List of Boston and Milwaukee Braves Opening Day starting pitchers

List of Boston and Milwaukee Braves Opening Day starting pitchers

For the Opening Day starting pitchers since 1966, see List of Atlanta Braves Opening Day starting pitchers.


The Braves are a Major League Baseball team that was originally based in Boston, Massachusetts. They moved to Milwaukee, Wisconsin in 1953 before moving to their current home, Atlanta, Georgia in 1966. They played in the National League since its formation in 1876. At various points in the history in Boston, they were known as the Beaneaters, the Doves, the Rustlers and the Bees. During the 20th century until their move to Milwaukee, they played their home games primarily at two home ball parks - South End Grounds until 1914, and Braves Field from 1915 through 1952. They also played some home games at Fenway Park in 1914 and 1915, including Opening Day of 1915. Their home ball park in Milwaukee was County Stadium. The first game of the new baseball season for a team is played on Opening Day, and being named the Opening Day starter is an honor, which is given to the player who is expected to lead the pitching staff that season.[1]

The Braves used 40 different Opening Day starting pitchers in their 80 National League seasons they played prior to moving to Atlanta. The Braves won 46 of those games against 42 losses in those Opening Day starts. They also played two tie games.[2]

Warren Spahn had the most Opening Day starts for the Boston and Milwaukee Braves with ten between 1952 and 1964. Kid Nichols made six Opening Day starts between 1893 and 1901. Jim Whitney (1881–1885) and John Clarkson (1888–1892) each had five Opening Day starts. Tommy Bond (1877–1880), Vic Willis (1900–1904), Dick Rudolph (1915–1917, 1919), Al Javery (1942–1945) and Johnny Sain (1946–1949) each made four Opening Day starts. Irv Young (1906–1908), Bob Smith (1927–1929) and Ed Brandt (1932, 1934, 1935) each had three such starts. Other pitchers with multiple Opening Day starts for the Boston and Milwaukee Braves were Charles Radbourn, Jack Stivetts, Hub Perdue, Joe Oeschger, Joe Genewich, Danny MacFayden and Lew Burdette.

Prior to moving to Atlanta, the Braves played in the World Series four times. The played in the World Series as the Boston Braves in 1914 and 1948, and as the Milwaukee Braves in 1957 and 1959.[3] They won the World Series in 1914 and 1957.[3] Their Opening Day starting pitchers in World Series years were Lefty Tyler in 1914, Sain in 1948, and Spahn in 1957 and 1958.[4][5][6][7] They lost their Opening Day game in 1914, 1948 and 1958, and won in 1957.[4][5][6][7] In addition, the franchise won the National League championship eight times during the 19th century, prior to the existence of the modern World Series.[8] Nichols was the team's Opening Day starting pitcher in three of those season, Clarkson and Bond in two of those seasons each, and Whitney was the Opening Day starting pitcher in one such season.

Jesse Barnes made an Opening Day start for the Braves against the New York Giants in 1925, after having made an Opening Day start for the Giants against the Braves in 1920.[9][10] Spahn is the only pitcher to make an Opening Day start for both the Boston Braves and the Milwaukee Braves. Tony Cloninger, who made the last Opening Day start for the Milwaukee Braves in 1965 and the first for the Atlanta Braves in 1966, is the only pitcher to make an Opening Day start for both the Milwaukee and Atlanta Braves.[2]

Key

Year Each year is linked to an article about that particular Braves season.
W Win
L Loss
T Tie Game; no decision to starting pitcher
ND (W) No Decision by starting pitcher; Braves won game
ND (L) No Decision by starting pitcher; Braves lost game
(W) Braves won game; no information on starting pitcher's decision
(L) Braves lost game; no information on starting pitcher's decision
Location Stadium in italics for home game
(#) Number of appearances as Opening Day starter
NL Champions
World Series Champions

Pitchers



Year Pitcher Decision Opponent Location Reference
1876 Borden, JoeJoe Borden (W) Philadelphia Athletics Jefferson Street Grounds [11]
1877 Bond, TommyTommy Bond T Brooklyn Hartfords Union Grounds [12]
1878 Bond, TommyTommy Bond (2) W Providence Grays Messer Street Grounds [13]
1879 Bond, TommyTommy Bond (3) (W) Buffalo Bisons Riverside Park [14]
1880 Bond, TommyTommy Bond (4) (L) Providence Grays Messer Street Grounds [15]
1881 Whitney, JimJim Whitney (W) Providence Grays Messer Street Grounds [16]
1882 Whitney, JimJim Whitney (2) (W) Worcester Ruby Legs South End Grounds [17]
1883 Whitney, JimJim Whitney (3) (L) New York Giants Polo Grounds [18]
1884 Whitney, JimJim Whitney (4) (W) Buffalo Bisons South End Grounds [19]
1885 Whitney, JimJim Whitney (5) (L) New York Giants Polo Grounds [20]
1886 Radbourn, CharlesCharles Radbourn (L) New York Giants Polo Grounds [21]
1887 Radbourn, CharlesCharles Radbourn (2) (W) Washington Nationals Swampoodle Grounds [22]
1888 Clarkson, JohnJohn Clarkson (W) Philadelphia Phillies Huntingdon Grounds [23]
1889 Clarkson, JohnJohn Clarkson (2) (W) New York Giants Oakland Park, New Jersey [24][25]
1890 Clarkson, JohnJohn Clarkson (3) W Brooklyn Bridegrooms South End Grounds [26]
1891 Clarkson, JohnJohn Clarkson (4) (W) New York Giants Polo Grounds [27]
1892 Clarkson, JohnJohn Clarkson (5) (W) Washington Nationals Boundary Field [28]
1893 Nichols, KidKid Nichols (W) New York Giants Polo Grounds [29]
1894 Stivetts, JackJack Stivetts (W) Brooklyn Bridegrooms South End Grounds [30]
1895 Stivetts, JackJack Stivetts (2) (W) Washington Nationals South End Grounds [31]
1896 Nichols, KidKid Nichols (2) (W) Philadelphia Phillies Baker Bowl [32]
1897 Nichols, KidKid Nichols (3) (L) Philadelphia Phillies South End Grounds [33]
1898 Nichols, KidKid Nichols (4) (W) New York Giants Polo Grounds [34]
1899 Nichols, KidKid Nichols (5) (W) Brooklyn Superbas Washington Park [35]
1900 Willis, VicVic Willis (L) Philadelphia Phillies South End Grounds [36]
1901 Nichols, KidKid Nichols (6) (W) New York Giants South End Grounds [37]
1902 Willis, VicVic Willis (2) (L) Brooklyn Dodgers Washington Park [38]
1903 Willis, VicVic Willis (3) (W) Philadelphia Phillies Baker Bowl [39]
1904 Willis, VicVic Willis (4) (L) Philadelphia Phillies Baker Bowl [40]
1905 Wilhelm, KaiserKaiser Wilhelm (L) New York Giants Polo Grounds [41]
1906 Young, IrvIrv Young (W) Brooklyn Dodgers Washington Park [42]
1907 Young, IrvIrv Young (2) (W) Brooklyn Dodgers South End Grounds [43]
1908 Young, IrvIrv Young (3) (W) Brooklyn Dodgers Washington Park [43]
1909 Ferguson, GeorgeGeorge Ferguson (W) Philadelphia Phillies South End Grounds [44]
1910 Mattern, AlAl Mattern (W) New York Giants South End Grounds [45]
1911 Brown, BusterBuster Brown W Brooklyn Dodgers South End Grounds [46][47]
1912 Perdue, HubHub Perdue (W) Philadelphia Phillies South End Grounds [48]
1913 Perdue, HubHub Perdue (2) (W) New York Giants Polo Grounds [49]
1914 Tyler, LeftyLefty Tyler (L) Brooklyn Dodgers Ebbets Field [4]
1915 Rudolph, DickDick Rudolph (L) Philadelphia Phillies Fenway Park [50]
1916 Rudolph, DickDick Rudolph (2) (W) Brooklyn Dodgers Ebbets Field [51]
1917 Rudolph, DickDick Rudolph (3) (L) New York Giants Braves Field [52]
1918 Ragan, PatPat Ragan L Philadelphia Phillies Baker Bowl [53][54]
1919 Rudolph, DickDick Rudolph (4) L Brooklyn Dodgers Braves Field [55][56]
1920 Eayrs, EddieEddie Eayrs W New York Giants Polo Grounds [57][58]
1921 Oeschger, JoeJoe Oeschger L Brooklyn Dodgers Braves Field [59][60]
1922 Oeschger, JoeJoe Oeschger (2) L Philadelphia Phillies Baker Bowl [61][62]
1923 McNamara, TimTim McNamara L New York Giants Braves Field [63][64]
1924 Genewich, JoeJoe Genewich T Philadelphia Phillies Baker Bowl [65][66]
1925 Barnes, JesseJesse Barnes W New York Giants Braves Field [9][67]
1926 Genewich, JoeJoe Genewich (2) L Philadelphia Phillies Baker Bowl [68][69]
1927 Smith, BobBob Smith L Brooklyn Dodgers Braves Field [70][71]
1928 Smith, BobBob Smith (2) L New York Giants Polo Grounds [72][73]
1929 Smith, BobBob Smith (3) W Brooklyn Dodgers Braves Field [74][75]
1930 Seibold, SocksSocks Seibold L New York Giants Polo Grounds [76][77]
1931 Zachary, TomTom Zachary ND (W) Brooklyn Dodgers Braves Field [78][79]
1932 Brandt, EdEd Brandt W Brooklyn Dodgers Ebbets Field [80][81]
1933 Betts, HuckHuck Betts L Philadelphia Phillies Braves Field [82][83]
1934 Brandt, EdEd Brandt (2) L Brooklyn Dodgers Ebbets Field [84][85]
1935 Brandt, EdEd Brandt (3) W New York Giants Braves Field [86][87]
1936 MacFayden, DannyDanny MacFayden L Philadelphia Phillies Baker Bowl [88][89]
1937 Bush, GuyGuy Bush L Philadelphia Phillies Braves Field [90][91]
1938 MacFayden, DannyDanny MacFayden (2) L New York Giants Polo Grounds [92][93]
1939 Turner, JimJim Turner ND (W) Philadelphia Phillies Braves Field [94][95]
1940 Posedel, BillBill Posedel L Brooklyn Dodgers Ebbets Field [96][97]
1941 Errickson, DickDick Errickson L Philadelphia Phillies Shibe Park [98][99]
1942 Javery, AlAl Javery W Philadelphia Phillies Shibe Park [100][101]
1943 Javery, AlAl Javery (2) L New York Giants Braves Field [102][103]
1944 Javery, AlAl Javery (3) L New York Giants Polo Grounds [104][105]
1945 Javery, AlAl Javery (4) L New York Giants Braves Field [106][107]
1946 Sain, JohnnyJohnny Sain W Brooklyn Dodgers Braves Field [108][109]
1947 Sain, JohnnyJohnny Sain (2) L Brooklyn Dodgers Ebbets Field [110][111]
1948 Sain, JohnnyJohnny Sain (3) L Philadelphia Phillies Shibe Park [5][112]
1949 Sain, JohnnyJohnny Sain (4) L Philadelphia Phillies Braves Field [113][114]
1950 Spahn, WarrenWarren Spahn W New York Giants Polo Grounds [115][116]
1951 Bickford, VernVern Bickford L New York Giants Braves Field [117][118]
1952 Spahn, WarrenWarren Spahn (2) L Brooklyn Dodgers Braves Field [119][120]
1953 Surkont, MaxMax Surkont W Cincinnati Reds Crosley Field [121][122]
1954 Buhl, BobBob Buhl ND (L) Cincinnati Reds Crosley Field [123][124]
1955 Spahn, WarrenWarren Spahn (3) W Cincinnati Reds County Stadium [125][126]
1956 Burdette, LewLew Burdette W Chicago Cubs County Stadium [127]
1957 Spahn, WarrenWarren Spahn (4) W Chicago Cubs Wrigley Field [6]
1958 Spahn, WarrenWarren Spahn (5) ND (L) Pittsburgh Pirates County Stadium [7]
1959 Spahn, WarrenWarren Spahn (6) W Pittsburgh Pirates Forbes Field [128]
1960 Spahn, WarrenWarren Spahn (7) ND (W) Pittsburgh Pirates County Stadium [129]
1961 Spahn, WarrenWarren Spahn (8) L St. Louis Cardinals County Stadium [130]
1962 Spahn, WarrenWarren Spahn (9) L San Francisco Giants Candlestick Park [131]
1963 Burdette, LewLew Burdette (2) ND (L) Pittsburgh Pirates Forbes Field [132]
1964 Spahn, WarrenWarren Spahn (10) L San Francisco Giants Candlestick Park [133]
1965 Cloninger, TonyTony Cloninger W Cincinnati Reds Crosley Field [134]

References