Why does Braves’ stadium have the number 44 in center field during World Series?

Reaching the World Series means that a team gets placed right in the spotlight of the national baseball scene.

That has been the case for the Braves, who advanced past the Brewers and Dodgers before reaching the Fall Classic. Now the series turns to Truist Field for three straight games. 

As fans are tuning on their TVs to Fox, they might notice a large “44” in center field. Braves’ fans might know the answer, but not all that watch from across the nation will know what it means. 

Why is there a ’44’ in center field of the Braves’ stadium?

The Braves have spent much of the 2021 season honoring former MLB home run king Hank Aaron, who died on Jan. 22, 2021.

Aaron spent most of his 23-year career with the Braves — nine of which in Atlanta and 12 with the Milwaukee Braves. 

During his Braves career, Aaron wore No. 44. When Aaron passed away, the team adorned center field with a large “44” to honor the Braves’ icon.

In addition, the team has also worn a 44 patch on the back of their hats, as well as a No. 35 patch to honor Phil Niekro, who passed away on Dec. 27, 2020. Niekro spent 19 of his 24-year career in Atlanta.

Aaron finished his career with as robust a Hall of Fame resume as anyone that has played the game. In addition to his longtime record of 755 home runs, he also had 3,771 hits and a career slash line of .305/.374/.555. His 2,297 RBIs remain an MLB record.

Niekro finished his Hall of Fame career with a 3.62 ERA in 5,404 innings with 3,342 strikeouts. With the Braves — both Atlanta and Milwaukee — he pitched to a 3.46 ERA in 4,622.1 innings with 2,912 strikeouts.

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