Braves lore is full of great stories about Ted, few better than when he begrudgingly participated in an ostrich race before a game. He didn’t think it was beneath him, according to then-Braves marketing and promotions director Bob Hope, but felt the fans expected to see him actually ride the ostrich, not be pulled in a cart by the flightless bird.
Now, finally, we have photographic proof.
Here’s an excerpt from Hope’s priceless book, “We Could’ve Finished Last Without You”:
*When asked at a Chamber of Commerce breakfast what he was going to do about the crime problems in the stadium parking lot, he said he would run buses from the stadium to the north side of town during games, let the thieves steal from the more affluent neighborhoods, then get them back on the buses and head back home after the games. That way the stadium would be safe.
*He spoke at the Braves’ Boosters Club annual banquet, giving a thousand of Atlanta’s most avid baseball fans their first chance to see him. He told them he had Mafia friends in the North and would resort to roughing up other players around the league if necessary to win. He said he was serious about winning; the Braves slogan for the year would be “Victory or Death.”
He took a break during his speech to ask why the candles on the right side of the podium were burning faster than the ones on the left side. No one had noticed, but it was an interesting, if unrelated point. The crowd was bewildered. No one knew what to think of the new team owner.
*Ted also had a unique way of making amends. One time, after angering Jews with one of his patented insensitive remarks, Ted responded with a seemingly heartfelt, three-page letter of apology. All was kosher, until he signed it, “Yours in Christ.”