2003 Atlanta Braves season
The 2003 Atlanta Braves season marked the franchise's 38th season in Atlanta and 133rd overall. The Braves won their 12th consecutive division title, finishing 10 games ahead of the second-place Florida Marlins. The Braves lost the 2003 Divisional Series to the Chicago Cubs, 3 games to 2. The Braves finished 2003 with their best offensive season in franchise history, hitting a franchise record 235 home runs. Atlanta also had one of the most noteworthy combined offensive outfield productions in league history.
|2003 Atlanta Braves|
|NL East Champions|
|Major League affiliations|
|Owner(s)||AOL Time Warner|
|General manager(s)||John Schuerholz|
|Local television||TBS Superstation|
(Don Sutton, Joe Simpson)
(Pete Van Wieren)
(Tom Paciorek, Bob Rathbun)
|Local radio||WSB (AM)|
(Pete Van Wieren, Skip Caray)
(Luis Octavio Dozal, Jose Manuel Flores)
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The Braves' starting rotation had new faces in 2003, but aged pitchers. Opposite of what they were traditionally known for in years earlier. Greg Maddux was joined by trade acquisitions Mike Hampton and Russ Ortiz, free agent Shane Reynolds and rookie Horacio Ramírez. Critics noted had Atlanta had a younger staff with this offense, they would've been more likely to win the World Series. Marcus Giles had an All-Star season as the Braves' second baseman and Gary Sheffield as the Braves' right fielder. Sheffield finished with a top 5 voting in NL MVP voting. 2003 also marked the last season for Maddux, ending his tenure in Atlanta after 11 seasons.
- November 18, 2002: Mike Hampton was traded by the Florida Marlins with cash to the Atlanta Braves for Ryan Baker (minors) and Tim Spooneybarger. (Hampton had been traded to the Marlins from the Colorado Rockies on November 16, 2002)
- November 20, 2002: Donzell McDonald was signed as a Free Agent with the Atlanta Braves.
- December 16, 2002: Ray King was traded by the Milwaukee Brewers to the Atlanta Braves for John Foster and Wes Helms.
- December 17, 2002: Russ Ortiz was traded by the San Francisco Giants to the Atlanta Braves for Damian Moss and Merkin Valdez.
- December 18, 2002: Paul Byrd was signed as a Free Agent with the Atlanta Braves. (Byrd did not play for the Braves in 2003)
- December 19, 2002: Greg Maddux was signed as a Free Agent with the Atlanta Braves.
- December 20, 2002: Johnny Estrada was traded by the Philadelphia Phillies to the Atlanta Braves for Kevin Millwood.
- January 6, 2003: Robert Fick signed as a Free Agent with the Atlanta Braves.
- January 8, 2003: Julio Franco was signed as a Free Agent with the Atlanta Braves.
- January 23, 2003: Roberto Hernandez signed as a Free Agent with the Atlanta Braves.
- April 10, 2003: Shane Reynolds signed as a Free Agent with the Atlanta Braves.
- In 2003, John Smoltz set a Major League record (since tied) by having 34 saves before the All-Star Break.
- May 23, 2003 – During the Atlanta Braves 15-3 victory over the Cincinnati Reds, Braves players Rafael Furcal, Mark DeRosa and Gary Sheffield hit consecutive home runs to start the game.
- On August 10, 2003, Rafael Furcal of the Braves had an unassisted triple play. He caught the liner, touched second base, and tagged the runner going back to first base.
Opening Day startersEdit
|Starting Pitcher||Greg Maddux|
|First Baseman||Robert Fick|
|Second Baseman||Marcus Giles|
|Third Baseman||Vinny Castilla|
|Left Fielder||Chipper Jones|
|Center Fielder||Andruw Jones|
|Right Fielder||Gary Sheffield|
National League EastEdit
|New York Mets||66||95||0.410||34½||34–46||32–49|
Record vs. opponentsEdit
2003 National League Records
- August 29, 2003: Jaret Wright was selected off waivers by the Atlanta Braves from the San Diego Padres.
- Notable draft signings in 2003 include Jarrod Saltalamacchia (36th overall) and Jonny Venters (30th round).
|2003 Atlanta Braves|
Note: G = Games played; AB = At bats; H = Hits; Avg. = Batting average; HR = Home runs; RBI = Runs batted in
Atlanta Braves vs. Chicago CubsEdit
Chicago wins the series, 3-2
|1||Chicago Cubs – 4, Atlanta Braves – 2||September 30||Turner Field||52,043|
|2||Chicago Cubs – 3, Atlanta Braves – 5||October 1||Turner Field||52,743|
|3||Atlanta Braves – 1, Chicago Cubs – 3||October 3||Wrigley Field||39,982|
|4||Atlanta Braves – 6, Chicago Cubs – 4||October 4||Wrigley Field||39,983|
|5||Chicago Cubs – 5, Atlanta Braves – 1||October 5||Turner Field||54,357|
- Paul Byrd Statistics Baseball-Reference.com
- Julio Franco Statistics Baseball-Reference.com
- Sports Illustrated, Volume 109, No. 2, July 14–21, 2008, p.24, Published by Time Inc.
- Mackin, Bob (2004). The Unofficial Guide to Baseball's Most Unusual Records. Canada: Greystone Books. p. 240. ISBN 9781553650386.
- Jaret Wright Statistics Baseball-Reference.com
- 2003 Major League Baseball draft
- "2003 NLDS – Chicago Cubs vs. Atlanta Braves – Game 1". Retrosheet. Retrieved July 1, 2008.
- "2003 NLDS – Chicago Cubs vs. Atlanta Braves – Game 2". Retrosheet. Retrieved July 1, 2008.
- "2003 NLDS – Chicago Cubs vs. Atlanta Braves – Game 3". Retrosheet. Retrieved July 1, 2008.
- "2003 NLDS – Chicago Cubs vs. Atlanta Braves – Game 4". Retrosheet. Retrieved July 1, 2008.
- "2003 NLDS – Chicago Cubs vs. Atlanta Braves – Game 5". Retrosheet. Retrieved July 1, 2008.
- Johnson, Lloyd, and Wolff, Miles, ed., The Encyclopedia of Minor League Baseball, 3rd edition. Durham, North Carolina: Baseball America, 2007
- Baseball America 2004 Annual Directory
- 2003 Atlanta Braves at Baseball Reference