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Into the 21st Century With the NL's Greatest Dynasty: The 1998-2005 Atlanta Braves

pit Any doubt that the Atlanta Braves were a baseball dynasty, joining the 1921-64 New York Yankees (29 pennants in 44 years), the 1911-24 New York Giants (eight pennants in 14 years), and the 1947-66 Brooklyn-to-Los Angeles Dodgers (10 pennants in 20 years), was put to rest by the time the twentieth century came to an end. The 1991-97 Braves were the first of two different teams that were the foundation of the Atlanta dynasty from 1991 to 2005 that won 14 consecutive division titles. The team that carried the Braves' dynasty into the new century - the 1998 to 2005 Atlanta Braves - retained the pitching core of Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine, and John Smoltz, but was now defined by third baseman Chipper Jones and center fielder Andruw Jones among their core regulars. The nearly complete turnover of core position players is what distinguishes these two Atlanta teams. Three-fourths of the Braves' 1997 infield - first baseman Fred McGriff, second baseman Mark Lemke, and shortstop Jeff Blauser who had played together since 1993 - did not return the next year, and left fielder Ryan Klesko would be gone after two more years. Chipper Jones, along with catcher Javy Lopez, were the only position players on the 1998-05 Braves who played key roles on the 1991-97 Braves, and I do not include Chipper as a core regular for that team because he had been Atlanta's third baseman only the last three of those seven seasons, beginning in 1995.

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