Hank Aaron is much more than a ballplayer in the advancement of civil rights, and the Atlanta Braves are much more than a baseball team to Atlanta. Both, tied together in history, are place-makers and community builders. Aaron, an icon for equality on the field, helped create a place for African Americans off, and the Braves helped launch a medium-sized city to an international metropolis with a lasting legacy of sports accentuated by World Series Championships and Olympic Games. Mr. Bill Bartholomay, Chairman Emeritus of the Atlanta Braves, and the man responsible for bringing the Braves to Atlanta from Milwaukee in 1966, is the father of our home team’s birth and their ongoing legacy. Mr. Bartholomay joins Gene to discuss his nostalgia for early days, why he chose Atlanta, the impact of baseball on the community, and the future of the franchise.
Director of Athletics for Georgia State University, Cheryl L. Levick, is no stranger to winning. With more than 44 National Championships during her career as a player, a coach and an administrator, it is her goal, her purpose, and her passion to make Georgia State a winner on a major scale. And, the fans seem to love it. Levick shares her role in bringing a football program to GSU, bringing service to our community, and bringing good grades to the classrooms of her student athletes. Her game plan for success is impressive and the cheering crowds add living proof to the impact athletics is having.
VP of Development with Green Street Properties, Jim Irwin, is responsible for building with materials that go way beyond “sticks and bricks”. It was during his tenure with Barry Real Estate, and his emersion in and understanding of the community of Fort Wayne, Indiana that helped him and his team from Hardball Capital create one of the most creative stadiums baseball, both minor and major league, has ever seen. Parkview Field is home to the Fort Wayne Tincaps, and Jim talks today’s modern methods for building excitement, amenities, stadiums and fan bases within communities as he joins Gene in the studio this month.
And, then there’s Chris Fennell. ”Bats Baseball”, a public art sculpture he created for the City of Atlanta Office of Cultural Affairs, uses 800 baseball bats (600 donated by Louisville Slugger) to help make his own artistic dream a reality and help contribute to making Southside Park in Atlanta a truly special place. Fennell, a MFA graduate from Georgia, uses site-specific items from the communities he creates within to physically build something on a metaphoric level. The artist spends time between road trips (Nashville to Idaho) to discuss the meaning of his work and what community means to him.