Former Braves owner Bartholomay passes away

March 26th, 2020

ATLANTA -- Baseball lost a beloved figure on Wednesday when longtime Braves chairman Bill Bartholomay passed away at 91 years old.

Bartholomay moved the Braves from Milwaukee to Atlanta before the start of the 1966 season and continued to serve as the team’s chairman after selling the club to Ted Turner in 1976. A fixture at the organization’s events over the past four decades, he attended the dedication of Hank Aaron Way at the Braves’ new Spring Training complex on Feb. 18.

The Braves issued a release that described Bartholomay as a man who “was instrumental in bringing people together and fostering diversity while helping shape Atlanta as a major city in the south when he relocated the Braves from Milwaukee to Atlanta in 1966. His warmth and grace were felt equally by Presidents, MLB Commissioners, business titans, Braves players and fans.”

Inducted into the Braves’ Hall of Fame in 2002, Bartholomay will forever be regarded as one of the most influential and beloved figures in the club’s history. He helped Hank Aaron’s mother get on the field after her son hit his historic 715th home run and he welcomed Jimmy Carter back into the owner’s box after the former President threw the ceremonial first pitch before Game 6 of the 1995 World Series.

Bartholomay’s involvement with the Braves as an owner or director dated back to 1962, when he became chairman of the Milwaukee Braves. He remained in that role after selling the team to Turner and was given the title of Chairman Emeritus in 2003.

Widely regarded for his expertise, Bartholomay served on MLB’s Executive Council, Ownership Committee, Equal Opportunity Committee and Legislative Committee. He was also a trustee of the Players’ Benefit Plan and a former chairman of the league’s Finance Committee.