Was the 1995 Atlanta Braves World Series championship a fluke?

The 1995 MLB season was a strike-shortened season from the previous year, when in August 1994 the league shut down.

The Braves ironically won their only World Series of the 1990s dynasty in a shortened year, when they had better teams in regular seasons.

Was the '95 World Championship a fluke?


**1995: Won World Series in six games over the [Cleveland Indians]

What’s interesting about the one title is that it probably wasn’t the best Braves team of this era. This club went 90-54, a .625 winning percentage. (Remember, the 1995 season was shortened by the work stoppage that started in August 1994.) The Braves had a better winning percentage in 1993 (.642), 1998 (.654), 1999 (.636) and 2002 (.631). They also beat a dominant Indians team that had gone 100-44 while averaging 5.8 runs per game. Atlanta did it, no surprise, with pitching: The Indians hit just .179 in the series. Here’s the final out.

I’ve heard people say that it wasn’t any more of a fluke than every other championship.

What do you think? Do you think that they were a fluke? If so, why? If not, why not? (And, why do you so frequently start a thread with a question, looking for opinions, without stating your own POV?)

Also, you started a thread two months ago about the Braves, which you led off by describing the 1990s Braves this way:

So, then, why are you now asking if they were a fluke??

The Braves lost the '91 World Series to a Twins team that was not really great, they lost the '93 NLCS to a rugged Phillies team.

I think the Braves could have won in '97.

I am a Yankees fan, and I know that the Yankees worked their butts off to win that '96 Series.

But in 1997, the Braves could have threepeated in the NL.

So, help me understand…

Are you saying that you think it was a fluke that the Braves only won the one title in '95? Or, are you saying that the fact that they did win a title was a fluke?

(I suspect the former, based on what I just quoted, but your first post doesn’t make that clear, and the title of your thread makes it sound like the latter.)

The fact that they won a title in a shortened season in '95, yes it was a fluke.

They should have won in '93.

But '95 was a tipping point.

What makes it a fluke? They played 18 fewer games than normal (which, honestly, is not a drastically shorter season), but so did every other team in MLB that year.

And, as you have said, in this thread, and in your prior thread, the Braves were perennially one of the best teams in the majors throughout the 1990s. So, why do you think them winning in '95 was a fluke???

Because according to historians, the 1995 Braves was not even the best of Braves teams.

1993, 1997, 2002, 2005 were historic teams that should have won.

Those of us who tracked the ’95 Braves know better. The team was good, yes, but not as good as the 104-win Braves of 1993. As of June 14, they were third in the National League East, trailing Philadelphia and Montreal, the latter of which had spent the spring dumping players, not the least of whom was Marquis Grissom, who on Oct. 28 would glove the final out of the World Series.


How does that make the '95 team a fluke?

While they may have had better teams in other years, in '95, they finished with the best record in the National League. Being in third place in mid-June is meaningless, unless that’s when the playoffs start, and it’s not at all uncommon for division winners to not lead their division wire-to-wire.

A “fluke” would have been if they had barely qualified for the playoffs, and then outplayed clearly-better teams in the playoffs.

They were probably underdogs in the World Series, as the Indians were a 100-win team, but strange things happen in a seven-game series.

It is, indeed, interesting that their one championship team in that era may not have been their best team, but that doesn’t make that team’s win “a fluke.”

They could have won in 93 when Glavine and Avery were younger. By 1995, Glavine was aging.

I don’t disagree (that they should have won in '93). That still doesn’t make what they did in '95 a fluke.

Clearly the fluke was the 1996 Yankees winning the WS when the 1997, and especially 1998, teams were better.

More seriously, this happens all the time. The 2004 Cardinals was an amazing team, and the 2005 Cardinals were very very good. But the 2006 team won the World Series.


It was at the right time.

The 1995 Yankees should have never lost to the Mariners. The 1994 Yankees should have faced off against the 1994 Expos.

If it was not for the 1994 baseball strike.

So 27 = young, but 29 = aging? Okay…

None of what you describe as a fluke is a fluke. Better teams get beat ALL the time. The 1977 Royals were likely the best team in the game, but got beat in the ALCS. It wasn’t until their core was much older that they won the whole thing in '85. If the baseball winds had shifted just a little in the late 70s/early 80s, it’s not all that hard to believe that that team could have taken home a LOT of hardware. But baseball is hard, and sometimes the underdog squeaks by, or goes on a very timely tear.

A fluke is the 1981 Reds winning the most games in baseball and not making the post-season. A fluke is Bartolo Colon hitting a home run. A fluke is a 7 game series where the visiting team wins every game. A fluke is an entire swarm of bugs flying into Joba Chamberlain’s mouth in a playoff game.

I don’t get how the 1995 team qualifies as a fluke.

To my mind, a fluke championship is a championship won by a team that appears to have been less talented than most championship teams and that caught a lot of breaks. I would say a fluke World Series champion is usually characterized by at least 3 of these 4 things being true:

  1. The team is only successful in that year but not generally in the years immediately before and after the championship.

  2. The team’s regular season record is not especially impressive in context.

  3. The team does not have very many Hall of Fame type players playing regularly in their prime, and

  4. The team caught several lucky breaks not noted above, especially weird things in the playoffs.

The 1981 Dodgers, for instance, qualify in 3 categories; they had no Hall of Fame players, did not have an impressive record, and made the playoffs only because of the strike. #1 is a thin one though because they were in the middle of a generally good run.

The 1987 Twins qualify on 1, 2 and 4 (amazingly weak division) but had a few Hall of Famers, so 3 doesn’t apply.

The 1969 Mets are often cited as a fluke team but only qualify on 1 and 3 (they only had Tom Seaver as a regular Hall of Famer; they had Nolan Ryan too but he was a middle reliever and not a very important part of that team.)

The 1997 Marlins qualify for 1 and 4 (the Eric Gregg fiasco) but their 92-70 record is not that unusual for a world champion, and while I can’t think of any Hall of Famers they have yet, Gary Sheffield and Kevin Brown are at that level.

The 1995 Braves don’t qualify for any of these. Not even close. They are one of the LEAST flukey World Series champions in the history of baseball.

  1. Success In That Era: they won it in a midst of a long string of tremendous seasons.

  2. Regular Season Record: They were 90-54, a very good record.

  3. Great players: they had four Hall of Famers, which is a lot even for a World Champion.

  4. Lucky breaks: None of significance I can think of. They were never even pressed to a winner take all game in the playoffs.

[QUOTE=Yankees 1996 Champs]Because according to historians, the 1995 Braves was not even the best of Braves teams.

1993, 1997, 2002, 2005 were historic teams that should have won.[/QUOTE]
The 1995 Braves were not in any significant way whatsoever inferior to those teams. Characterizing the 1997 team as “Historic” but not the 1995 team is especially absurd; they had essentially the same cast of players and the same winning percentage in the regular season.

And the 2005 team? What was so great about them? They went 90-72 and flopped in the first round.

Whoever wins the championship in a given year is not necessarily the better team on paper. In other words, most championships are flukes.

You can’t deny that the playoff teams are there because they are the better teams, most of the time. Some are flukes. But even a .400 or worse team will beat a .600 or better team once in a while during the season. Two playoff teams are much more evenly matched and it doesn’t take much for one to upset the other. Heck, look at the Nationals last year. They just happened to play their best after their very bad start and through the playoffs and even then they were lucky many times as they could have easily been beaten anywhere along the line from the wildcard game to the WS.

So the 1995 Braves a fluke? That’s not the word I would use. They happened to win their division, by 21 games by the way so truly the best team in their division. They were five games better than Reds so no fluke there they were the best team in the league, both on paper and in reality.

They won the division series against the Rockies but they could have easily lost it if they had lost a close first game and we wouldn’t be having this discussion. It has nothing to do with having a shorter season of 144 games instead of 162. Nor that they were not considered the best in that era. There’s not much difference between a .625 and .641 winning percentage, I certainly would not consider them lesser than the 1993 version.

Now with a 60 game season this year, expect a team from out in left field winning the WS. Especially with unbalanced schedules. Each year, some teams do better and get into the playoffs. Won’t be any different this year but it will look amplified. One may get lucky and win it all. Some are thinking Reds but consider the Padres, Rays, Blue Jays.


@Yankees_1996_Champs, we take copyright seriously on this message board. A brief excerpt is OK; a bulk copy-paste of an entire webpage is not. I have accordingly edited your post. Do not do this again.

Not the Yankees or Dodgers?


He said “a team from out in left field winning”. The Yankees and Dodgers are both favorites to make the World Series.