The 98 Braves team won the division title with 106 wins in the season setting the franchise record. They lost to Padres in National League Championship.

The regular season followed with the National League East crown and defeated the Chicago Cubs in the National League Division Series.

However, their scintillating run came to an end when they suffered a defeat to the San Diego Padres in the National League Championship Series (NLCS).

Although they came short of winning the coveted trophy, the teams' unwavering spirit and strong mentality won the heart of many and etched their name in the annals of the league's history.

In March 2023, American country singer Morgan Wallen released his new album, which featured a song named."98 Braves", a nostalgic tribute to The Atalanta Braves' unexpected loss to the Padres in the NLCS.

The 98 Braves Was The Best Team Ever For The Franchise

The 98 Atlanta Braves were a baseball team that competed in Major League Baseball's National League East division. 

During the season, they were dominant in many of their games. The Braves won their division by a wide margin, finishing 18 games ahead of the second-place New York Mets.

Moreover, a strong pitching staff led the Atlanta-based franchise club, including Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine, and John Smoltz.

Former Atlanta Braves baseman Chipper Jones before and after picture
Source : instagram

With all the big-time players like baseman Chipper Jones, shortstop Walt Weiss, Andrés Galarraga, catcher Javy Lopez, and pitcher Tom Glavine on the team, the Braves were an unstoppable force in the 1998 MLB season.

The team secured their fourth consecutive division title and finished with an impressive record of 106 wins and 56 losses, the best in the National League and the second-best in all of MLB.

In the playoffs, the Braves came out on top against the Chicago Cubs in the National League Division Series, outscoring them by a combined tally of 6-3.

Despite their strong regular season, the Atlanta Braves failed to clinch the World Series title, leaving the team and their supporters disheartened.

The San Diego Padres players celebrate a historic win against the Braves in the NLCS 1998
Source : batterypower

The team struggled in the NLCS against the San Diego Padres. The Braves lost the series' first three games before winning the next two, but they were finally eliminated in Game 6.

The Padres were seen as underdogs in the series, and they pulled off a monumental victory over the Braves, one of the most surprising results in postseason history.

Despite not winning a championship, the 98 Braves are still considered one of the greatest teams in baseball history. 

98 Braves Morgan Wallen Song Meaning

Morgan Wallen latest album featured a song named 98 Braves that paid homage to the 1998 Atlanta Braves baseball team.

The American country artist's new 36-song album "One Thing at a Time" gave a heartfelt tribute to the 98 Braves, comparing each of the team's journey to a romantic relationship.

The lyrics from the song by Genius compare the 1998 Atlanta Braves baseball team and the author's failed love life.

The writer is reminiscing about when they were sitting on a couch with someone they cared about, watching the Braves play.

Country singer Morgan Wallen released a new album in March 2023
Source : instagram

They believed that the Braves, with their strong team of pitchers like Maddux, Glavine, and Smoltz and hitters like Andruw and Chipper Jones, were destined to win.

However, just like how fate prevented the Braves from their destiny i.e. winning the playoffs that year, the writer's relationship ultimately didn't work out, despite their feelings that it would.

The song's chorus talks about how they had a good run but ended up with nothing, similar to how the Braves had a solid regular season but didn't win the championship.

The second verse narrates how the author had a similar sense of hope and conviction that their love would succeed, even having a deep conversation about it with their partner's father.

However, just like how the San Diego Padres defeated the 1998 Braves, the relationship ended with the partner marrying someone else.

The song's bridge reaffirms that the writer and their partner would have been like the '98 Braves, with the ups and downs that come with life, but ultimately as a team that supported and fought for each other.

98 Braves Season Pitchers

The 98 Braves season pitchers include MLB legends Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine, and John Smoltz.

Each one more competent than the others, they led the 1998 Atlanta Braves team to the record-breaking 106-56 run and claimed the NL East championship crown.

Despite not having won The Commissioner's Trophy, the trio's fervid passion was nothing short of spectacular. 

Former Braves pitcher Glavine was inducted into Hall of Fame in Jan 2014
Source : twitter

Greg, Tom and John displayed their exceptional abilities that helped the team to go on such a fantastic run winning streak.  All three pitchers have been inducted into the Hall of Fame for their remarkable contribution to their team.

Maddux won 18 games and had an ERA of 2.22 that season. Similarly, Glavine, another Hall of Fame pitcher, won 20 games with an ERA of 2.47. Lastly, Smoltz served as the team's closer that season, recording 10 saves and a 2.90 ERA.

Besides the formidable three, the remaining pitchers from the 98 MLB campaign were Kevin Millwood, Denny Neagle, and Kerry Ligtenberg. 

Where Are They Now?

All pitchers from the 98 Braves season have long hung up their boots, leaving their careers behind. 

Despite retiring from the game, these three athletes have found ways to maintain their connection to baseball through diverse pursuits and involvements.

After playing 23 seasons in MLB, Maddux ended his career with the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2008. Having stepped away from playing, he joined the Chicago Cubs and served as an assistant coach. 

For the 2013 World Baseball Classic tournament, Maddux was appointed as the pitching coach for the US National team.

MLB star Maddux then and now
Source : instagram

Moreover, Maddux currently works as a special assistant for the Texas Rangers. He joined his brother Mike Maddux in the club in February 2023.

On the other hand, Glavine has been more active on television as an analyst since retiring in 2008. He has worked as a pundit for Fox Sports South.

The 56-year-old is a member of the Board of Directors for the Baseball Hall of Fame, having been elected to the position in July of 2021.

Last, the 2015 Baseball Hall of Famer Smoltz has engaged himself in several endeavors, including a television analyst, politics and philanthropy works.