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Atlanta Braves : Homer

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Homer is the mascot of the Atlanta Braves, a Major League Baseball team based in Atlanta, Georgia. They are in the Eastern Division of the National League. The Boston franchise that became known as the Braves took part in some of baseball's most memorable moments, achievements, and pennant races. In spite of two pennants, the Braves term in Boston was not a successful time. Attendances steadily dwindled until, on March 13, 1953, then-owner Lou Perini announced he was moving the team to Milwaukee, Wisconsin. As the 1950s the reinvigorated Braves were increasingly competitive. Sluggers Eddie Mathews and Hank Aaron drove the offense, whilst Spahn and Lew Burdette anchored the rotation.

In 1957, it culminated in their first World Series win for over 40 years, defeating the New York Yankees of Berra, Mantle and Ford. Burdette, the Series MVP, threw three complete game victories, giving up only two earned runs. By the early 1960s attendance in Milwaukee had dwindled as well, and a new group of owners once again sought relocation. Keen to attract them, the City of Atlanta constructed a new ballpark, Fulton County Stadium, officially opened in 1965. The next year, the Braves were its new residents.

 

Homer

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A .500 baseball team in the first few years (85-77, 77-85 and 81-81) respectively, won the 1969 NL West pennant, before being swept by the "Miracle Mets" in the NLCS. They would not win it again until 1982, under Joe Torre. In 1976 the team was purchased by media magnate Ted Turner, owner of CNN. Turner quickly gained a reputation as a quirky, hands-on baseball owner. In 1977, Turner appointed himself manager, but was ordered to relinquish that position after one game. After three straight losing seasons, Bobby Cox was hired as manager of the franchise for the 1978 season. Cox promoted a 22-year-old slugger named Dale Murphy into the starting lineup.

Murphy hit 77 home runs over the next three seasons, but struggled on defense, positioned at either catcher or first base while being unable to adeptly play either. However, in 1980, Murphy was moved to center field and demonstrated excellent range and throwing ability, while the Braves earned their first winning season since 1974. Cox was fired after the 1981 season and replaced with Joe Torre, under whose leadership the Braves attained their first divisional title since 1969.

The home ballpark of the Atlanta Braves is the Turner Field located in Atlanta, Georgia. The stadium was originally constructed as the 85,000-seat Centennial Olympic Stadium and used for the Centennial 1996 Summer Olympics. Immediately after the 1996 Summer Paralympics, which followed the Olympics, much of the north end of stadium was removed in order to convert it to its permanent use as a 45,000-seat baseball facility. The stadium has hosted the Braves since 1997, following a multimillion-dollar renovation to retrofit the stadium for baseball by removing the temporary stands that had made up nearly half the stadium and building the outfield stands and other attractions behind them. The stadium was originally constructed as the 85,000-seat Centennial Olympic Stadium and used for the Centennial 1996 Summer Olympics. Immediately after the 1996 Summer Paralympics, which followed the Olympics, much of the north end of stadium was removed in order to convert it to its permanent use as a 45,000-seat baseball facility. The stadium has hosted the Braves since 1997, following a multimillion-dollar renovation to retrofit the stadium for baseball by removing the temporary stands that had made up nearly half the stadium and building the outfield stands and other attractions behind them. Aside from cheering on the Atlanta Braves, Homer loves to appear at school functions, chartiy events and anywhere that Braves fans gather. As his tremendous success proves, he is one of the Braves' most effective good-will ambassadors. Homer's ambition is to become "Character of the Year."

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