The Braves franchise played 1292 regular-season games between division titles and the team that finally ended the drought wasn’t favored to overtake Washington when this season began then absorbed repeated blows and season-ending surgeries along the way.

All the better they say.

The 2013 Braves are National League East champions after clinching the title when the Marlins beat the second-place Nationals on Sunday while the Braves were in the sixth inning of their game against the Cubs at Wrigley Field.

If overcoming adversity has become a cliché spewed forth by too many sports teams that didn’t actually overcome much at all well with this Braves team it’s genuine.

They overcame again and again which made it sweeter when they completed the first of their major goals by securing the franchise’s first division title since 2005 with a week left in the regular season.

“I don’t think a lot of people know too much about what we’ve gone through just because we have such a good record” Braves third baseman Chris Johnson said. “But we know that we’ve been through a lot. People have gone down and people have stepped up. So yeah it definitely makes it a lot more enjoyable.”

The Braves had an astounding six season-ending surgeries losing three key members of their pitching staff and a valuable piece of their bench in Ramiro Pena. Yet they never wavered leading the division for all but one day this season and building a 15-game lead by early August then hanging on as the injuries mounted.