As we end the year, let us remember the players, executives and broadcasters of the Braves organization who passed away in 2021.
Henry (Hank) Aaron, OF, 1B
2/5/1934 – 1/22/2021
Years with Braves: 1954-1974
A Hall of Fame player who is in the inner-most circle of the game’s most elite historical figures, Aaron spent all but two of his seasons as a player with the Braves organization. Still the game’s all-time leader in RBI and total bases, he was the 1957 regular season and World Series MVP who also sported three Gold Glove awards, two batting titles and a record 25 All Star Game appearances.
For his career had an OPS+ of 155 with a triple-slash of .305/.374/.555 and accumulated 143.1 bWAR – 5th all-time amongst all position players and 7th amongst all players. Additionally, he is 3rd all-time in games played, hits and plate appearances and 4th all-time in runs created, intentional walks, and runs scored.
After his playing career came to an end, he returned to the Braves, as an executive in a variety of front office roles. He was part of the Braves Hall of Fame’s inaugural class in 1999.
Del Crandall, C
3/5/1930 – 5/5/2021
Years with Braves: 1949-50; 1953-1964
A member of the 1957 Braves World Series championship team, Crandall won four Gold Gloves and was an 11-time All Star.
Playing all but the last three seasons of a 16-year career with the Braves organization he also spent parts of six seasons as a MLB Manager, first with the Milwaukee Brewers and then with the Seattle Mariners. Like many ballplayers of his generation, his age 21 and 22 year-old seasons were lost to military service.
Noted for his defensive excellence behind the plate, Crandall put up 28.1 bWAR for his career. He was inducted into the Braves Hall of Fame in 2003.
Roland Hemond, Scout and Executive
10/26/1929 - 12/12/2021
Years with Braves: 1952-1960
A 2011 Baseball Hall of Fame Buck O’Neil Lifetime Achievement Award winter, Hemond began his career with the Braves organization as a scout before carving out a legendary career as an executive with multiple organizations.
Credited with creating the Arizona Fall League while with the Baltimore Orioles later in his career, he joined expansion California Angels and Arizona Diamondbacks as an executive, helping build both franchises systems as bookends to his illustrious career.
Hemond, who also served as General Manager for Chicago White Sox and Orioles, was a three-time Executive of the Year award winner.
Adrian Garrett, C, 1B, OF
1/3/1943 – 4/22/2021
Years with Braves: 1966
Garrett began his career as a reserve utility player with the Braves during their inaugural season in Atlanta in 1966. In parts of eight MLB seasons, he appeared in 163 games for four franchises. He ended his career playing with the Hiroshima Toyo Carp in Japan, with whom he was an All Star in 1978.
Garrett went on to have a four decade-spanning coaching career in the minors - primarily as a hitting instructor and manager - from 1982 to 2015. In addition, he spent the 1999 through 2001 seasons with the Florida Marlins as their hitting instructor at the major league level.
Charlie Gorin, P
2/6/1928 – 2/21/2021
Years with Braves: 1954–1955
Gorin pitched in seven games in two big-league seasons with the Braves, but pitched in AA or AAA for the organization from 1950 to 1962, other than two seasons he missed due to military service.
Lew Krausse, Jr., P
4/25/1943 – 2/16/2021
Years with Braves: 1974
Krausse ended a 12-year career with Atlanta in 1974, appearing in 29 games – including four starts – for the Braves. He appeared in 321 games for five organizations as a swingman with almost half is pitching appearances coming as a starter.
The son of fellow a MLB pitcher, he started the first home game in Oakland after the Athletics move there from Kansas City in 1968. Notably, he also holds the distinction of starting the first homer game for the Milwaukee Brewers after the Seattle Pilots were purchased and moved to Milwaukee for the 1970 season.
Krausse made his major league debut as an 18-year-old in 1961 after being a high-profile signing out of high school by Kansas City. He retired following the 1975 season - after pitching in the minors for Oakland - with 68 wins, 21 saves and a 4.00 ERA during his major league career.
Julio Lugo, SS, 2B
11/16/1975 – 11/15/2021
Years with Braves: 2011
A 12-year veteran who spent time with seven organizations, Lugo ended his career in Atlanta in 2011 appearing in 22 games for the Braves.
His most memorable moment as a Braves came when he scored the winning run in the 19th inning of a game against the Pirates in what could be described, at best, as a questionable call.
For his career, Lugo stole 198 bases while posting 13.5 bWAR primarily as an up-the-middle infielder.
Mike Marshall, P
1/15/1943 – 5/31/2021
Years with Braves: 1976–1977
The 1974 NL Cy Young award winner while with the Los Angeles Dodgers, Marshall pitched in parts of two seasons with Atlanta during 1976 and 1977.
After bring traded to Atlanta in June 1976, he appeared in only 28 games while collecting three wins and six saves. He was sold to the Texas Rangers in April 1976 after being placed on the disqualified list by the Braves after leaving the team four appearances into the season.
During his career, the 14-year veteran - and converted minor league shortstop - served as a high-volume reliever for the overwhelming majority of his career with only 24 starts in 724 career games. He led baseball in games finished five times and led pitchers in games played four times – including his Cy Young season in which he appeared in a staggering 106 games and pitch a total of 208.1 innings.
Marshall, who held a Ph.D. in kinesiology from Michigan State University, spent his post-playing career as a pitching author and instructor. Noted for his unique approach and theories on pitching, he coached collegiately for three different universities from the mid-1980’s to the mid-1990’s.
He collected 188 saves and 18.2 bWAR for eight organizations between 1967 and 1981.
Juan Pizarro, P
2/7/1937 – 2/18/2021
Years with Braves: 1957-1960
A rookie member of the 1957 Braves World Series championship team, Pizarro spent the first four seasons of an 18-year career with Milwaukee splitting time as a starting pitcher and a reliever.
A two-time All Star while pitching for the Chicago White Sox, Pizarro earned 19.6 bWAR between 1957 and 1974. For his career, the left-hander won 131 games and saved 28.
Pizarro is a member of the Puerto Rican Sports Hall of Fame as well as the Hall of Fame of the Caribbean Confederation.
Eddie Robinson, General Manager
12/15/1920 – 10/4/2021
Years with Braves: 1968–1976
As a player, Eddie Robinson was a four-time All Star first basemen during a career that spanned 13 season from 1941 through 1957, including the 1948 World Series championship season he spent with the Cleveland Indians. Despite missing three years in the early stages of his career due to military service, the left-handed hitter appeared in 1315 games and posted a 14.9 bWAR.
After his playing career came to an end, Robinson began a front office career that included serving as Atlanta Braves General Manager from 1972 through 1976. During his tenure with Atlanta, he notably dealt Hank Aaron to the Milwaukee Brewers to finish his career (a move to which Aaron was amenable), before taking the same position with the Texas Rangers in 1977.
Robinson spent a storied 65 years in professional baseball before retiring in 2004. As a player, scout and executive, he was a part of 16 different MLB organizations.
At the time of his passing, he held the distinction of being the oldest living MLB player.
Jack Smith, P
11/15/1935 – 4/7/2021
Years with Braves: 1964
Smith pitched his final season in the Major Leagues with the Braves in 1964, appearing in 22 games out of the bullpen, after a career previously spent in the Dodgers organization.
Don Sutton, Broadcaster
4/2/1945 – 1/18/2021
Years with Braves: 1990-2006; 2009-2019
A Hall of Fame starting pitcher who was selected to four All Star games and won a record 10 games in 21 seasons, joined the Braves as a radio and television broadcaster after his retirement as a player.
As a player, Sutton spent 16 of his 23 major league seasons with the Los Angeles Dodgers, retiring in 1988 with the team with whom he originally signed in 1964. A 324-game winner, Sutton is 14th all-time in wins, 7th in innings pitched and in strikeouts, and 3rd in games started with 756.
From 1989 to 2019, Sutton spent all but two seasons of his broadcasting career with Atlanta. A native of the small southeast Alabama farming town of Clio, Sutton was adept at talking to his audience as a broadcaster in a way he connected his Southern-roots with his baseball acumen. He was elected to the Braves Hall of Fame in 2015.