Chronological Tour: Stop 45

The Launching Pad

Walking up to Fulton Co. Stadium, Aug-1993.

Fulton Co. Stadium was a multi-purpose, enclosed park.

Quick Facts: Rating: 2 baseballs
The old Boston Braves fled to Milwaukee in 1953, but after a short stay at Milwaukee Co. Stadium, they were lured to the Deep South by the city of Atlanta, which was building a new facility for them as well as for the NFL’s Atlanta Falcons. Contract issues kept the team in Wisconsin for an extra year, so the minor league Atlanta Crackers used the park for one year before vacating the space for the Braves.

Like Shea Stadium, which was built for the Mets and AFL Jets, Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium (known simply as Atlanta Stadium until 1976) featured real grass. Also like Shea, the seating configuration was passable, but not optimal, for baseball, making it an interesting place to play. In Fulton’s case, enclosing the outfield cut down on wind effects, and hitters quickly christened the place “The Launching Pad” for the number of home runs hit. Some argue that Hank Aaron’s late-career totals were helped by playing here rather than in Milwaukee.

Ted Turner, owner of a local UHF TV station, owned the Braves. He once went so far as to try to convince the National League that one of his pitchers, who wore No. 17, had the nickname “Channel” so that his uniform could read “Channel 17”. The league didn’t buy it. Another time, Turner fired his manager and installed himself in the dugout; unlike Connie Mack, though, he had no managerial experience and he was ordered to hire a real manager after just one game.

In 1996, the Games of the XXVI Olympiad visited Atlanta, and a new stadium was built just south of here for the opening and closing ceremonies and events in athletics (track and field). Fulton Co. Stadium was used for the baseball tournament. Following the games, the Olympic Stadium was partially dismantled and rechristened Turner Field, and the Braves moved in.

Demolition of the old park began in May 1997, and the final implosion took place on the first Saturday of August. (I made my first trip to Turner Field 1½ weeks later.) When the land was repaved for parking, foul lines representing those at the old park were laid in place.

Game # Date League Level Result
94 Tue 17-Aug-1993 National MLB ATLANTA 3, Los Angeles 2
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Site and images Copyright © 1993 Charles O’Reilly. All rights reserved.
This page updated 10-Aug-2009