Type to search

Stories of Atlanta

That ball is REALLY out of here!

Atlanta’s major league baseball team, the Braves, began their Atlanta baseball history in 1966, but baseball’s history in Georgia predates the Atlanta Braves by nearly 100 years. Before the Braves, there were the Atlanta Crackers, a member of the Southern League and the Atlanta Black Crackers, charter members of the Negro Southern League.

Though they began in 1901, the Crackers planted their Atlanta home field roots in 1907 at Ponce de Leon Ball Park, a stadium that seated about 9,000 people but, unfortunately, that park burned to the ground in 1923, destroying the team’s records, uniforms and all of their trophies.

It was a donation of $250,000 from wealthy Atlantan R. J. Spiller that enabled the park to be rebuilt bigger and better than ever. And the Crackers franchise went on to become one of the most successful professional franchises in baseball history, winning 17 league championships. In fact, during their 64-year-history, they won more titles than any team other than the New York Yankees.

A large part of the Crackers success was due, in part, to outfielder Bob Montag who hit 113 home runs in his career with the Crackers. But it was one home run in particular that set Bob Montag apart for every other baseball player in the history of the game. And it is that shot that is the subject of this installment of Stories of Atlanta.

Lance Russell

Lance Russell is an Atlanta-based filmmaker and media communicator who, for over three decades, has been entrusted by clients to tell their stories. A seasoned producer with an innate ability to cut to the heart of the matter, Lance’s instincts are tailor-made for today’s “media bite” culture. Brief, poignant and always entertaining, Lance’s current passion is bringing Atlanta’s colorful and inspiring past to life with his “rest of the story” style video series, Stories of Atlanta. “History’s best communicators,” says Lance, “have always been storytellers. It’s in our DNA. ‘Once upon a time’ is how we got to where we are now.”


You Might also Like


  1. Anthony Wilkins July 30, 2021 9:43 am

    I remember very well watching the Crackers on WSB TV. Ray Moore was one of the broadcasters! I was fortunate enough to attend a few games. Wonder if the old magnolia tree is still standing?
    Anthony Wilkins

    1. Greg Allen Hodges August 3, 2021 10:11 am

      Happy to report that the old magnolia tree is still standing there behind the stores across the street from Poncey Market (ex. Sears Roebuck Warehouse)…or at least it was a couple of months ago on a visit back to my old home town.


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.