Dale Murphy Interview on 1982 - Part Four

Bill Shanks

Braves fans in the early-1980s were still an emerging group. They had been through 16 years of very mediocre/bad baseball.

So, to tell the fans this 1982 team was going to be different was dangerous. They were skeptical. They had all heard it before.

"Wait til next year" became an annual mantra. And the fans were growing tired of it.

But in 1982, the Braves started the season undefeated. Dale Murphy talks in the interview about how when the team returned from an April road trip, they were amazed to find the airport terminal was packed with fans.

Back in those days, fans could go to the gate at the airport to meet the team. And they flocked to Hartsfield Airport to see their team arrive back home.

The fan base was also growing across the country. WTBS was growing in subscribers each year, and the Braves got fans in all four corners of the country.

When the Braves started winning, the ratings on TV spiked. Team owner Ted Turner already had increased the number of games on TV to around 100. The more the Braves won, the more Turner wanted them on his national superstation.

And when they won, it became appointment television. The 1982 Braves were really fun to watch, and Murphy remembers how the fans helped that team win the west division. 

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