I bet they would’ve attended a corporate sponsor’s funeral

I think most would agree that, of all Braves blogs, the Office has the keenest sense of the team’s history. But we blew it last week in our post about Furman Bisher’s death when we neglected to mention the pivotal role he played in bringing the Braves to Atlanta. Sure, the city’s size and status as a regional capital would’ve guaranteed major league baseball here at some point, but without the yeoman efforts of Bisher, Mayor Ivan Allen and C&S Bank President Mills B. Lane we’d be cheering the Atlanta Senators or some expansion franchise.

Bisher’s funeral was held the other day and I’m told the Braves didn’t bother to send a representative. Not one. Even the Hawks sent someone and Bisher hardly ever wrote about basketball.

This shouldn’t come as a surprise. A few years back CD chimed in on this very topic after attending “Sid and Frankie Day” at the old ballyard-turned-parking lot:

I’m probably naïve to think so, but it would seem that at least a flak from the Braves could walk across the street to have a slice of pizza and cake with people who care so much about the team that they’re hanging out in the middle of a parking lot at lunch hour on a Friday to watch a tape of a 13-year-old ball game. …

Let some corporate sponsor stroll by with a big check and the Braves brass will escort them to the Turner Field mound to throw out the first pitch on Opening Day. That’s not hyperbole. Sadly, that’s who actually throws out the ceremonial pitch at a lot of signature games at Turner Field – not Henry Aaron or Phil Niekro or Dale Murphy or a charter member of the 400 Club, but some regional VP for Wachovia or Kroger.

That’s what you get with corporate ownership. Liberty hasn’t wrecked the franchise or imposed wholly unreasonable salary caps. They just don’t seem to give a shit.

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13 Comments on I bet they would’ve attended a corporate sponsor’s funeral

  1. Tokyokie // March 28, 2012 at 2:51 pm //

    Wasn’t there at least somebody with the Braves front office who was friends with Bisher? That’s just pathetic. To give an example from where I live, if Blackie Sherrod (probably Bisher’s last living contemporary) were to drop dead tomorrow, Nolan Ryan himself would attend the service.

  2. This post is so absolutely on-the-money. So much so that I hope someone in the upper management would read it. There isn’t an email this could forwarded to, is there?

  3. Well if his email address is like others in the organization you could send it to the Terry.McGuirk@braves.com

  4. Jack Straw // March 28, 2012 at 4:02 pm //

    Did Henry Aaron not attend, even in a personal capacity?

  5. Tokyokie // March 28, 2012 at 4:09 pm //

    I would imagine that Aaron would have attended. He traveled all the way to Tulsa for Spahn’s funeral a few years back. And although I realize a lot of front-office folks are down in Florida, there had to be a few of them in Atlanta.

  6. To be fair, Spahn was a teammate. My issue is more from an organizational perspective — just to have someone there to acknowledge Bisher’s impact to the city and the franchise.

  7. Jack Straw // March 28, 2012 at 8:12 pm //

    Well, you are right. He was a big league writer before Atlanta was a big league town. Just having Bisher on the beat was a sort of instant credibility.

  8. roadrunner48 // March 28, 2012 at 9:31 pm //

    I don’t think Aaron had much love for Bisher.

  9. Tokyokie // March 28, 2012 at 9:35 pm //

    atlmalcontent, Sure, I’m aware that Spahn was a teammate of Aaron’s and Bisher wasn’t, but Bisher’s funeral was across town and Spahn’s was across the country. So it sorta evens out. But I’m also sure that if Aaron went, he did so of his own accord, not because somebody in the organization suggested it. (I’m guessing Phil Niekro did likewise.) But I’m with you, the organization should know enough to do so without having to have somebody suggest it. But to get back to my previous example, when Blackie Sherrod goes, half of Dallas-Fort Worth will be there, including at least one former president. And a first-rate organization doesn’t have to be nudged to do the right thing.

  10. Terry McGuirk should’ve known better but he’s proven to be just another corporate lackey. Nolan Ryan seems anything but. Look at the way the Rangers dealt with that horrible incident where the firefighter died reaching for a foul ball. Then think how the Braves front office would’ve totally bungled it. I’m guessing they would’ve sent a form letter to the wife to be read aloud at the poor guy’s funeral (probably by a mid-level flak) and donated $1,000 to a scholarship bearing his name. From what I read, the Rangers handled it about as well as possible.

    Remember the reunion of the ’91 team, squeezed into a 10-minute pre-game introduction barely noticed by still-arriving fans?

    Detached corporate ownership fucking blows. Yet one more legacy of the Worst Commissioner Ever. When Bud finally drags his mummified ass out to Arizona to retire in Laurel Prieb’s basement the drinks are on me.

    And to think, we’ll have to one day endure a HOF speech by Bud, with introduction by Moose Haas.

  11. swordofdoom // March 29, 2012 at 5:32 am //

    Hey, I’m still peeved by the fact that in addition to the statue of Henry Aaron outside Miller Park, there’s one of Selig. The only way a tribute to him should share the same ground as one to Bad Henry is if the Selig statue were buried up to the neck.

  12. charlesad // March 29, 2012 at 8:11 am //

    Statue of Selig buried up to the neck — that made me laugh. Or they could’ve put one up depicting one of Bud’s many hapless, clueless expressions.

  13. Buried up to the neck, I love it. I bet the Brewer fans agree…

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