1985 Atlanta Braves season
|1985 Atlanta Braves|
|Major League affiliations|
|General manager(s)||John Mullen|
|Manager(s)||Eddie Haas, Bobby Wine|
(Ernie Johnson, Pete Van Wieren, Skip Caray, John Sterling)
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- 1 Offseason
- 2 Managerial turnover
- 3 Regular season
- 4 In the front office: Bobby Cox returns as GM
- 5 Player stats
- 6 Awards and honors
- 7 Farm system
- 8 References
- December 5, 1984: Brian Fisher was traded by the Braves to the New York Yankees for Rick Cerone.
- December 7, 1984: Bruce Sutter was signed as a free agent by the Braves.
Joe Torre had managed the Braves to the 1982 National League West Division title, then to a second-place 1983 finish (three games from the division title). But his 1984 Braves fell below the .500 mark and 12 lengths behind the division-champion San Diego Padres. Torre was fired when the 1984 campaign ended and replaced by coach Eddie Haas, who had been a successful pilot in the Braves' farm system. But Haas' appointment did not rouse the 1985 Braves, who were at 50–71 (.413), in fifth place in the NL West and mired in a six-game losing streak when Haas was relieved of his duties August 25. Haas' immediate successor, coach Bobby Wine, finished the season and compiled a 16–25 (.390) mark. During the offseason, the Braves would hire former Pittsburgh Pirates skipper Chuck Tanner as their 1986 manager.
The Braves started the season 4–1 but lost three consecutive games to the Reds at home to fall to .500. A 9–5 win over the Astros on Friday, April 19, gave the Braves a 5–4 record, good enough for second place, a half-game out. However, the Braves would not be above the .500 mark again. They lost three straight games to drop into fifth place with a 5–7 mark. Later, the Braves beat the Reds twice, 8–4 and 17–9 to even their record at 10–10, and to climb within a game of first place. This was on May 1, and the Braves led the National League in runs scored.
Things changed quickly, however. The Braves not only lost eight of their next ten games (May 3–14), they were also shut out four consecutive games (May 8–12). They were held to only one run in each of the two games that followed, one of which was a win. The 12–18 Braves were in last place, six games out. Atlanta improved to 16–19 and 41⁄2 games out of first following a 3–0 win over Chicago on May 19. The Braves then lost three straight to the Cardinals, the beginning of a 4–11 stretch that lowered their record to 20–30 on June 7. Atlanta was 101⁄2 games behind at that point and the Braves' situation was becoming precarious. They won their next three games by impressive margins, 7–3 and 10–3 over Los Angeles and 70 over San Francisco. By June 28, Atlanta was 33–38 and 91⁄2 games of first place. They were mired in fifth place, however.
The Braves lost nine of their next 11 games and were 35–47 on July 10, in fifth place and 12 games out. They swept the Philadelphia Phillies in four games just before the All-Star Break. Atlanta was 39–47 at the half, in fifth place and 91⁄2 out.
The Braves were 49–59 on August 11, in fifth place and 15 games out. It was basically over for the Braves, with no real chance at first place. Atlanta lost six in a row and were 16 games below the .500 mark, the first time since 1979. After a 6–3 win over San Diego halted the losing streak the Braves lost six straight again. At this point the Braves were 50–71 and 22 games out of first, Haas was fired and Wine took the helm. The Braves won their first five games under the new manager. However, they fizzled out with an 11–25 finish that dropped them to 66–96 and 29 games out of first place. Thanks to the San Francisco Giants' even poorer performance, the Braves avoided last place and finished in fifth place, a position they had held for all but one day since May 15.
The "Rick Camp homer" game
On July 4, the New York Mets beat the Braves 16-13 in a 19-inning contest that featured Keith Hernandez hitting for the cycle, Mets manager Davey Johnson being ejected, and the Braves coming back to tie the game twice in extra innings, most notably in the bottom of the 18th.
Relief pitcher Rick Camp, a career .074 hitter batting only because the Braves had no position players left, shockingly hit a solo home run on a 0-2 pitch in the 18th off Tom Gorman to re-tie the game at 11-11.
Once the game was over, even though the date/time is July 5, 3:15 am, the Braves' stadium crew shot off the scheduled Fourth of July post-game fireworks for the fans who endured to the end. Ironically, Camp struck out to end the game.
|Los Angeles Dodgers||95||67||0.586||—||48–33||47–34|
|San Diego Padres||83||79||0.512||12||44–37||39–42|
|San Francisco Giants||62||100||0.383||33||38–43||24–57|
Record vs. opponents
1985 National League Records
Sources:            
- April 17, 1985: Alex Treviño was traded by the Braves to the San Francisco Giants for John Rabb.
- June 3, 1985: Al Martin was drafted by the Braves in the 8th round of the 1985 Major League Baseball draft.
|1985 Atlanta Braves|
In the front office: Bobby Cox returns as GM
With Tanner's hiring, Braves' owner Ted Turner had employed four different managers in the period of 13 months. But Turner made a more momentous change in his executive offices on October 22, 1985, when he replaced general manager John Mullen, on the job since Bill Lucas' sudden death in May 1979, with former Atlanta field manager Bobby Cox, who had just piloted the Toronto Blue Jays to the 1985 American League East Division pennant. As general manager, Cox began a long rebuilding process that would last five seasons, and see Cox draft, develop or acquire players like Tom Glavine, John Smoltz, Chipper Jones, David Justice and Steve Avery. But the continued struggles of the Braves on the field would result in Cox' return to uniform as Atlanta's field manager on June 23, 1990. Although the Braves continued their losing ways, going only 40–57 (.412) under Cox in 1990, they were poised to break into sustained contention in 1991, with 14 division titles in 15 seasons, five National League championships and the 1995 World Series title. Cox would enter the Baseball Hall of Fame on the strength of his successful managerial career, which ended with his 2010 retirement.
Starters by position
Note: Pos = Position; G = Games played; AB = At bats; H = Hits; Avg. = Batting average; HR = Home runs; RBI = Runs batted in
Note: G = Games played; AB = At bats; H = Hits; Avg. = Batting average; HR = Home runs; RBI = Runs batted in
Awards and honors
- Rick Cerone at Baseball Reference
- Bruce Sutter at Baseball Reference
- The Associated Press, October 1, 1984
- The Los Angeles Times, August 27, 1985
- John Rabb at Baseball Reference
- Al Martin at Baseball Reference
- Great Baseball Feats, Facts and Figures, 2008 Edition, p.107, David Nemec and Scott Flatow, A Signet Book, Penguin Group, New York, ISBN 978-0-451-22363-0