Since moving to Atlanta in 1966, the Braves have had the same eight position players start in back-to-back opening days once — to start the 1982 and 1983 seasons.
Here’s a look at the players who have made the most starts on Atlanta’s opening day lineup:
Brian McCann. McCann — who announced his retirement following the NLDS — made eight starts as catcher in Atlanta. His last in 2019. Before that, McCann made seven consecutive starts from 2006 to 2012. Javy Lopez played 12 years in Atlanta and opened the season behind the plate seven times.
Freddie Freeman. Freeman has manned first base every opening day for Atlanta since 2011. Joe Adcock made eight opening day starts with the Milwaukee Braves. In Atlanta, only Chris Chambliss, with five opening day starts from 1980 to '85 trails Freeman in Atlanta.
Glenn Hubbard. Hubbard played 10 seasons in Atlanta, making eight opening day starts from 1979 to 1987. Marcus Giles (2002-06) and Mark Lemke (1993-97) each had five.
Chipper Jones. Only Eddie Mathews made more opening day starts for the Braves’ franchise (15) than Chipper Jones (13) at third base. Since Chipper’s retirement in 2011, seven players — Josh Donaldson, Ryan Flaherty, Adonis Garcia, Alberto Callaspo, Chris Johnson, Martin Prado and Austin Riley — have started the season at third.
Rafael Ramirez. The Braves have had their share of razzle-dazzle midfielders, but only Rafael Ramirez and Jeff Blauser have the distinction of making six opening day starts in Atlanta. Rafael Furcal (2001-05) is next with five. Dansby Swanson will be making his fourth opening day start in 2021. Andrelton Simmons (2013-15) and Yunel Escobar (2008-10) each have three.
Ryan Klesko. Since 1966, the Braves have had more than 30 different players start at left field on Opening Day. With a list that includes such names as Dale Murphy, Deion Sanders, Ken Griffey Sr. and Chipper Jones, only Klesko — who played eight years in Atlanta — had more than three opening day starts (1994, ’96-98) in left. In recent years, the Braves have started the season with Ronald Acuna, Preston Tucker, Matt Kemp and Hector Olivera. Acuna has just one start in left on opening day.
Andruw Jones. Next to Chipper, Andruw Jones has the most opening day starts of any player in Atlanta with 10 from 1998 to 2007. Ender Inciarte has started four in center.
Hank Aaron. Aaron started the season in right field for the Braves 16 times — eight of those in Atlanta. Only David Justice made more than five opening day starts at right for Atlanta. Nick Markakis and Jason Heyward have five starts.
Phil Niekro. Hall of Fame pitcher Phil Niekro was the opening day starter in eight of his 19 years in Atlanta. He is closely followed by another Hall of Famer, Greg Maddux, who made starts in seven of his 11 years in Atlanta. Julio Teheran made six straight starts from 2014-19.
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