Part Two of a Four Part Series
If you’ve forgotten the lyrics to this catchy baseball tune, “Take Me Out to the Ballgame”, check out this website: http://www.kididdles.com/lyrics.
“How about those Braves?” a statement you often heard when listening to most any Atlanta radio station, or watched Superstation WTBS during the early days of Atlanta Braves history in the South; although, the Braves originated from up North, evolving, since 1871, when they were first known as the Boston Red Stockings, then Red Caps, Beaneaters, Doves, Rustlers and finally the Braves. Actually they became the Boston Bees from 1936 through 1940, then back to the Braves, but in 1953 they became the Milwaukee Braves.
The Boston Braves went from worst to first back in 1914, and “put together one of the most memorable seasons in baseball history,” and in 1953, Milwaukee went wild over the Braves, who were welcomed as genuine heroes. The Braves finished 92–62 in their first season in Milwaukee, and drew a then-NL record 1.8 million fans.
In 1966 they would officially call the newly constructed $18 million dollar Atlanta (Georgia) Stadium home.
The Braves had a lack-luster beginning in Atlanta, but there were some major baseball highlights with hammering Hank Aaron hitting his 715th homerun; therefore bypassing Babe Ruth’s record. The Braves would eventually turn things around after having a dismal record in 1990, and went from worst to first, winning 55 of their final 83 games; and the Braves, who had not captured a division title since 1982, were headed to the 1991 World Series, “considered by many to be one of the greatest ever” . . . the Braves became known as America’s Team, especially in the southeastern states, due to its nationwide audience on WTBS cable TV network, owned by Ted Turner, who was also the owner of the Braves from 1976 to 2007.
The Braves won a World Series as Boston Braves in 1914; as Milwaukee Braves in 1957 and as the Atlanta Braves in 1995.
A lot of folks would travel to Atlanta from neighboring states, take in a ballgame and often include a visit to Six Flags Over Georgia or Stone Mountain Park. A trip to the Varsity Drive-In would be an ideal way to end your mini-vacation, and everyone, especially young folks and future ball players would talk about this adventure for the rest of the summer.
There are plenty of other attractions nearby as well, such as the World of Coca-Cola Pavillion, High Museum of Art, or the Georgia Aquarium, touted to be the largest aquarium in the world; the CNN Center and Grant Park Zoo, home of Willy B Jr. (Baby Kudzoo) and other gorillas that run free in the Ford African Rain Forest. There is also Underground Atlanta, an historic area that has been turned into a pedestrian mall of eateries and shopping opportunities and Centennial Park, site of the 1996 Summer Olympics.
Baseball, while known as a sporting event, is also a major tourism attraction, and no matter your team or the city they call home, it is sure to draw fans, win or lose. Who knows, maybe you’ll be caught singing, “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” . . . . .