The 1978 Atlanta Braves season was the 108th season for the franchise and their 13th in Atlanta.
|1978 Atlanta Braves|
|Major League affiliations|
|General manager(s)||Bill Lucas|
(Ernie Johnson, Pete Van Wieren, Skip Caray)
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In May 1977, owner Ted Turner had stunned baseball when—in the midst of a 16-game losing streak—he furloughed manager Dave Bristol, sent him on a ten-day scouting trip, and took the reins of the team himself; on May 11, he donned uniform #27 and skippered the Braves to their 17th straight loss. National League president Chub Feeney and Commissioner of Baseball Bowie Kuhn then stepped in and forbade the owner from managing his own ballclub, citing MLB rules that apparently took effect after Connie Mack retired as owner-manager of the Philadelphia Athletics in 1950. Veteran coach Vern Benson ran the Braves the following night (and broke the losing skein), and then Bristol was rehired for the balance of the season.
However, that chaotic season was followed by one of the most important events in Braves' history: the hiring of Bobby Cox, briefly a Braves' farm system player, as manager for 1978. Cox was then a 36-year-old, relatively unknown former third baseman who had spent the previous ten seasons in the New York Yankees' organization, including six years (1971–1976) as a highly successful minor league manager and one season as the first-base coach on the Yankees' 1977 world championship team. Cox would spend four seasons, 1978–1981, during this first term in the Braves' dugout. While his first two years produced frustrating, last-place seasons in the National League West, by Cox' third year, 1980, the Braves posted a winning (81–80) mark and rose to fourth place in their division. Attendance began to climb, with the team exceeding the one-million mark at Atlanta–Fulton County Stadium for the first time since 1971. But the strike-shortened 1981 season was a major disappointment; the Braves fell to 50–56, and Cox was fired. He went 266–323 (.452) during his inaugural tenure.
His successor, former New York Mets skipper Joe Torre, would lead the Braves to the 1982 National League West Division championship. Cox would land with the Toronto Blue Jays as their 1982 manager. The Jays were then a five-year-old expansion team that had never escaped the basement of the American League East Division, nor won more than 67 games in a season. By Cox' second season, the Blue Jays broke the .500 mark, and by his fourth, in 1985, they would win 99 games and the AL East title. Meanwhile, the Braves' front office was in flux and owner Turner was seeking a strong hand to take over the team's baseball operations as general manager. He lured Cox back to Atlanta with a multi-year contract. And, although the team struggled desperately on the field in the late 1980s, general manager Cox was assembling a base of talent that, when he returned to the dugout to manage the Braves for his second term, on June 23, 1990, would ignite a series of first-place divisional teams (for 15 out of 16 straight seasons) and five National League pennant winners (as well as the 1995 World Series title) that would earn Cox a place in the Baseball Hall of Fame by his 2010 retirement.
|Los Angeles Dodgers||95||67||0.586||—||54–27||41–40|
|San Francisco Giants||89||73||0.549||6||50–31||39–42|
|San Diego Padres||84||78||0.519||11||50–31||34–47|
1978 National League Records
Sources:            
|1978 Atlanta Braves|
Note: Pos = Position; G = Games played; AB = At bats; H = Hits; Avg. = Batting average; HR = Home runs; RBI = Runs batted in
Note: G = Games played; AB = At bats; H = Hits; Avg. = Batting average; HR = Home runs; RBI = Runs batted in
Note: G = Games pitched; W = Wins; L = Losses; SV = Saves; ERA = Earned run average; SO = Strikeouts
|AAA||Richmond Braves||International League||Tommie Aaron|
|AA||Savannah Braves||Southern League||Bobby Dews|
|A||Greenwood Braves||Western Carolinas League||Al Gallagher|
|Rookie||Kingsport Braves||Appalachian League||Eddie Haas|
|Rookie||GCL Braves||Gulf Coast League||Pedro González|
LEAGUE CHAMPIONS: Richmond, Greenwood
George Henry Small (July 31, 1953 – March 3, 2010) was a first baseman in Major League Baseball who played briefly for the Atlanta Braves during the 1978 season. Listed at 6 ft 3 in (1.91 m), 205 lb., Small batted and threw right-handed. He was born in Atlanta, Georgia.Mike Davey
Michael Gerard Davey (born June 2, 1952) is an American former professional baseball player, a former middle relief pitcher in Major League Baseball who played from 1977 through 1978 for the Atlanta Braves. Listed at 6 feet 2 inches (1.88 m) and 190 pounds (86 kg), Davey batted right-handed and threw left-handed. A native of Spokane, Washington, he attended Gonzaga University, where he played college baseball for the Bulldogs from 1972-1974.In 19 relief appearances, Davey posted a 4.34 ERA with two saves and did not have a decision, giving up nine runs on 20 hits and 10 walks while striking out seven in 18 ⅔ innings of work.
Davey pitched in the Atlanta, Seattle and Pittsburgh minor league systems for the Richmond (1978), Spokane (1979) and Portland teams (1980). In 137 games, he collected an 8–7 record with a 3.83 ERA and 19 saves.
1978 MLB season by team
|World's Championship Series|
|Division titles (18)|
|Wild card berths (2)|