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  • Atlanta's First Baseball Team

    Before the Braves professional baseball team moved from Milwaukee to Atlanta in 1966, the minor league Atlanta Crackers were the talk of the South. Crackers radio announcer Hank Morgan explains the allure of the baseball park during the time period. Former players explain what playing for the team meant for them and for the city.

    Support Materials

    Discuss

    1. Why did the Atlanta Crackers stop playing baseball?

    2. Explain the benefits of a city having a professional sports team..  

    Expansion

    1. Describe your experiences attending professional sporting events. Compare and contrast those experiences with attending a non-professional sporting event.

    2. Create your own professional baseball team. Be sure to choose a mascot, team colors and logo. 

    Vocabulary

    streetcar: a vehicle, usually a single car, but also attached together, operating on city streets for public transport within an urban area; a trolley car
    triple A baseball: the highest level of play in Minor League Baseball in the United States before Major League Baseball 
    Ponce de León: a Spanish explorer and conquistador lending his name to an avenue, parks, and buildings in an around Atlanta
    kudzu: group of plants not native to the United States known as the "the vine that ate the South" because of its tendency to spread and cover much of what is in its path

    For Teachers

    Discussion Guide

    1. Why did the Atlanta Crackers stop playing baseball?
    In the 1960s, under Mayor Ivan Allen Jr., Atlanta underwent a second period of the "Atlanta Forward" campaign. The city grew exponentially with new people and businesses moving to town--including professional sports teams. Former Crackers players recall that Atlanta had moved beyond minor league baseball and thus, beyond them and their team.

    2. Explain the benefits of a city having a professional sports team.
    A popular leisure activity, attending a professional sports game serves as a way to bring in money and attention to the city. Businesses are also able to advertise in the stadium and through the media via sponsorships.  

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