07/16/11 12:01 AM ET
Braves join Cubs, Giants with 10,000th win
By Chris Cox / MLB.com
The Braves are joining them as part of the 10,000-win club.
With their 11-1 victory over the Nationals on Friday night at Turner Field, the Braves dropped their countdown banner in right-center field to zero, as the franchise won the 10,000th game in its long, proud history.
"Tonight is the Braves' night," president John Schuerholz said to the crowd following the final out. Schuerholz also announced that the first 10,000 fans entering Saturday's game will receive a special poster honoring the achievement.
Only the Giants (10,489) and Cubs (10,278) have won more games, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. They do not recognize the Dodgers or Cardinals among those to accomplish the feat, whose wins in the American Association do not count toward their Major League Baseball win total.
"Not many organizations get to 10,000 wins," manager Fredi Gonzalez said. "Just to be a part of it, just to tell your grandkids, 'Hey, I was there. I managed that game and we won that 10,000th win.' It's good."
The Braves, who are the longest continuously operating franchise in MLB, picked up their first win as the Boston Red Stockings on April 22, 1876 in a 6-5 triumph over the Philadelphia Athletics.
It was Tim Murnane, George Wright and Harry Schafer who helped the Braves crack into the history books that day. More than a century later, it was Tim Hudson, George Sherrill and Jordan Schafer who got the Braves to the 10,000-win plateau on a cool, breezy night in Atlanta.
"I'm an answer to a trivia question," said Sherrill, who helped record the final out on a grounder back to the mound. "It's special to be a part of this organization and to get the last out. Maybe I'll come back in 20 years and be a trivia answer."
Sherrill recorded the final out, but it was Hudson who earned the win after limiting the Nationals to one run in seven strong innings of work.
"That's pretty good. Obviously, it's a lot of wins," Hudson said. "A lot of games with a lot of teams in a lot of different cities."
Several people have pitched in to help the Braves reach this mark. Bobby Cox is the franchise's all-time leader in managerial wins with 2,149. No one won more games on the mound than Warren Spahn, who registered 356. And, of course, having Hank Aaron -- the man who until recently was the home run king -- didn't hurt, either.
Naturally, being one of the oldest franchises in baseball helped the Braves accomplish the feat. While they hit the five-digit mark in wins Friday, the club is also a mere eight losses away from 10,000 in its history.
The Braves piled up a majority of their wins in Boston, accumulating 5,118 there from 1876-1952. They played there as the Red Stockings, Beaneaters, Doves, Rustlers, Bees and Braves.
"I'm sure the players from the Beaneaters are really excited," Hudson said jokingly. "Probably a tear in their ancestors' eyes somewhere."
The franchise then packed up and headed for Milwaukee, where it accrued 1,146 wins from 1953-1965. They've captured 3,736 victories in Atlanta.
The race to 10,000 wins is over. Now, the Braves' focus can turn to adding to their trophy case, which includes 17 pennants and three World Series championships.
Chris Cox is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.