“matt olson Retires: Beloved Atlanta Braves,Player Leaves the Game”

The Athletics purchased Olson’s contract on September 12, 2016, and he was called up to the major-league club.[13] He played in 11 games for Oakland. In 2017, Olson split time between Nashville and Oakland. In 79 games for Nashville, he batted .272 with 23 home runs and 60 RBIs,[14] and in 59 games for Oakland, he hit .259 with 24 home runs and 45 RBIs. With Oakland, he hit 13 in the month of September (a rookie record) and one in five straight games. It was tied for third-most home runs in a player’s first 65 career games in MLB history.[15]

Olson spent all of 2018 with Oakland, playing all 162 games. On April 18, Olson hit his first career walk-off, an RBI single to secure a 12–11 comeback win over the Chicago White Sox.[16] His first walk-off home run came in a game against the Houston Astros on August 17.[17] On September 26, he hit his first career grand slam in a 9–3 victory over the Seattle Mariners.[18][19] Olson finished his 2018 campaign batting .247 with 29 home runs and 84 RBIs.[20] He also won his first Gold Glove Award, leading all AL first basemen with 14 defensive runs saved and an 11.6 ultimate zone rating.[21]

Olson played in both games of the 2019 Opening Series in Tokyo, Japan. During the second game on March 21, he was removed from the game after he felt pain in his right hand. The next day, he underwent successful surgery to remove the hamate bone from the hand, returning to the lineup on May 7.[22] He batted .267/.351/.545 for the 2019 season. On defense, he had a 13 Defensive Runs Saved (DRS) rating, best among first basemen.[23] He received his second consecutive Gold Glove Award for his defensive performance.[24]

On July 24, 2020, Olson hit the first Opening Day walk-off grand slam since 1986.[25] Olson struggled in the 2020 season shortened by the COVID-19 pandemic, batting .195, although he led the Oakland A’s in games played (60), home runs (14), and RBIs (42).[26]

In 2021, Olson led the team in games played (156), hits (153), home runs (39), RBIs (111), and walks (88); ranked second for batting average (.271) and on-base percentage (.371); and led the team in slugging percentage (.540).[27] Olson was also selected for the 2021 Major League Baseball All-Star Game to represent the American League[28] and participated in the 2021 Major League Baseball Home Run Derby.[29] Olson was a finalist for the Silver Slugger Award[30] and for the Gold Glove Award.[31]

Atlanta Braves[edit]

On March 14, 2022, the Athletics traded Olson to the Atlanta Braves in exchange for Cristian Pache, Shea Langeliers, Joey Estes, and Ryan Cusick.[32][33] The next day, Olson signed an 8-year contract extension worth $168 million.[34] At the time it was announced, the extension was the largest contract in team history, surpassing an eight-year deal worth $135 million signed by Freddie Freeman in 2014.[35] Its length and total value were exceeded by a contract given to teammate Austin Riley later that season. Olson primarily wore the number 28 jersey with the Oakland Athletics,[36] and used the same number upon signing with the Braves.[37] Olson started wearing number 28 upon his 2017 major league promotion to Oakland because his preferred number (21), which he wore to honor Jeff Francoeur, was then being used by Stephen Vogt.[38] Olson was one of two players in Major League Baseball to appear in all 162 games of the 2022 season, alongside teammate Dansby Swanson, who made 162 starts.[39]

At the midseason of the 2023 season, Olson was again nominated as a reserve infielder for the National League in the 2023 Major League Baseball All-Star Game.[40] In hitting his 40th home run of the 2023 season on August 10, Olson set a franchise record for the quickest 40-homer season.[41] On September 11, he hit his fiftieth home run to become the second-ever member of the 50 home run club from the Braves, following Andruw Jones in 2005.[42][43] Olson tied, then broke, Jones’s franchise record for home runs in a season on September 12 and 16, respectively.[44][45] On September 28, Olson hit his 54th home run of the season and set the live-ball era franchise single-season record for runs batted in, which had been held by Eddie Mathews.[46] After the 2023 season, Olson was named the winner of the National League Silver Slugger Award for first basemen.[47][48]

No player in Atlanta Braves franchise history has hit as many home runs in a season as Matt Olson (54 in 2023), and no major leaguer has hit more homers since the beginning of 2018 than Olson (209). Don’t forget that.

Because while that’s what makes it so surprising to see Olson mired in a career-worst 26-game homer drought and batting a puny .200 with three homers and a .665 OPS overall, it also explains why he’s still batting fourth for the Braves and has been in the lineup every game.

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