Former Braves Owner Bill Bartholomay Dies at Age 91

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistMarch 26, 2020

Atlanta Braves chairman emeritus: Bill Bartholomay throw out the ceremonial first pitch before a Major League Baseball game against the Milwaukee Brewers in Atlanta, Friday, April 13, 2012.  (AP Photo/John Bazemore)
John Bazemore/Associated Press

Former Atlanta Braves owner Bill Bartholomay has died at the age of 91. 

Bartholomay's daughter told Tim Tucker of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution her father died in New York on Wednesday night.

Bartholomay purchased the MLB franchise for $6.2 million in 1962 and relocated it from Milwaukee to Atlanta four years later after an extended legal battle in Wisconsin. He sold the organization to Ted Turner for $11 million in 1976 but remained on the board of directors until 2003, per Tucker.

The Chicago-area native made his wealth as an insurance executive in Illinois, but baseball was his passion.

"Baseball has been a great part of my life," Bartholomay told Tucker in 2015. "I was an honorary Cubs bat boy when I was nine years old. I'm as enthusiastic now as I was then."

He was also a stakeholder in the Chicago White Sox for around a year before buying the Braves, according to Tucker.

Thursday was originally scheduled as MLB's Opening Day before it was indefinitely delayed by the coronavirus pandemic. Bartholomay was always a fan of the first day of the regular season, annually calling it "New Year's Day for me."

He was inducted in the Braves Hall of Fame as a member of the 2002 class alongside pitcher Johnny Sain.

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