or something? I guess we don’t get to know.

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