2003 Atlanta Braves season

2003 Atlanta Braves
NL East Champions
Major League affiliations
Record 101–61 (.623)
Divisional place 1st
Other information
Owner(s) AOL Time Warner
General manager(s) John Schuerholz
Manager(s) Bobby Cox
Local television TBS Superstation
(Don Sutton, Joe Simpson)
Turner South
(Pete Van Wieren)
FSN South
(Tom Paciorek, Bob Rathbun)
Local radio WSB (AM)
(Pete Van Wieren, Skip Caray)
(Luis Octavio Dozal, Jose Manuel Flores)
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The 2003 Atlanta Braves season marked the franchise's 38th season in Atlanta and 133rd overall. The Braves won their 12th consecutive division title, finishing 10 games ahead of the second-place Florida Marlins. The Braves lost the 2003 Divisional Series to the Chicago Cubs, 3 games to 2. The Braves finished 2003 with their best offensive season in franchise history, hitting a franchise record 235 home runs. Atlanta also had one of the most noteworthy combined offensive outfield productions in league history.

The Braves' starting rotation had new faces in 2003, but aged pitchers. Opposite of what they were traditionally known for in years earlier. Greg Maddux was joined by trade acquisitions Mike Hampton and Russ Ortiz, free agent Shane Reynolds and rookie Horacio Ramírez. Critics noted had Atlanta had a younger staff with this offense, they would've been more likely to win the World Series. Marcus Giles had an All-Star season as the Braves' second baseman and Gary Sheffield as the Braves' right fielder. Sheffield finished with a top 5 voting in NL MVP voting. 2003 also marked the last season for Maddux, ending his tenure in Atlanta after 11 seasons.


  • November 18, 2002: Mike Hampton was traded by the Florida Marlins with cash to the Atlanta Braves for Ryan Baker (minors) and Tim Spooneybarger. (Hampton had been traded to the Marlins from the Colorado Rockies on November 16, 2002)[1]
  • November 20, 2002: Donzell McDonald was signed as a Free Agent with the Atlanta Braves.[2]
  • December 16, 2002: Ray King was traded by the Milwaukee Brewers to the Atlanta Braves for John Foster and Wes Helms.[3]
  • December 17, 2002: Russ Ortiz was traded by the San Francisco Giants to the Atlanta Braves for Damian Moss and Merkin Valdez.[4]
  • December 18, 2002: Paul Byrd was signed as a Free Agent with the Atlanta Braves. (Byrd did not play for the Braves in 2003)[5]
  • December 19, 2002: Greg Maddux was signed as a Free Agent with the Atlanta Braves.[6]
  • December 20, 2002: Johnny Estrada was traded by the Philadelphia Phillies to the Atlanta Braves for Kevin Millwood.[7]
  • January 6, 2003: Robert Fick signed as a Free Agent with the Atlanta Braves.[8]
  • January 8, 2003: Julio Franco was signed as a Free Agent with the Atlanta Braves.[9]
  • January 23, 2003: Roberto Hernandez signed as a Free Agent with the Atlanta Braves.[10]
  • April 10, 2003: Shane Reynolds signed as a Free Agent with the Atlanta Braves.[11]

Regular season

  • In 2003, John Smoltz set a Major League record (since tied) by having 34 saves before the All-Star Break.[12]
  • May 23, 2003 – During the Atlanta Braves 15-3 victory over the Cincinnati Reds, Braves players Rafael Furcal, Mark DeRosa and Gary Sheffield hit consecutive home runs to start the game.[13]
  • On August 10, 2003, Rafael Furcal of the Braves had an unassisted triple play. He caught the liner, touched second base, and tagged the runner going back to first base.[14]

Opening Day starters

Starting PitcherGreg Maddux
CatcherHenry Blanco
First BasemanRobert Fick
Second BasemanMarcus Giles
Third BasemanVinny Castilla
ShortstopRafael Furcal
Left FielderChipper Jones
Center FielderAndruw Jones
Right FielderGary Sheffield

Season standings

National League East

NL East W L Pct. GB Home Road
Atlanta Braves 10161 0.623 55–26 46–35
Florida Marlins 9171 0.562 10 53–28 38–43
Philadelphia Phillies 8676 0.531 15 49–32 37–44
Montreal Expos 8379 0.512 18 52–29 31–50
New York Mets 6695 0.410 34½ 34–46 32–49

Record vs. opponents

2003 National League Records

Colorado 9–100–63–32–44–22–47–125–13–42–52–43–612–77–124–29–6
Los Angeles 9–102–44–24–212–75–22–44–24–23–32–55–18–116–134–211–7
New York2–48–111–54–25–27–124–23–33–65–147–124–23–34–21–55–10
San Diego10–91–62–43–37–121–53–311–81–52–43–33–42–45–142–48–10
San Francisco14–54–22–43–312–75–14–213–65–10–72–43–34–214–55–110–8
St. Louis3–32–49–87–92–43-37–112–413–35–15–12–410–74–21–510–8

Notable transactions

  • August 29, 2003: Jaret Wright was selected off waivers by the Atlanta Braves from the San Diego Padres.[15]
  • Notable draft signings in 2003 include Jarrod Saltalamacchia (36th overall) and Jonny Venters (30th round).[16]


2003 Atlanta Braves
Pitchers Catchers



Other batters



Player stats


Note: G = Games played; AB = At bats; H = Hits; Avg. = Batting average; HR = Home runs; RBI = Runs batted in

Player G AB H Avg. HR RBI

Other batters

Player G AB H Avg. HR RBI

Starting pitchers

Player G IP W L ERA SO

Other pitchers

Player G IP W L ERA
Relief pitchers
Player G W L SV ERA SO

2003 National League Division Series

Atlanta Braves vs. Chicago Cubs

Chicago wins the series, 3-2

1Chicago Cubs – 4, Atlanta Braves – 2September 30Turner Field52,043[17]
2Chicago Cubs – 3, Atlanta Braves – 5October 1Turner Field52,743[18]
3Atlanta Braves – 1, Chicago Cubs – 3October 3Wrigley Field39,982[19]
4Atlanta Braves – 6, Chicago Cubs – 4October 4Wrigley Field39,983[20]
5Chicago Cubs – 5, Atlanta Braves – 1October 5Turner Field54,357[21]

Award winners

2003 Major League Baseball All-Star Game

Farm system

Level Team League Manager
AAA Richmond Braves International League Pat Kelly
AA Greenville Braves Southern League Brian Snitker
A Myrtle Beach Pelicans Carolina League Randy Ingle
A Rome Braves South Atlantic League Rocket Wheeler
Rookie Danville Braves Appalachian League Kevin McMullan
Rookie GCL Braves Gulf Coast League Ralph Henriquez

LEAGUE CHAMPIONS: Rome, GCL Braves[22][23]


  1. https://www.baseball-reference.com/players/h/hamptmi01.shtml#trans
  2. https://www.baseball-reference.com/m/mcdondo01.shtml
  3. https://www.baseball-reference.com/players/k/kingra01.shtml#trans
  4. https://www.baseball-reference.com/players/o/ortizru01.shtml#trans
  5. Paul Byrd Statistics Baseball-Reference.com
  6. https://www.baseball-reference.com/m/maddugr01.shtml
  7. https://www.baseball-reference.com/players/e/estrajo01.shtml#trans
  8. https://www.baseball-reference.com/players/f/fickro01.shtml#trans
  9. Julio Franco Statistics Baseball-Reference.com
  10. https://www.baseball-reference.com/players/h/hernaro01.shtml#trans
  11. https://www.baseball-reference.com/players/r/reynosh01.shtml#trans
  12. Sports Illustrated, Volume 109, No. 2, July 14–21, 2008, p.24, Published by Time Inc.
  13. Mackin, Bob (2004). The Unofficial Guide to Baseball's Most Unusual Records. Canada: Greystone Books. p. 240. ISBN 9781553650386.
  14. http://www.baseball-almanac.com/feats/feats8.shtml
  15. Jaret Wright Statistics Baseball-Reference.com
  16. 2003 Major League Baseball draft
  17. "2003 NLDS – Chicago Cubs vs. Atlanta Braves – Game 1". Retrosheet. Retrieved July 1, 2008.
  18. "2003 NLDS – Chicago Cubs vs. Atlanta Braves – Game 2". Retrosheet. Retrieved July 1, 2008.
  19. "2003 NLDS – Chicago Cubs vs. Atlanta Braves – Game 3". Retrosheet. Retrieved July 1, 2008.
  20. "2003 NLDS – Chicago Cubs vs. Atlanta Braves – Game 4". Retrosheet. Retrieved July 1, 2008.
  21. "2003 NLDS – Chicago Cubs vs. Atlanta Braves – Game 5". Retrosheet. Retrieved July 1, 2008.
  22. Johnson, Lloyd, and Wolff, Miles, ed., The Encyclopedia of Minor League Baseball, 3rd edition. Durham, North Carolina: Baseball America, 2007
  23. Baseball America 2004 Annual Directory
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