On this day in 1964, the Milwaukee Braves took one step closer to moving on to greener pastures. They signed a 25-year lease to play in Atlanta's new Fulton County Stadium, which would become their home in 1966. A few days earlier the National League had voted to allow the Braves to move, but said they had to play the 1965 season in Milwaukee first.
The Braves had led the league in attendance in each of their first six seasons in Milwaukee, but had dropped to second in 1959 after their second consecutive World Series appearance and continued to fall from there, drawing fewer than one million fans in each of their last four seasons before departing. Those totals were either the ninth or tenth highest in the NL in three of the four years.
As one might expect, fans didn't come out to support a lame duck franchise in Milwaukee in 1965. The Braves drew just 555,584 fans (6859 per game) in their final season at County Stadium, and nearly tripled that mark by drawing over 1.5 million in Atlanta in 1966.
With help from the B-Ref Play Index, happy birthday today to:
- Madison native and 1964 Milwaukee Brave Bill Southworth, who turns 66.
- 1954-58 Brave Gene Conley, who turns 81.
- 1961-62 Braves manager Birdie Tebbetts, who would have turned 99.