This season, the Braves will feature their 54th starting lineup since moving to Atlanta in 1966. (Coincidentally, Atlanta has hit 54 home runs on Opening Day in that time.) Here are five facts about the Braves’ season opening lineups:
Ironman first baseman
Freddie Freeman’s eight consecutive Opening Day starts for the Braves, dating back to 2011, are the Atlanta franchise record for a first baseman.
Orlando Cepeda (1969-72) and Chris Chambliss (1980-83) are the only other Atlanta players with more than three consecutive seasons starting at first base.
Between 1995 and 2012, Chipper Jones made 16 Opening Day lineups. His 13 starts at third base stand as the most by any player at any position since the Braves came to Atlanta in 1966. Andruw Jones is the only other Atlanta Braves player with at least 10 starts on Opening Day.
The baseball Hall of Fame slugger was a .379 hitter with 2 home runs for his career (batting 14 times in the three-hole; twice at clean-up) in the season opener.
Home run derby
Four Braves (Dale Murphy, Fred McGriff, Andruw Jones and Brian McCann) hold the record for Opening Day home runs: Three.
Freddie Freeman is the only other active Brave with at least two season opening home runs.
Home run starts
Jordan Schafer (2009) and Jason Heyward (2010) hit Opening Day home runs in their first major league at-bat.
Schafer’s debut included a second-inning homer — off a 3-1 pitch by Phillies starter Brett Myers — in his first official at-bat. “I definitely didn’t expect for that [homer] to happen. I don’t think my feet hit the ground going around the bases,” Shafter said after his debut.
The following season, Heyward hit a three-run homer on the first pitch he saw, sparking the Braves to a 16-5 opening win over Carlos Zambrano and the Chicago Cubs.
Another bit of trivia for you, catcher Brian McCann homered in both these games.
Six in a row
Julio Teheran (2014-19) will be making is sixth consecutive Opening Day start March 28 in Philadelphia. He is the first Atlanta Braves pitcher to start six consecutive season openers.
Hall of Famers Greg Maddux (7) and Phil Niekro (8) are the only pitchers to start at least six season openers for Atlanta. Hall of Famer Warren Spahn made six Opening Day starts for the Braves prior to the franchise coming to Atlanta in 1966.
Teheran is 1-1 with a 2.73 ERA on Opening Day.
The only National League active pitcher with a longer streak than Teheran is the Dodgers’ Clayton Kershaw, who has started a Dodgers record eight consecutive opening day start.
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