Best Atlanta Braves Cards Every Collector Needs

The Atlanta Braves are filled with Hall of Famers, legends, MVPs, and exciting young talent that everyone loves to collect. Fans can build their collection around one of the greatest baseball players of all-time in Hank Aaron, or one of the best players on the planet today in Ronald Acuna Jr. You can also go the illustrious pitching route and fill your collection with cards and memorabilia from Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine and John Smoltz. Essentially, there’s no wrong way to collect Braves cards.

HobbyListings has compiled a list of the best 10 baseball cards that every Braves fan should consider. Did we miss one of your favorites? Let us know in the comments below!

The List: Best Atlanta Braves Cards

1. Hank Aaron 1954 Topps Rookie Card (#128)

1954 Topps Hank Aaron rookie card
1954 Topps Hank Aaron rookie card. (credit: Matt Higgins)

This card is a treasure for any Braves fan. “Hammerin’ Hank” is one of baseball’s greatest hitters, breaking Babe Ruth’s then-home run record and finishing his career with 755 homers. His impact on the game and his role in breaking racial barriers make this card a piece of history. If Aaron’s rookie card is too rich for your blood, you can’t go wrong with his 1956 Topps card.

2. 1953 Topps Eddie Mathews (#37)

1953 Topps Eddie Mathews
1953 Topps Eddie Mathews. (credit: eBay)

Mathews is another Braves legendary player every fan needs for their collection. Mathews cranked out 512 home runs during his Hall of Fame career. His 1953 Topps card is a must-have if his 1952 Topps rookie card is out of your price range.

3. 1991 Topps Desert Shield Chipper Jones Rookie Card (#333)

1991 Topps Desert Shield Chipper Jones rookie card
1991 Topps Desert Shield Chipper Jones rookie card. (credit: eBay)

Chipper Jones’ rookie card captures the beginning of a career that would span 19 years, all with the Braves. A switch-hitter with power and consistency, Jones won the 1999 MVP award and was an eight-time All-Star, becoming a cornerstone of the Braves’ dynasty in the 1990s and 2000s.

4. 1993 Topps Finest Greg Maddux (#85)

1993 Topps Finest Greg Maddux
1993 Topps Finest Greg Maddux. (credit: eBay)

This card represents Greg Maddux’s first year with the Braves, where he became a key part of their dominant pitching staff. Maddux, known for his precision and control, won four consecutive Cy Young Awards and helped lead the Braves to a World Series title in 1995.

5. 1988 Score Glossy Tom Glavine Rookie Card (#638)

1988 Score Glossy Tom Glavine Rookie Card
1988 Score Glossy Tom Glavine Rookie Card. (credit: eBay)

Tom Glavine’s rookie card is a must-have for its depiction of the early years of a pitcher who would become a Braves legend. A two-time Cy Young winner and ten-time All-Star, Glavine was known for his competitive nature and was integral to the Braves’ success in the 1990s.

6. 1989 Bowman Tiffany John Smoltz Rookie Card (#266)

1989 Bowman Tiffany John Smoltz rookie card
1989 Bowman Tiffany John Smoltz rookie card. (credit: eBay)

John Smoltz’s card from his rookie year represents the beginning of a career that saw him excel as both a starter and a closer. A key member of the Braves’ “Big Three” pitching trio, Smoltz helped the team to consistent success, including the 1995 World Series win.

7. 2017 Bowman Chrome Prospect Ronald Acuña Jr. Autograph Card (#CPARA)

2017 Bowman Chrome Prospects Ronald Acuna Jr. Autograph Card
2017 Bowman Chrome Prospects Ronald Acuna Jr. Autograph Card. (credit: eBay)

Ronald Acuña’s first Bowman autograph card is highly sought after, representing one of the most exciting young talents in baseball. He quickly emerged as a star for the Braves, known for his explosive power, speed, and dynamic play.

8. 2011 Topps Chrome Freddie Freeman Autograph Rookie Card (#173)

2011 Topps Chrome Freddie Freeman autograph rookie card
2011 Topps Chrome Freddie Freeman autograph rookie card. (credit: eBay)

Freddie Freeman’s autograph rookie card is a reminder of his steady rise to become one of the premier first basemen in the league. Freeman is now with the Los Angeles Dodgers after winning a World Series with the Braves in 2021.

9. 1978 Topps Dale Murphy Rookie Card (#708)

1978 Topps Dale Murphy rookie card
1978 Topps Dale Murphy rookie card. (credit: eBay)

Dale Murphy’s card from his rookie season is special for fans who remember his impact in the 1980s. A two-time MVP and a seven-time All-Star, Murphy was the face of the Braves during a period when the team struggled for wins but had standout individual performances.

History of the Atlanta Braves

The Atlanta Braves, one of the most storied franchises in Major League Baseball (MLB), boast a rich history filled with iconic players, memorable victories, and a journey through different cities. Let’s explore the evolution of this esteemed team and its key moments and players.

Early Beginnings and the Boston Era

  • Founded in 1871: The Braves, initially known as the Boston Red Stockings, are one of the oldest continuously operating professional sports franchises in America.
  • 1914 World Series Champions: As the “Miracle Braves,” the team completed a stunning turnaround to win the 1914 World Series, marking their first major success.

The Milwaukee Years

  • Relocation to Milwaukee (1953): The franchise moved to Milwaukee in 1953 and experienced a surge in popularity, thanks in part to the emergence of star players like Hank Aaron and Eddie Mathews.
  • 1957 World Series Champions: Led by Aaron, Mathews, and Warren Spahn, the Milwaukee Braves captured the World Series title in 1957, solidifying their status as one of the premier teams of the era.

The Atlanta Chapter

  • Moving to Atlanta (1966): The team relocated to Atlanta in 1966, bringing Major League Baseball to the South for the first time.
  • Hank Aaron’s Historic Home Run (1974): Hank Aaron broke Babe Ruth’s then all-time home run record with his 715th home run, a monumental moment in both the team’s and baseball’s history.

The 1990s: A Dynasty Emerges

  • Dominant Pitching Trio: The 1990s saw the Braves dominate the National League, largely thanks to their stellar pitching staff, including Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine, and John Smoltz.
  • 1995 World Series Champions: The Braves won the World Series in 1995, a triumph that culminated a decade of exceptional performance and playoff appearances. It was their only championship during the ’90s.

Key Players Through the Years

  • Hank Aaron: One of baseball’s greatest players, Aaron’s impact on the game and his chase for the home run record made him a legend in Atlanta.
  • Chipper Jones: A lifetime Brave, Jones was a key player in the Braves’ 1990s and 2000s success, known for his hitting prowess and leadership. He captured the N.L. MVP in 1999 and was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2018.
  • Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine, John Smoltz: This trio of pitchers dominated the 1990s, combining for six Cy Young Awards during their time with the Braves. All three were elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame.
  • Dale Murphy: A beloved figure in Atlanta, Murphy was a two-time MVP and a symbol of the team in the 1980s.

Recent Developments and Continuing Legacy

  • 21st Century Success: The Braves have continued to be competitive in the new millennium, with a new generation of stars like Ronald Acuña Jr., Ozzie Albies and Austin Riley leading the way. The Braves won the World Series in 2021.
  • Truist Park: Opening in 2017, the new stadium marked a new era for the team, offering a state-of-the-art facility for fans and players alike.

Matt Higgins contributed to this report.

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