It’s been a while since Atlanta Braves fans have had much to cheer about. Long gone are the days of Maddox, Glavine, and Smoltz. The Jones boys broke up after 2007. The streak of 14 consecutive NL East Championships ended five seasons ago. The 1995 World Series is but a distant memory.

We all knew that their reign atop the NL East couldn’t last forever. Still, it’s been hard to watch the Bravos struggle through four seasons of mediocrity while the Phillies have won three straight division titles and have been to back-to-back World Series— winning it in 2008.

Granted, the Braves’ misfortunes pale in comparison to… the Chicago Cubs.

As they say, “There’s always next year.” This year, my friends, is that year.

The Braves are 37-27 and in first place in the NL East. They’re on pace to go 94-68— the most wins since they went 96-66 in 2004. It would also be the first time the Braves won more than 90 games since the division titles streak ended in 2005.

Why have the Braves been able to turn it around so far this season?

It’s easy to say that it’s been a team effort, and that’s true. However, I’ve identified five Braves who deserve a little extra attention for their contributions in 2010.

Let’s start with…

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