The Atlanta Braves have long set the standard for great pitching. Among the top eight wins leaders in Major League history, three did most of their damage with the Braves. Five pitchers have reached the 200 win mark in a Braves’ uniform alone, including recent standouts John Smoltz and Tom Glavine.
5. John Smoltz: 210 wins
John Smoltz was a great starter and closer in Atlanta and he ranks fifth among the Braves’ all-time wins leaders. Smoltz pitched for the Braves from 1988 to 2008, winning a Cy Young Award as a starter and becoming the team’s all-time saves leader as a reliever. He twice led the National League in wins with 24 in 1996 and 16 in 2006 and he is one of 16 members of the 3,000 strikeout club. Smoltz earned spots on eight All-Star teams and totaled an additional 15 postseason wins for the Braves.
4. Tom Glavine: 244 wins
Two-time NL Cy Young Award winner Tom Glavine was one of the great pitchers of the 1990s and ranks fourth on the Atlanta Braves’ all-time wins leaders list. From 1987 to 2002, Glavine threw 518 regular season games and was the MVP of the 1995 World Series. He put together a remarkable five 20 win seasons including three in a row from 1991 to 1993. Glavine was one of the most durable pitchers in baseball, throwing more than 200 innings in 14 separate seasons.
3. Phil Niekro: 268 wins
One of the most successful knuckleballers in baseball history, Phil Niekro ranks third among the Atlanta Braves’ all-time wins leaders. Niekro displayed remarkable durability, throwing 5,404 career innings, the fourth highest total in Major League history. As an inevitable result, he ranks among baseball’s all-time leaders in both wins and losses. In 21 seasons with the Braves, he notched double-digit wins 16 times, including three seasons with more than 20. The five-time All-Star had a 3.20 ERA with the Braves and struck out more than 3,000 hitters in his career before being inducted into the Hall of Fame.
2. Kid Nichols: 329 wins
The ace of the team back in the 1800s when it was known as the Boston Beaneaters, Kid Nichols ranks second among the Braves’ all-time wins leaders and seventh in the whole of baseball. From 1890 to 1901, Nichols started 502 games for the organization with a 3.00 ERA in 4,549 innings. Playing in an era when pitchers took the mound far more often, Nichols won 30 games seven times and led the NL in wins for three straight seasons from 1896 to 1898; he even led the league in saves four times. The Hall of Famer won 361 games in his 15-year career and is one of 13 members of the 5,000 innings club.
1. Warren Spahn: 356 wins
Hall of Fame lefty Warren Spahn is the Atlanta Braves’ all-time wins leader. A member of the Braves during their days in Boston and Milwaukee, Spahn spent 20 seasons with the club from 1942 to 1964, serving in WWII during his early career. The 17-time All-Star had 13 seasons with at least 20 wins including six in a row from 1956 to 1961; he was the National League’s win leader in eight of those seasons. Spahn threw more innings than any other left-hander in Major League history, totaling 5,243.2 with a 3.09 career ERA.
* Indicates the player is active with the team.
Atlanta Braves Player Career Pitching Register. Baseball-Reference.com