Even though he didn't have much power and was vulnerable to strikeouts, Bako's left-handed swing and solid defensive play behind the plate made him a useful backup catcher. He spent time with four major-league teams during his first three major-league seasons, but stuck with the Braves in the second half of the 2000 season as Greg Maddux
's personal catcher after Eddie Perez
was sidelined with a torn rotator cuff.
Bako spent the 2001 season backing up Javy Lopez and continuing to backstop for Maddux. The year was marked by a sinking batting average (.212) but did include his first stolen base in two years on July 22, 2001 against the Montreal Expos.