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Ron Gant

Ron Gant

Ron Gant screamed it in the clubhouse, and it was true. “We shook up the world”!! This was the day the Braves (then in Atlanta) clinched the 1991 West Division. It was not an overstatement at all.

The Atlanta Braves became the first team in the National League to go from last place one year to first place the next. This feat was also accomplished by the 1991 Minnesota Twins. The last Major League Baseball team to accomplish this was the 1890 Louisville Colonels of the American Association.

The Braves had a last place finish in 1990 but managed to overtake the Los Angeles Dodgers for first place in the National League West clinching the division on the next to the last day of the regular season

The Braves had entered the year as the laughingstock of baseball. The year before they had finished sixth, 25 games behind. It was Bobby Cox’s first full season. Slow start and great finish. This was one of the great Cinderella teams in all sports history.

As a side note, since I live in Prosper, TX near Deion Sanders, he played for the Braves that season. On July 31 Sanders hit a key three-run homer to spark a comeback win against the Pittsburgh Pirates. However, he had to leave the Braves the very next day to report to the Atlanta Falcons because of a clause in his NFL contract and missed the postseason. Before the 1992 season, Sanders reworked his NFL deal whereby he still reported to the Falcons for training camp in August, but was allowed to rejoin the Braves for the postseason.

The Braves would win the NL championship series over the Pittsburgh Pirates 4-3 and then loose the World Series to the Minnesota Twins 3-4 in a seven game series. They would loose the last game 1-0.

And so, the Atlanta Braves went from worst in 1990 to first in 1991.