April 8, 2021
680 THE FAN, ATLANTA – Braves manager Brian Snitker has done one of the most improbable things any coach or manager can ever do.
He’s become a lovable sports figure without winning a championship. As a manager or a coach in professional sports it’s so hard to become beloved without winning the ultimate prize but Snit has done just that.
In fact he’s not Brian Snitker to fans around Braves country. He’s just Snit.
Snit is entering his 5th season as Braves manager which seems improbable in itself considering the fact he took over the Braves as an interim manager at 60 years old.
This is the final chapter of Snit’s professional career and it was supposed to a career tip of the cap to him by giving him a chance to manage at the big league level for the first time.
Snit took over a 9-28 team and has gone 353-317 since then with a .578 winning percentage over the last 3 seasons.
Snit has won 3 straight division titles, 2 playoff series and was within a win of the World Series.
Snit is beloved despite the fact that he’s not a great tactician and he’s pretty old school in his methods at times. Those things don’t seem to matter. Braves fans love him because they see the love he has for his players and the organization.
Snit’s story was essentially written by 2015. As a Braves lifer who spent 40 years in the organization, he was never supposed to get a shot at managing the big league club at 60 years old. Well he did get his shot and to say he took advantage of it would be a ridiculous understatement!
Now Snit has signed an extension that could keep him with the Braves thru the 2024 season. If that happens, Snit will manage until he’s 69 years old which is the same age Bobby Cox was when retired as Braves manager.
If Snit is here thru 2024 that would mean he’s on the job for 9 years. That’s just crazy.
If you polled Atlanta sports fans I would bet Snit would have the highest “Q-rating” as a coach or manager in Atlanta since Bobby Cox.
Think about that… if we ranked the most beloved local coaches and managers in local sports history Snit would appear on the same list as Bobby Cox.
Bobby Cox who managed a World Series team and led a team to an unprecedented run of success for 15 years.
Snit is a lot like Bobby in that he’s so easy to root for so many reasons. Snit wears his emotions on his sleeve. He sounds like you and me and he doesn’t fall into boring coach speak or dumb slogans.
Snit’s success and longevity as Braves manager is as improbable as anyone I’ve covered in Atlanta sports.
Now Snit has to write the perfect ending to the story of his career by leading the Braves to a World Series win.