Bill Bartholomay deserves our gratitude for bringing the Braves to Atlanta

Bill Shanks

The man who brought the Braves to the city of Atlanta and the south has died.

William C. Bartholomay, or "Mr. B" as he was known, died Wednesday at the age of 91.

Bartholomay first got into baseball as a director and shareholder of the Chicago White Sox. He then joined the ownership group of the Milwaukee Braves and became team chairman in 1962.

When attendance in Milwaukee waned, Bartholomay looked to move the Braves and selected Atlanta. He then sold his controlling interest in the Braves in 1976 to Ted Turner, who kept Bartholomay as the Chairman of the Braves Board of Directors.

Bartholomay held that position until 2003 when he moved to the emeritus role. He was very involved in numerous MLB committees as the Braves representative. Bartholomay was a member of the MLB ownership committee, the equal opportunity committee and the legislative committee. He was also a trustee of the MLB Players' Benefit Plan and was past chairman of the MLB finance committee.

The Braves inducted Bartholomay into the team's Hall of Fame in 2002.

Bartholomay deserves tremendous credit from Braves fans all over the south for bringing the team to Atlanta. He got death threats from the fans in Milwaukee and was under tremendous pressure. Bartholomay was determined to be the first MLB owner to bring baseball to the south.

He was a loved member of the Braves family. Bartholomay still had close friendships with many of the current important Braves personnel, including manager Brian Snitker.

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