Opening Day and Memories

The Atlanta Braves baseball team Thursday played their first game of the 2011 season.  I remember the year before the Braves moved from Milwaukee to Atlanta.   Atlanta Mayor Ivan Allen and C&S Banker Mills B. Lane  were probably the two most influential people in persuading Braves ownership to come south.  Allen provided the political leadership.  Lane guaranteed the money that built the new Atlanta-Fulton County stadium.  My personal involvement was covering the story of the pending move.  The year was 1965.   I traveled to New York and Chicago where decisions about the move were being made.   Bill Bartholomay was the face of the Braves for most of those decisions.   I was a “one man band” lugging the heavy camera, a wooden tripod, and two scoop lights around  New York and Chicago.  Both cities had strong cameramen unions.  They didn’t like the idea of one man being both a reporter and photographer.  In New York, union members shut me down until our station (WSB-TV) agreed to pay $50. to a union member sent over from the union hall.  He didn’t help me cover the story, but he got his $50. for watching.    The Braves first year in Atlanta was 1966 at the new stadium.  Never did I imagine that I would see 2011 and 45 years of Braves baseball in Atlanta.  The Braves opened their 2011 season with a 2-0 win over the Washington Nationals!


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