One historical artifact almost got away. Almost.
The Braves franchise won its 10,000 game Friday night, becoming just the third Major League franchise to reach the milestone. The Braves painted the number in green – stretching across much of the outfield – for Saturday’s game against the Nationals. Behind second base, in white, was painted ‘10,000 wins.’ A flag commemorating the accomplishment was raised at Turner Field. Following the win, manager Fredi Gonzalez’s lineup card was collected, authenticated and was to be put in the team’s museum.
What about the ball?
Relief pitcher George Sherrill fielded a comebacker and tossed it to first baseman Freddie Freeman for the final out in the milestone win.
According to Gonzalez, Freeman tossed the ball back to Sherrill who threw it into the dugout to no one in particular.
“There was a mad scramble for the ball,” Gonzalez said. “I think we found it.”
Good thing he didn’t toss it into the crowd.
The Braves joined the Giants and Cubs in the 10,000-win club. The Giants accomplished the feat in 2005 and the Cubs did it in 2008. Baseball Reference also lists the Dodgers (10,176) and the Cardinals (10,154) with more than 10,000 wins, but some of those came in other leagues, such as the Federal League. MLB does not recognize those wins, and neither do the clubs themselves, when citing their overall franchise major-league records.
The Braves won 5,118 games in Boston, 1,146 games in Milwaukee and 3,736 games in Atlanta.
“We are real proud of it,” Braves president John Schuerholz said Saturday. “It’s a great accomplishment. Just like those pennants hanging up there for the 14 consecutive division championships. That’s a remarkable accomplishment but for a historical franchise like this to do something only two others have done, we are real proud of that.”