Andruw Rudolf Jones (Papiamento pronunciation: [ˈandruw ˈdʒonz]; born April 23, 1977) is a Curaçaoan former baseball outfielder and designated hitter who played 17 seasons in Major League Baseball (MLB), most notably for the Atlanta Braves. Jones also played for the Los Angeles Dodgers, Texas Rangers, Chicago White Sox, and New York Yankees, and in Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB) for the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles. Jones was a noted defensive specialist for most of his career and won the Rawlings Gold Glove Award for outfielders every year from 1998 through 2007. He had a strong throwing arm in addition to his elite fielding. He was an MLB All-Star five times, and he won both the Hank Aaron Award and a Silver Slugger Award for outfielders in 2005.
Jones made his MLB debut during the 1996 season with the Atlanta Braves. In the 1996 World Series, he became the youngest player ever to hit a home run in the postseason, and just the second player ever to homer in his first two World Series at bats. The following season, Jones finished fifth in voting for Rookie of the Year. From 1998 to 1999, he continued to increase his offensive production, and in 2000, Jones batted .303 with 36 home runs and 104 runs batted in (RBIs), making his first All-Star team. Jones started to draw many comparisons to Willie Mays and was considered one of the top center fielders in baseball. The following season, he again hit over 30 home runs and drove in 104 runs but his average dipped to .251 while his strikeouts increased. Jones improved with All-Star seasons in 2002 and 2003, but in 2004, he failed to hit at least 30 home runs for the first time since 1999 and exceeded 100 strikeouts, which became a regular occurrence thereafter. In 2005, he led the National League (NL) with 51 home runs 128 RBIs, finishing second to Albert Pujols for NL Most Valuable Player. In subsequent seasons, his average continued to dip and his strikeouts increased. After a productive season in 2006, including a career high 129 RBIs, in 2007 Jones had his weakest season to that point, batting just .222. During his time with Atlanta, Jones became one of the youngest players in MLB history to reach 300 career home runs.
After the 2007 season, Jones signed with the Los Angeles Dodgers as a free agent to a 2-year deal, worth $36.2 million. However, Jones struggled with the Dodgers, batting just .158 with 3 home runs and 14 RBIs. Shortly after the season, Jones was released. Jones concluded his MLB career with brief stints for the Rangers, White Sox, and Yankees, transitioning from a center fielder to designated hitter and a fourth outfielder role. While with the White Sox, Jones hit his 400th career home run.
Jones with the Texas Rangers in 2009
|Born: April 23, 1977|
|MLB: August 15, 1996, for the Atlanta Braves|
|NPB: March 29, 2013, for the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles|
|MLB: October 3, 2012, for the New York Yankees|
|NPB: 2014, for the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles|
|Runs batted in||1,289|
|Runs batted in||165|
|Career highlights and awards|
By the age of 11, Jones was on a youth select team that traveled all the way to Japan to play in a tournament. He could handle any position on the field, but because of his powerful arm, Jones often found himself at catcher or third base. He switched to the outfield a couple of years later.
Stories of Andruw's early accomplishments are the stuff of legend. As a 13-year-old, playing for his father's Royal Scorpions team, he sent a ball screaming over 400 feet to the tennis court of a nearby hotel. In the same game, Andruw came up again and hit the hotel. By his early teens, he was competing against adults. He even played on Curaçao's national team in the Latin American Games.
By the time Andruw turned 15, he was the best player on the island. He had yet to be discovered, however, for Curaçao was still well off the beaten path for major league scouts—even though countryman Hensley Meulens had done well in the New York Yankee farm system.
Jones signed with the Atlanta Braves organization as a free agent in 1993 at the age of 16. Jones was promoted to Danville of the Appalachian League after only 27 games with the Braves farm team in West Palm Beach, Florida.
Jones played for Class-A Macon in 1995. In his first at bat, he belted a homer. He finished the season with 25 home runs and 100 runs batted in. Jones also led the South Atlantic League with 56 steals. His outstanding season was capped off when he was named Minor League Player of the Year.
The Braves brought Jones up to Atlanta on August 15, 1996, when he was just 19 years old. In his first career Major League game, Jones went 1 for 5 with a run batted in and a run scored. In his second game, he went 2 for 5 with a home run and a triple. He had his first multi-homer game against the Reds on August 22. He spent his early time in the majors playing in right field because established center fielders Marquis Grissom and Kenny Lofton were already entrenched in the position. He finished the season batting .217 with 5 home runs and 13 RBIs.
In the National League Championship Series against the Cardinals, Jones batted .222 with a home run and 3 RBIs. The Braves won the Series and advanced to the World Series.
In Game 1 of the 1996 World Series on October 20, 1996, Jones was able to demonstrate his talents on the national stage. He connected for two home runs to left field on his first two at bats as the Braves routed the New York Yankees 12–1. Jones became the youngest player ever to homer in the World Series at the age of 19 years, 180 days, breaking Mickey Mantle's record of 20 years, 362 days – on what would have been Mantle's 65th birthday. Jones joined Gene Tenace as the only other player to hit home runs in his first two World Series at bats. Tenace did it in 1972 with the Oakland Athletics.
Jones became the Braves' everyday right fielder in 1997. Jones hit his first home run of the season against Jeff McCurry of the Rockies. Jones had his first multi-homer game against the Cubs on July 22. On August 31, Jones went 3 for 3 with a home run and 5 runs batted in a game against the Boston Red Sox. Jones finished his rookie season with a .231 batting average, 18 home runs, and 70 runs batted in. Jones also showed his speed by stealing 20 bases. He finished 5th in Rookie of the Year voting.
In 1998, he moved to center field nearly full-time, and had a much more encouraging season. His average improved to .271, he hit 31 homers, and stole 27 bases. He hit his 30th home run of the season against Florida on September 13. He also won his first of ten straight Gold Glove Awards. In the 1998 National League Division Series, Jones went 0 for 9 but did draw 3 walks. The Braves won the series against the Cubs. In the 1998 NLCS against the San Diego Padres, Jones batted .273 with a home run and 2 RBIs. However, The Braves lost the series in 6 games.
Whether he was in the batter's box or gliding under a fly ball to make an easy basket catch, Jones played the game in a very relaxed manner. This temporarily earned him the ire of manager Bobby Cox in June 1998 in an incident in which Cox pulled Jones out of a game, in the midst of an inning, because he felt Jones had lazily allowed a single to drop in center field. Jones went on to hit .271 with 31 home runs and 90 runs batted in. Jones also stole 27 bases. Still just 22 years old, Jones had similar numbers in 1999, and though he was a dependable (he played all 162 games that season) and a good player, many began to wonder if or when he would live up to the potential that they believed he possessed. He had a moderate-breakout season with his bat in 2000 with career highs up until that point in batting average (.303), home runs (36), and RBIs (104). He also earned his first All-Star Game appearance. He also led the National League in Plate Appearances (729) and At Bats (656). Jones struggled in the National League Division Series against the Cardinals. He went 1 for 9 with a home run. The Braves lost the series.
However, in 2001, Jones' batting average fell and his strikeouts went up. Jones finished with 34 home runs and 104 RBIs but his average dropped to only .251 and he struck out 142 times. By now, Jones had gained nearly 30 pounds since arriving at the Major Leagues, greatly diminishing his speed on the basepaths (he would not steal more than 11 bases after 2001). He maintained a similar batting performance in 2002, but was still playing superb defense. He hit 35 home runs and 94 RBIs. Jones had some great games in September. On September 7, he belted 2 home runs in his last 2 at-bats. In his first 2 at-bats on September 10, he belted 2 more home runs. He became the 11th player in history to homer in 4 straight at-bats. Then on September 25, Jones belted 3 home runs against the Phillies. Jones became the first Braves player to hit 3 home runs in a game since Jeff Blauser did it in 1992. Jones was named to his second All Star team.
In 2003, with the power-hitting Gary Sheffield in the line-up, Jones achieved a new career high-water mark in RBIs, with 116. Jones made his third All Star team and homered in the game. The American League beat the National League, 7–6. Unfortunately, he took a step backward in 2004 when he hit fewer than 30 homers and struck out 147 times. During the season, Jones was the subject of trade rumors.
Prior to the 2005 season, Jones increased his workout regimen and, following advice given by Willie Mays, widened his batting stance. The result was his most productive offensive season ever. After Chipper Jones went down with an injury early in 2005, Jones carried the Braves. By the All Star break, Jones was leading the National League in home runs with 27. Jones was named to the All Star team, the fourth of his career. Jones hit his 40th home run of the season on August 23 in a loss against the Cubs. It marked the first time in his career that he hit at least 40 home runs in a season. Jones became the first Braves hitter to hit 40 home runs in a season since Javy Lopez did it in 2003. On September 14, 2005, Jones hit his 300th career home run which went 430 feet (130 m) off Philadelphia Phillies reliever Geoff Geary in a 12–4 Phillies win. The ball landed in the upper deck in left field at Citizens Bank Park. Jones became the first hitter since Alex Rodriguez (57) and Jim Thome (52) to hit at least 50 home runs in a season. Jones also became the 12th player in history to hit 300 home runs before his 30th birthday.
Jones hit a major league-leading 51 home runs, surpassing Hank Aaron's and Eddie Mathews' single-season club record, and winning the Babe Ruth Home Run Award. He also led the National League with a career-high 128 RBI. Jones' torrid hitting in the summer, especially while teammate Chipper Jones was out with an injury, helped carry the Braves to their 14th consecutive division championship. He finished just behind St. Louis Cardinals' first baseman Albert Pujols in the 2005 NL MVP vote.
Jones started the season by hitting a home run off a pitch from Derek Lowe. Jones finished the game by going 2 for 4 with a home run, 4 runs batted in, a strikeout, and a base on balls. The Braves won the game, 11–10. From April 16 through April 19, Jones homered in 4 consecutive games. During that stretch, he batted .438 with 5 home runs and 8 runs batted in. Jones finished the month of April with a .281 average, 8 home runs and 23 runs batted in (RBI).
Jones matched his career high with 6 runs batted in on July 18 against the Cardinals. He also went 5 for 5 with 2 home runs. On August 29, in a game against the Giants, Jones drove in 3 runs, which gave him his 1000th career RBI. On September 26, in a game against the New York Mets, Jones hit his 40th home run of the season. He became the first hitter in Atlanta's history to have consecutive seasons of at least 40 homers. Jones finished the 2006 season with 41 home runs and 129 RBIs. Jones also became more selective at the plate (82 walks, as compared to 64 the prior season), which helped him score 107 runs during 2006, an increase of 12 over the prior year and his most in a single season since 2000. He won his ninth consecutive Gold Glove award. The Braves finished with a 79–83 record and missed the postseason for the first time since 1990.
Coming into the last year of his contract with the Braves, many fans and sports analysts alike felt that 2007 would be the last year in which Jones would be a Brave, mostly because of his potential value on the market that the Braves would not be able to afford. Jones, however, had an unexpectedly poor start to the season, striking out 51 times in 41 games and carrying a batting average in the low .200s for the majority of April and May.
On April 30, Jones hit a three-run walk-off home run against the Philadelphia Phillies. On May 28, Jones hit his 350th career homer off Chris Capuano. After the All-Star break, Jones continued to have productive power numbers; however, his batting average remained poor. He was honored with a Fielding Bible Award as the best fielding center fielder in MLB. Jones finished the 2007 season with 26 home runs and 94 RBIs. On the downside, Jones hit only .222 and struck out a career high 138 times.
On October 2, the Braves announced they would not be bringing Jones back for the 2008 season.
On December 5, 2007, Jones agreed to a two-year deal with the Los Angeles Dodgers, worth $36.2 million. After showing up out of shape and over 20 pounds overweight, he continued to struggle, hitting below .200 for most of the season. Additionally, he had only 10 hits in 116 at-bats with runners in scoring position. Due to his lack of production, Jones was dropped to eighth in the Dodger line-up. This was the first time since 1998 that Jones had hit eighth in any line-up.
Jones was put on the disabled list for the first time in his entire career on May 25, 2008. He had knee surgery after injuring his knee during batting practice earlier that day. On July 27, 2008, the Dodgers manager Joe Torre benched Jones and said that he would only be used as a spot starter in the future. At that time, Jones had a .166 batting average, two home runs and 12 RBIs combined with an incredible 68 strikeouts in 187 at-bats.
On September 13, 2008, Jones was put on the 60-day disabled list, putting an end to his very disappointing season with the Dodgers. Jones finished the season with a .158 batting average, just three home runs, and 14 RBI. He was not seen in the dugout during any of the postseason games, nor the celebrations in the locker rooms, since he had been removed from the playoff roster and sent home for the winter. Jones stated that he did not wish to return to the Dodgers in 2009, saying that the Los Angeles fans did not give him a fair chance.
During the 2009 off-season, the Dodgers reached an agreement with Jones to trade or release him before spring training in exchange for a deferral of some of the remaining money due on his contract. On January 15, 2009, Jones was officially released by the Dodgers.
On February 8, 2009, Jones signed a one-year minor league contract with the Texas Rangers; the deal paid him $500,000 for making the major league team, and offered $1 million in incentives. Jones reportedly turned down a similar offer from the New York Yankees to compete for their center field job and expressed an interest in staying with the Rangers even though he would likely not be a starter. He earned the Rangers' final roster spot.
He was originally intended to be a pinch-hitter for the Rangers, but found a starting outfield role due to an injury to Josh Hamilton. Jones would go 3 for 5 in his Rangers debut with a RBI and 2 runs scored. In his next game, Jones went 2 for 3 and scored 2 runs. He also hit his first home run as a member of the Rangers in the seventh inning off of Danys Báez. By the end of April, Jones was batting .344 with 3 home runs and 6 runs batted in.
Jones was also faced with an opportunity to play against his old club, the Dodgers. Jones played 2 games against them on June 13 and 14, homering in each game. On July 4, Jones went 2 for 5 with a home run and 4 runs batted in against the Rays. On July 8, in a game against the Angels, Jones hit 3 home runs and drove in 4 runs in an 8-1 win. It was his second career 3-homer game. Jones had a chance to hit his fourth home run of the game in his final 2 at-bats, but he popped out and struck out. "I was thinking about it. I tried. I just didn’t get it done," Jones said. "I’m just happy we won." Jones ultimately hit only .214 for the season, but did have 17 home runs in 82 games.
On November 25, 2009, Jones signed a $500,000 deal for 2010 with up to an additional $1 million in performance bonuses. Unlike what he had done with the Braves and Dodgers in previous seasons, Jones showed up to camp in shape, a full 30 pounds under his previous weight. On April 23, 2010, Jones hit two home runs on his 33rd birthday, including a walk-off to help the White Sox win 7–6 over the Seattle Mariners. On July 11, he hit his 400th career home run.
On January 20, 2011, Jones and the New York Yankees agreed to a contract for the 2011 season for $2 million, with an additional $1.2 million in performance bonuses. In his first Yankees at-bat on April 5, 2011, Jones hit a home run over the left field wall at Yankee Stadium off the Minnesota Twins' Brian Duensing.
Jones finished the season with a .247 average, 13 home runs and 33 runs batted in. He became a free agent after the World Series.
Jones re-signed with the Yankees for the 2012 season on December 30, 2011. The deal is a one-year deal worth $2 million. He was slated to be a backup. However, due to Brett Gardner's DL stint, Jones received more starts than anticipated. Jones played very well in the first half of the season hitting 12 home runs in his first 62 games, including three over the course of a double header in Boston, but in August and September he hit only .139 with two home runs over his final 32 games.
On December 7, 2012, Jones agreed to a one-year ¥300 million (approximately US$3.5 million) contract with the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles of Japan's Pacific League. He finished the regular season with 26 home runs in 478 at-bats. He scored 81 runs, had 94 RBI, 116 base hits and 105 walks in 143 games, helping Eagles to clinch their first Pacific League Championship. His steady performance continued in post-season, including two home runs in the 2013 Pacific League Climax Series and one in the 2013 Japan Series respectively, which played a key role in the Eagles' Japan Series win. After the season, Jones re-signed with Rakuten for the 2014 season, agreeing to a one-year contract worth ¥400 million (approximately US$3.8 million). In his two years with Rakuten, Jones hit 50 home runs and played primarily at designated hitter, however he played 48 games at first base, far more than the eight he played in his career before coming to Japan.
Since playing in Japan, Jones attempted comebacks in both the 2015 and 2016 MLB seasons. He officially retired from baseball in February 2016 and was hired by the Braves as a special assistant later that month.
As at end of the 2012 season, Jones owned a career .254 average, with 434 home runs, and 1,289 runs batted in. He currently ranks at 40 on the career home run list. However, Jones' weakness has been hitting against the breaking ball and hitting for good average. Only once in his career has Jones batted .300 or better (he batted .303 in 2000), and since 2007 – the year he turned 30 – he has hit just .214.
Jones was also known for his speed early in his career. In fact, his speed earned him the last playoff spot on the Braves' roster in 1996. Jones stole 20+ bases from 1997 to 2000. However, his speed declined as he hit for more power. Jones has not stolen at least 10 bases since he stole 11 in 2001. This could also be attributed to a noticeable weight gain.
Jones also owned the lowest batting average (since broken by Jose Bautista in 2010), slugging percentage, on-base percentage, and runs scored in a season for a hitter that belted 50+ home runs in a season. Jones hit 51 in 2005 but batted just .263, with a .575 slugging, .347 on base, and 95 runs scored.
From 1998 to 2007, Jones won 10 consecutive Gold Gloves. His 10 Gold Gloves for an outfielder ranks him in a tie for second with Al Kaline, Ichiro Suzuki, and Ken Griffey Jr. for most Gold Gloves won by an outfielder. Jones is also one of five center fielders to record at least 400 putouts in a season six times. The others are Willie Mays, Richie Ashburn, Kirby Puckett, and Max Carey.
Being born in Curaçao allowed Jones to be eligible for the Netherlands national baseball team during their participation in the inaugural World Baseball Classic in 2006. Jones would later join the team again for the 2013 World Baseball Classic. Two years later, in 2015, Jones was selected to play with the National Dutch team as a first baseman for the 2015 Premier 12. He later announced that those were his final games as a player.
Jones was married to Nicole Derick. They are the parents of one son, Druw, and one daughter, Madison. He also had a son with Mélissa Vaillancourt, Joshua (born 2005).
Early on the morning of Christmas Day, 2012, Jones was arrested for battery after police officers responded to a domestic disturbance call between him and his wife Nicole in suburban Atlanta. He was released on $2,400 bond late that morning. Nicole Jones filed for divorce in early January 2013 and the two went to court over custody of their son.
Before Saturday's game, Jones received the Babe Ruth Award for leading the major with 51 homers in 2005.(subscription required)
| Youngest Player in the
| National League Player of the Month
The 1996 World Series was the championship series of Major League Baseball's (MLB) 1996 season. The 92nd edition of the World Series, it was a best-of-seven playoff between the National League (NL) champion (and defending World Series champion) Atlanta Braves and the American League (AL) champion New York Yankees. The Yankees defeated the Braves, four games to two, to capture their first World Series title since 1978 and their 23rd World Series championship overall. The series was played from October 20–26, 1996, and was broadcast on television on Fox. Yankees relief pitcher John Wetteland was named the World Series Most Valuable Player for saving all four Yankee wins.
The Yankees advanced to the World Series by defeating the Texas Rangers in the AL Division Series, three games to one, and then the Baltimore Orioles in the AL Championship Series, four games to one. It was the Yankees' first appearance in a World Series since 1981. The Braves advanced to the Series by defeating the Los Angeles Dodgers in the NL Division Series, three games to none, and then the St. Louis Cardinals in the NL Championship Series, four games to three. It was the Braves' second consecutive appearance in a World Series.
The Yankees lost the first two games at home, being outscored by the Braves, 16–1. However, they rebounded to win the next four games, the last three in close fashion, including a dramatic comeback win in Game 4 to tie the series. They became the third team to win a World Series after losing Games 1 and 2 at their home stadium, following the Kansas City Royals in 1985 and the New York Mets in 1986. They also became the first team since the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1981 to win four consecutive games in a World Series after losing the first two.
Game 5 was the final game to be played at Atlanta–Fulton County Stadium, as the Braves moved into Turner Field the following season. Atlanta became the only city to host the World Series and the Olympics in the same year and Atlanta–Fulton County Stadium became the only stadium to host baseball in an Olympics and the World Series in the same year.1998 Atlanta Braves season
The 1998 Atlanta Braves season marked the franchise's 33rd season in Atlanta and 128th overall. They went on to win their seventh consecutive division title, taking the National League East title by 18 games over the second place New York Mets.
The team featured six all stars: shortstop Walt Weiss and third baseman Chipper Jones were voted as starters, while first baseman Andrés Galarraga, catcher Javy López, and pitchers Tom Glavine and Greg Maddux were selected as reserves. Jones and Lopez each hit over 30 home runs as Galaragga (acquired from Colorado) led the club in home runs and RBI. Galaragga finished as an MVP candidate.
The 1998 Braves beat the Chicago Cubs three games to none in the National League Division Series. In the next round Atlanta then lost to the San Diego Padres in the National League Championship Series four games to two. Despite winning two games after losing the first three, Atlanta's comeback bid came short by being eliminated in game 6. San Diego's winning over Atlanta was seen as one of the biggest upsets in postseason history.
This team has earned a few historic accolades. ESPN writer David Schoenfield lists them as one of the top teams in MLB history to not win a World SeriesESPN columnist Jeff Merron also writes that the pitching staff of Maddux, Glavine, John Smoltz, Denny Neagle, and Kevin Millwood was the greatest of all time. The quintet posted a cumulative 2.97 ERA and amassed 88 wins (almost 18 wins per starter), equaling the win total of the 2nd place Mets. The 1998 Braves are the only team in MLB history to have five pitchers each strike out 150 batters in the same season. Glavine, the lone 20 game winner in the National League for that year, won the Cy Young Award.1998 National League Championship Series
The 1998 National League Championship Series (NLCS), to determine the champion of Major League Baseball's National League, was played from October 7 to 14 between the East Division champion Atlanta Braves and the West Division champion San Diego Padres.
The Braves entered the playoffs for the seventh straight season with a franchise-record 106 regular season wins, an offense that hit 215 home runs, and a pitching staff made up of Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine, John Smoltz, Denny Neagle, and Kevin Millwood to the playoffs. However, they also carried the baggage of their embarrassing NLCS loss to the Florida Marlins the previous season. In the NLDS, the Braves swept Sammy Sosa and the Chicago Cubs.
After a 76–86 season in 1997, San Diego stormed out and took control of their division, finishing with a 98–64 record, their best in team history. The offense was led by the 50 home run club's newest member, Greg Vaughn, and by Hall of Famer Tony Gwynn. The San Diego rotation was anchored by eighteen-game winner Kevin Brown, who helped Florida defeat Atlanta in the 1997 NLCS, along with All-Star Andy Ashby and the series MVP Sterling Hitchcock. Closer Trevor Hoffman saved an astounding 53 games in the regular season. The Padres defeated the favored Houston Astros in four games in the NLDS.
It was the seventh-consecutive NLCS appearance for the Braves and they would be heavily favored against the Padres.
The Padres would go on to the lose in a sweep to the New York Yankees in the World Series in four games.2000 Atlanta Braves season
The 2000 Atlanta Braves season marked the franchise's 35th season in Atlanta along with the 125th season in the National League and 130th overall. The Braves won their ninth consecutive division title, however, the 2000 season would mark the first time since 1990 that the Braves did not appear in the National League Championship Series. One of the highlights of the season was that the All-Star Game was held at Turner Field in Atlanta.2001 Atlanta Braves season
The 2001 Atlanta Braves season marked the franchise's 36th season in Atlanta and 131st overall. The Braves won their tenth consecutive division title. The season saw the team finish first in the NL East Division with an 88-74 record – the worst among playoff teams in 2001, and also the worst record for the Braves since 1990 (meaning the worst record through their run of 14 consecutive division titles starting in 1991. Not counting the strike-shortened 1994 season). Atlanta finished the season with just a 2 game division lead over the Philadelphia Phillies.
The Braves swept the favored Houston Astros in the NLDS before losing to the eventual World Series champion Arizona Diamondbacks in the NLCS 4-1, in which Randy Johnson and Curt Schilling notably dominated Atlanta's offense.2002 Atlanta Braves season
The 2002 Atlanta Braves season marked the franchise's 37th season in Atlanta and 132nd overall. The Braves won their 11th consecutive division title, finishing 19 games ahead of the second-place Montreal Expos. The Braves lost the 2002 Divisional Series to the eventual NL Champion San Francisco Giants, 3 games to 2.
2002 marked the final year that pitchers Tom Glavine, Greg Maddux and John Smoltz played on the same team ending the reign of what has been considered by many the greatest pitching trio of all-time. All three would be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame a decade later. Smoltz set the Braves' single season record for saves (55). Chipper Jones moved to the outfield in left field to allow for Vinny Castilla to be signed and added to the lineup at third base. Julio Franco became a regular player in the second stint of his Major League career and Gary Sheffield was acquired to the Braves in 2002, playing at right field.2002 Major League Baseball All-Star Game
The 2002 Major League Baseball All-Star Game was the 73rd playing of the midsummer classic between the all-stars of the American League (AL) and National League (NL), the two leagues that make up Major League Baseball. The game was held on July 9, 2002 at Miller Park in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, the home of the Milwaukee Brewers of the NL. The game controversially ended with a 7–7 tie due to both teams running out of available pitchers. Beginning the next year, home field advantage in the World Series would be awarded to the winning league to prevent ties (this rule would stay until 2016).
No player was awarded the Most Valuable Player (MVP) Award due to the game ending in a tie. The roster selection for the 2002 game marked the inaugural All-Star Final Vote competition (then known as "The All-Star 30th Man" competition). Johnny Damon and Andruw Jones represented the American and National Leagues as a result of this contest.2003 Major League Baseball All-Star Game
The 2003 Major League Baseball All-Star Game was the 74th midsummer classic between the all-stars of the American League (AL) and National League (NL), the two leagues constituting Major League Baseball, and celebrated the 70th anniversary of the inaugural All-Star Game played in Chicago, Illinois in 1933.
The game was held on July 15, 2003 at U.S. Cellular Field, the home of the Chicago White Sox of the American League. The game resulted in the American League defeating the National League 7–6, thus awarding an AL team (which was eventually the New York Yankees) home-field advantage in the 2003 World Series. This game was the first All-Star Game to award home-field advantage in the World Series to the winning league, a rule that stemmed from a controversial 7–7 tie in the previous year's edition. In the days leading up to the game, Fox advertised it with the tagline: "This time it counts." Subsequent editions altered the slogan to "This one counts" to reflect the new method of determining the World Series' home-field advantage; that arrangement ended with the 2016 edition, where the AL team (which became the Cleveland Indians) also won home-field advantage; the AL would win the next six years, as well as the last four. The winning league had a 9-5 record in the corresponding year's World Series, with the AL winning in six years, and the NL in eight.
This All-Star Game marked the seventh All-Star appearance for the Naval Station Great Lakes color guard from Waukegan, Illinois, who this year was joined by police officers from the Kane County Sheriff's Department who presented the Canadian and American flags in the outfield. Both the five-man color guard and the sheriff's department officers accompanied Michael Bublé, who sang O Canada, and Vanessa Carlton, who sang The Star-Spangled Banner. Bublé's performance of "O Canada" was not televised until after the game in the Chicago area, while Carlton's performance was followed by fireworks that shot off the U.S. Cellular Field scoreboard.2004 Atlanta Braves season
The 2004 Atlanta Braves season marked the franchise's 39th season in Atlanta and 134th overall. The Braves won their 13th consecutive division title under Manager of the Year Bobby Cox, finishing 10 games ahead of the second-place Philadelphia Phillies. The Braves lost the 2004 Divisional Series to the Houston Astros, 3 games to 2.
J. D. Drew replaced Gary Sheffield (lost to the Yankees in free agency) in the outfield, free agent John Thomson joined the rotation, and rookies Adam LaRoche and Charles Thomas saw significant playing time on a younger 2004 Braves team.2005 Atlanta Braves season
The 2005 Atlanta Braves season marked the franchise's 40th season in Atlanta and the 135th season overall. The Braves won their 14th consecutive division title under Manager of the Year Bobby Cox, finishing 10 games ahead of the second-place Philadelphia Phillies. This was Atlanta's final division title in their consecutive run. The Braves lost the 2005 Divisional Series to the Houston Astros, 3 games to 1.
Tim Hudson joined the Braves' rotation and rookies Jeff Francoeur, Kelly Johnson and Brian McCann had their first seasons with Atlanta in 2005.2005 Major League Baseball All-Star Game
The 2005 Major League Baseball All-Star Game was the 76th playing of the midseason exhibition baseball game between the all-stars of the American League (AL) and National League (NL), the two leagues comprising Major League Baseball. The game was held on July 12, 2005 at Comerica Park in Detroit, Michigan, the home of the Detroit Tigers of the American League. The game resulted in the American League defeating the National League 7–5, thus awarding an AL team (which eventually came to be the Chicago White Sox) home-field advantage in the 2005 World Series. The game was when Rawlings first previewed the Coolflo batting helmets.2005 Major League Baseball season
The 2005 Major League Baseball season was notable for the league's new steroid policy in the wake of the BALCO scandal, which enforced harsher penalties than ever before for steroid use in Major League Baseball. Several players, including veteran Rafael Palmeiro, were suspended under the new policy. Besides steroids it was also notable that every team in the NL East division finished the season with at least 81 wins (at least half of the 162 games played). Additionally it was the first season featuring a baseball team in Washington, D.C. after more than 4 decades, with the Washington Nationals having moved from Montreal.
The Anaheim Angels changed their name to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.
The season ended when the Chicago White Sox defeated the Houston Astros in a four-game sweep in the World Series, winning their first championship since 1917.Atlanta Braves award winners and league leaders
This is a list of award winners and league leaders for the Atlanta Braves professional baseball franchise, including its years in Boston (1871–1952) and Milwaukee (1953–1965).Greenville Braves
The Greenville Braves were an American minor league baseball franchise, based in Greenville, South Carolina, that served as the Class AA farm team of the Atlanta Braves between 1984 and 2004. The Braves played in Greenville Municipal Stadium for all 21 years of their existence.
The team had much success and many famous future Atlanta players such as Tom Glavine, Chipper Jones, Javy López, Jason Marquis, Eddie Pérez, Andruw Jones, and John Rocker played there. They won multiple Southern League championships, and the 1992 edition, managed by Grady Little and featuring Chipper Jones and López, won 100 out of 143 games (.699) during the regular season to take the pennant, then captured the SL playoff title. The 1992 Braves were recognized as one of the 100 greatest minor league teams of all time. After the 2004 season, the parent club in Atlanta transferred the G-Braves to Pearl, Mississippi, where the team is now known as the Mississippi Braves.
The Braves cited an outdated stadium that did not meet current standards and the City of Greenville's unwillingness to create a sufficient financial package to build a new stadium as the cause of the move. With the Greenville Braves out, the Greenville Bombers (formerly the Capital City Bombers), Class A South Atlantic League affiliate of the Boston Red Sox, moved into the old Braves stadium in 2005. In 2006, a brand new stadium located in Downtown Greenville, Fluor Field at the West End, opened and the Bombers changed their name to the Greenville Drive.Gregg Jefferies
Gregory Scott Jefferies (born August 1, 1967) is a retired infielder/outfielder in Major League Baseball who had a 14-year career from 1987 to 2000. He was a highly touted prospect who became the first two-time winner of the Baseball America Minor League Player of the Year Award. In 2017, Baseball America called him their most highly regarded prospect until Andruw Jones. He went on to become a two-time All-Star.Koninklijke Nederlandse Baseball en Softball Bond
The Koninklijke Nederlandse Baseball en Softball Bond (Royal Netherlands Baseball and Softball Federation) is the national governing body of baseball in the Netherlands. Baseball is played in all the provinces, but it struggles for popularity due to the popularity of many other sports, including the sport of soccer, in which the Netherlands has always been one of the leading nations. School-aged children are generally guided toward a future in soccer, rather than baseball.
Since 1922, the national major league in the Netherlands has been the Honkbal Hoofdklasse.
Most notable Dutch baseball players include Hensley Meulens, Robert Eenhoorn and Andruw Jones, Didi Gregorius.List of Gold Glove Award winners at outfield
The Rawlings Gold Glove Award, usually referred to as the Gold Glove, is the award given annually to the Major League Baseball players judged to have exhibited superior individual fielding performances at each fielding position in both the National League (NL) and the American League (AL), as voted by the managers and coaches in each league. Managers are not permitted to vote for their own players. Eighteen Gold Gloves are awarded each year (with the exception of 1957, 1985 and 2007), one at each of the nine positions in each league. In 1957, the baseball glove manufacturer Rawlings created the Gold Glove Award to commemorate the best fielding performance at each position. The award was created from a glove made from gold lamé-tanned leather and affixed to a walnut base. Initially, only one Gold Glove per position was awarded to the top fielder at each position in the entire major league; however, separate awards were given for the National and American Leagues beginning in 1958.The phrase "at each position" was not strictly accurate until 2011, when the awards were changed to specify individual awards for left fielder, center fielder, and right fielder. Previously, the prize was presented to three outfielders irrespective of their specific position. Any combination of outfielders, often three center fielders, could win the award in the same year. Critics called for awarding a single Gold Glove for each individual outfield position, arguing that the three outfield positions are not equivalent defensively. In the 1985 American League voting, a tie for third-place resulted in the presentation of Gold Glove Awards to four outfielders (Dwayne Murphy, Gary Pettis, Dwight Evans and Dave Winfield); this scenario was repeated in the National League in 2007 (Andruw Jones, Carlos Beltrán, Aaron Rowand, and Jeff Francoeur). Father and son Bobby and Barry Bonds are the only family pair who have won Gold Glove Awards as outfielders.Roberto Clemente and Willie Mays are tied for the most Gold Gloves won among outfielders; Clemente won 12 consecutive National League awards with the Pittsburgh Pirates, as did Mays with the New York and San Francisco Giants. Four outfielders are tied for the second-highest total with 10 wins: Andruw Jones, Ken Griffey, Jr., Al Kaline, and Ichiro Suzuki. There is one 9-time winner, Torii Hunter, who won his awards consecutively. There have been six 8-time winners (Barry Bonds, Evans, Paul Blair, Andre Dawson, Jim Edmonds, and Garry Maddox), and four 7-time awardees (Winfield, Curt Flood, Larry Walker, Devon White. Yastremski, Murphy and Kirby Puckett each won six American League awards; there have been seven 5-time winners and six 4-time winners as well. Darin Erstad won a Gold Glove as a first baseman in 2004 after winning two awards in the outfield (2000, 2002), making him the only player to win the award as an infielder and an outfielder.Nine outfielders have posted errorless Gold Glove-winning seasons: seven in the American League and two in the National League. The only player to accomplish the feat twice was Mickey Stanley, who posted a 1.000 fielding percentage in 1968 and 1970. Other outfielders who have played complete seasons without an error include Flood (1966), Clemente (1972), Yastrzemski (1977), Hunter (2008), Ken Berry (1972), Bernie Williams (2000), Vernon Wells (2005), and Joe Rudi, who played only 44 games in the outfield in 1975 while appearing in 91 games at first base. Murphy leads all outfield winners with 507 putouts in 1980, and Jones leads National Leaguers with 493 (1999). Clemente leads all winners in assists; he had 27 in 1961, and American League leader Kaline had 23 in 1958. Jesse Barfield doubled off eight runners in consecutive seasons (1986 and 1987) for the Toronto Blue Jays, while Dave Parker leads all winners with nine double plays in 1977 for the Pirates.Rawlings Gold Glove Award
The Rawlings Gold Glove Award, usually referred to as simply the Gold Glove, is the award given annually to the Major League Baseball players judged to have exhibited superior individual fielding performances at each fielding position in both the National League (NL) and the American League (AL), as voted by the managers and coaches in each league. It is also awarded to women fastpitch softball players in the National Pro Fastpitch as of 2016. Managers are not permitted to vote for their own players. Additionally, a sabermetric component provided by Society for American Baseball Research (SABR) accounts for approximately 25 percent of the vote. Eighteen Gold Gloves are awarded each year (with the exception of 1957, 1985, 2007, and 2018), one at each of the nine positions in each league. In 1957, the baseball glove manufacturer Rawlings created the Gold Glove Award to commemorate the best fielding performance at each position. The award was created from a glove made from gold lamé-tanned leather and affixed to a walnut base. Initially, only one Gold Glove per position was awarded to the top fielder at each position in Major League Baseball; however, separate awards were given for the National and American Leagues beginning in 1958.Willemstad
Willemstad (; Dutch pronunciation: [ˈʋɪləmstɑt]) is the capital city of Curaçao, an island in the southern Caribbean Sea that forms a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. Formerly the capital of the Netherlands Antilles prior to its dissolution in 2010, it has an estimated population of 150,000. The historic centre of the city consists of four quarters: the Punda and Otrobanda, which are separated by the Sint Anna Bay, an inlet that leads into the large natural harbour called the Schottegat, as well as the Scharloo and Pietermaai Smal quarters, which are across from each other on the smaller Waaigat harbour. Willemstad is home to the Curaçao synagogue, the oldest surviving synagogue in the Americas. The city centre, with its unique architecture and harbour entry, has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site.