Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman has 227 home runs in 10 seasons in Atlanta.
Photo: Curtis Compton/ccompton@ajc.com
Photo: Curtis Compton/ccompton@ajc.com

5 Braves: Vote on best player to wear No. 5?

More than a dozen Braves have tossed on a No. 5 jersey over the last five decades in Atlanta. 

A number heavily favored by corner infielders and catchers, it’s been worn by Hall of Famers and MVPs.

Before he unleashed 755 home runs over two decades, Hank Aaron wore No. 5 in his first season in Milwaukee. He finished fourth in Rookie of the Year voting in 1954. 

» ALSO: Best Brave to wear No. 1?

Paul Casanova (.210/.242/.288) was traded to Atlanta in 1971, playing backstop for three seasons. He was the catcher when knuckleballer Phil Niekro threw a no-hitter against San Diego in August 1973.

The Braves drafted Bob Horner (.278/.339/.508) first overall in the 1978 baseball draft. The third-baseman hit 23 home runs that year to beat out Ozzie Smith for NL Rookie of the Year honors. He topped 30 homers three times — four of those in one spectacular game in 1986 — before injuries cut short a once promising career.

Ron Gant (.262/.336/.468) wore No. 5 for seven seasons. Gant was part of the Braves’ resurgence in 1991. He was infamously lifted off the bag by Minnesota first baseman Kent Hrbek in Game 2 of the 1991 World Series. Gant was called out in what was the most controversial play of the seven-game series. 

Third baseman Terry Pendleton spent four seasons in Atlanta, winning an MVP in 1991 — all while wearing No. 9. He signed with the then-Florida Marlins in 1995 only to be traded back to Atlanta for Roosevelt Brown in August 1996. No. 9, however, was no longer available, as it was worn by Marquis Grissom. Wearing No. 5 over 42 regular season games, Pendleton hit .204/.271/.315. (Pendleton was one of three Braves to wear No. 5 that 1996 season —catcher Tyler Houston and shortstop Pablo Martinez were the others.) 

Between 1997 and 2009 five Braves donned No. 5, before Freddie Freeman took over the jersey. Freeman (.293/.397/.504) has been a mainstay at first over the last decade. The four-time All-Star hit a career-38 homers last season.

Who wore it best?

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