The Milwaukee Braves was a Major League Baseball team that was Milwaukee's first MLB franchise.
Milwaukee went wild over the Braves, who were welcomed as genuine heroes. The Braves finished 92-62 in their first season in Milwaukee, and drew a then-NL record 1.8 million fans. The success of the team was noted by many owners. Not coincidentally, the Philadelphia Athletics, St. Louis Browns, Brooklyn Dodgers and New York Giants would leave their original hometowns in the next five years.
As the 1950s progressed, the reinvigorated Braves became increasingly competitive. Sluggers Eddie Mathews and Hank Aaron drove the offense (they would hit a combined 1,226 home runs as Braves, with 850 of those coming while the franchise was in Milwaukee), whilst Spahn, Lew Burdette and Bob Buhl anchored the rotation.
In 1957, the Braves celebrated their first pennant in nine years spearheaded by Aaron's MVP season, as he led the National League in home runs and RBI. Perhaps the most memorable of his 44 round-trippers that season came on September 23, a two-run walk-off home run that gave the Braves a 4-2 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals and clinched the league championship. The team then went on to its first World Series win in over 40 years, defeating the New York Yankees]] of Yogi Berra, Mickey Mantle, and Whitey Ford in seven games. Burdette, the Series MVP, threw three complete game victories, giving up only two earned runs.
- Main article: 1958 Milwaukee Braves season
In 1958, the Braves again won the National League pennant and jumped out to a three games to one lead in the World Series against New York once more, thanks in part to the strength of Spahn's and Burdette's pitching. But the Yankees stormed back to take the last three games, in large part to World Series MVP Bob Turley's pitching.
- Main article: 1959 Milwaukee Braves season
The 1959 season saw the Braves finish the season in a tie with the Los Angeles Dodgers. Many residents of Chicago and Milwaukee were hoping for a Sox-Braves Series, as the cities are only about Template:Convert apart, but it was not to be because Milwaukee fell in a best-of-3 playoff with two straight losses to the Dodgers. The Dodgers would go on to defeat the Chicago White Sox in the World Series.
The next six years were up-and-down for the Braves. The 1960 season featured two no-hitters by Burdette and Spahn, and Milwaukee finished seven games behind the Pittsburgh Pirates, who ultimately were to win the World Series that year, in second place. The 1961 season saw a drop in the standings for the Braves down to fourth, despite Spahn recording his 300th victory and pitching another no-hitter that year. The team's attendance also started to tail off during this time.
Aaron hit 45 home runs in 1962, a Milwaukee career high for him, but this did not translate into wins for the Braves, as they finished fifth. The next season, Aaron again hit 44 home runs and notched 130 RBI, and Spahn was once again the ace of the staff, going 23-7. However, none of the other Braves produced at that level, and the team finished in the lower half of the league, or "second division," for the first time in its short history in Milwaukee.
The Braves were somewhat mediocre as the 1960s began, but fattened up on the expansion New York Mets and Houston Colt .45s. To this day, the Milwaukee Braves are the only major league team who played more than one season and never had a losing record.