If I had a nickel for every time in the past 24 hours I’ve been asked, “Why wasn’t Ted Turner at Sunday’s farewell to Turner Field?” … well, I’d have a dozen nickels, which would come to 60 cents. Seeing as how the joint was named after him, it’s a legitimate question. So I asked someone in a position to answer it.
According to Beth Marshall, the Atlanta Braves’ senior director of public relations, Turner “was invited and declined.” She added: “I don’t know why he declined.”
Turner resigned as vice chairman of Time Warner in 2003. TBS merged with Time Warner in 1996, the same month the Braves would blow a 2-0 lead against the Yankees in the World Series. (Steinbrenner 1, Ted 0.) Liberty Media acquired the Braves in 2007.
We still don’t know why Ted chose not to attend the Ted’s closing, but it’s a matter of record that he has long been a supporter of downtown Atlanta. He once had a penthouse atop CNN Center. When Hawks’ executives considered vacating the Omni and building a new arena along Georgia 400, he vetoed it, saying he wanted to be able to walk to games. Sure enough, Philips Arena sits where the Omni did. (TBS sold the Hawks, the NHL Thrashers and Philips to the Atlanta Spirit in 2004.)
Wish I could shed more light on this for y’all, but at least we know Ted was invited to the Ted. I couldn’t imagine he wouldn’t have been. Heck, I fully expected him to pull the “1” off the “Home Games Remaining” sign in left field. John Schuerholz and Bobby Cox did it instead.
Just a guess: We shouldn’t expect Ted at Opening Day in SunTrust Park in Cobb County on April 14, 2017. Betting Tim Lee will be there, though.
Super fun reading: