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Thread: 50 YEARS ON: THE 1966 ATLANTA BRAVES

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    Director of Minor League Reports rico43's Avatar
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    50 YEARS ON: THE 1966 ATLANTA BRAVES


    Front row, left to right: Wade Blasingame, Arnold Umbach, Clay Carroll, Dick Kelley, Jo Jo White, Woody Woodward, Bobby Bragan (manager), Pat Jarvis, Chi Chi Olivo, Phil Niekro, Sandy Alomar, Billy Cowan, Mike de la Hoz, Donald Davidson (traveling secretary).

    Middle row: Dave Pursley (equipment manager), Grover Resinger, Arnold Earley, Ken Silvestri, Denny Lemaster, Hank Fischer, Frank Thomas, Billy O'Dell, Gary Geiger, Jim Beauchamp, Mack Jones, Frank Bolling, Eddie Mathews, Harvey Stone (trainer).

    Back row: Joe Torre, Whitlow Wyatt, Ken Johnson, Lee Thomas, Denis Menke, Tony Cloninger, Gene Oliver, Dan Schneider, Glenn Clark, Rico Carty, Felipe Alou, Hank Aaron, Billy Hitchcock.


    THE 1966 ATLANTA BRAVES

    (A version of how they came to be you might not have heard)

    “Taking a professional franchise to your heart is like falling in love with a traveling salesman. I do believe, though, that one of the greatest strokes of musical-franchise statesmanship was pulled off by a relative unknown named William C. Bartholomay.
    “This is the gentleman who, along with his sporting henchmen, bought the Milwaukee Braves for the express purpose of moving them. This wasn't some poor fellow who sat for years losing money finally getting the chance to move on and make some And it's true enough that the Milwaukee Braves, who were born in Boston, were being squeezed by the new Minnesota Twins to the north and the Chicago teams to the south. But it's also true that local interests were willing to buy the Braves and keep them in Milwaukee, even if there was little or no money to be made. But in Atlanta, there was a huge, wide-open television market. It wouldn't have mattered to Bartholomay if the Braves should suddenly start drawing two million a year. The club was going to be moved.
    “The citizens of Milwaukee tried to fight. They thought that, because they had built a stadium and supported the Braves with love and money, they were entitled to keep the team. They were able to delay the flight for a year, and this so angered the men who run the game of baseball that, when it came time to give out new franchises (and Milwaukee came begging, hat in hand), they saw fit to award them to such deserving cities as San Diego, Seattle and Montreal. Milwaukee did not get one.
    “Television … dictated the unconscionable move the Braves made from Milwaukee to Atlanta. There were other reasons for the carpetbaggers who owned the Braves to move them out of the which had supported them so well – they could have been sold at a good price to local interests – but television was the main one. Atlanta, simply, was a much better television market than Milwaukee. … The bags were packed for two years before the Braves finally got out.”

    – Leonard Shecter, The Jocks

    ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

    The Atlanta Braves' own publications, their 1966,67,68 media guides, sparse though they be, provided the preseason rosters and neat little details throughout. Likewise the 1966,67,68 Braves Illustrated yearbooks, although the '66 version I have was released well after the season started.
    In the bio department, many players were brought to life through the SABR Bio Project; in fact, a 1966 Braves project is reportedly in the works. On the net, there is a persistent dude named Kevin who did a 1965 Topps project, going into often minute detail about those players portrayed. Stats, of course, came from Baseball Reference as well as my own run of TSN Baseball Guides. I hope I succeeded in bringing the 1966 Braves season back to life through the players' own stories.
    As for the images, the design is patterned after the timeless 1966 Topps set, and while I have no direct knowledge of which is which, many of the images used here are thanks to Topps opening its own vault. I claim no ownership over the photos, only commission their adaptdating for the purposes of this series of stories – for which I am receiving no compensation. I did not remove, or encourage any removal, of any Topps watermark or any other trademark.
    – . rico
    [CENTER]
    Last edited by rico43; 11-23-2015 at 07:32 PM.

  2. The Following 9 Users Say Thank You to rico43 For This Useful Post:

    bravesnumberone (01-01-2015),buck75 (02-22-2015),Hawk (01-01-2015),holden (01-01-2015),JohnAdcox (01-01-2015),jpx7 (01-04-2015),Julio3000 (01-01-2015),Knucksie (01-01-2015),TomahawkCult (01-03-2015)

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    Co-Owner, BravesCenter
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    Thanks Rico. I know little to nothing about the Braves organization prior to 1991, so I'm really looking forward to learning more about the genesis of the Atlanta team and its original pieces.

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    Director of Minor League Reports rico43's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hawk View Post
    Thanks Rico. I know little to nothing about the Braves organization prior to 1991, so I'm really looking forward to learning more about the genesis of the Atlanta team and its original pieces.
    I'm going to measure the success of this venture by the number of hits each entry gets moreso than responses. Appreciate hearing from someone, though.

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    Brian Jordan's New BFF JohnAdcox's Avatar
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    This really drives one obvious fact home all over again: Phil Niekro really was with this team for an astonishingly long time.

  6. The Following 4 Users Say Thank You to JohnAdcox For This Useful Post:

    holden (01-01-2015),jpx7 (01-04-2015),Julio3000 (01-01-2015),Knucksie (01-01-2015)

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    Arizona Fall Leaguer
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    As someone who has followed this team since 1971, at the age of 11, and as someone who loves reasearching Braves history, I thank you for this, and am looking forward to it.

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    Called Up to the Major Leagues
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnAdcox View Post
    This really drives one obvious fact home all over again: Phil Niekro really was with this team for an astonishingly long time.
    Won a lot of games after age 40. Too lazy to check, but wonder if Knucksie was older than Torre. Would've been interesting for the manager to be younger than the #1 pitcher.

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    Mighty good info, rico!

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    Director of Minor League Reports rico43's Avatar
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    Rest in Peace
    Players

    Ted Abernathy (2004)
    Jim Beauchamp (2007)
    Gary Geiger (1996)
    Herb Hippauf (1995)
    Ken Johnson (2015)
    Mack Jones (2004)
    Dick Kelley (1991)
    Eddie Mathews (2001)
    Gene Oliver (2007)
    Chi Chi Olivo (1977)
    Jay Ritchie (2015)
    Bill Robinson (2007)
    Ed Sadowski (1993)
    Cecil Upshaw (1995)

    Minor Leaguers
    Joe Cisterna (1972)
    Arnold Earley (1999)
    Donald Johnson (2009)

    Coaching Staff
    Bill Adair (2002)
    Bobby Bragan, Manager (2010)
    Billy Hitchock, Manager (2006)
    Grover Resinger (1986)
    Ken Silverstri (1992)
    Jo Jo White (1986)
    Whitlow Wyatt (1999)
    Last edited by rico43; 04-18-2016 at 11:28 PM.

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