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This Day in Georgia History

April 12, 1966

Braves Played First Home Game in Atlanta

The Atlanta Braves played their first season home game in Atlanta against the Pittsburgh, Pirates. Mayor Ivan Allen, who had been instrumental in getting the Braves to move from Milwaukee, threw out the first pitch. While the first Atlanta Braves team was not stellar, a number of players went on to bigger things. Among the starters that day were: Hall of Famer and home run king Hank Aaron in right field, future major league manager Felipe Alou in centerfield, Hall of Famer Eddie Matthews at third base, Philadelphia general manager Lee Thomas at first base, future Brave and New York Yankee manager Joe Torre catching, and New York Yankee bullpen coach Tony Cloniger pitching. In a feat that would not occur in today’s reliance on relief pitchers,Tony Cloninger pitched 13 innings before losing 3-2 on a home run by Willie Stargell.