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Explore Georgia’s rich music history

From blues and soul to classical and country—our Spotify playlists feature 130+ songs written and performed by Georgians.

Sherry Smith

Sherry Smith

Between 1911 and 1927 native Georgian Sherry Smith played for fourteen years in the major leagues. His team played in the World Series twice. Later in his career, Smith returned to Georgia to coach for the Macon Peaches in the Southeastern League.

Willard Nixon

Willard Nixon

Baseball player Willard Nixon is pictured in 1951 as a pitcher for the Boston Red Sox. He was especially effective pitching against the New York Yankees and earned the nickname "Yankee Killer."

Courtesy of Boston Red Sox

Atlanta Southern League Team

Atlanta Southern League Team

The Atlanta team of the Southern League is pictured circa 1890. The Southern League, founded in Atlanta by Henry W. Grady in 1885, was the first professional minor league baseball association. The league collapsed several times before disbanding for good in 1899.

Atlanta Crackers Baseball Diamond

Atlanta Crackers Baseball Diamond

The Atlanta Crackers (1901-1965) played at Ponce de Leon Ballpark in their hometown.

Courtesy of Special Collections & Archives, Georgia State University Library, Lane Brothers Commercial Photographers Photographic Collection, 1920-1976.

Nat Peeples

Nat Peeples

In 1954 Nat Peeples, a native of Memphis, Tennessee, played two games with the Atlanta Crackers, a minor league baseball team affiliated with the Southern Association. He was the first and only Black player to be recruited by a team in that organization.

Photograph from NBC

Atlanta Crackers, 1950

Atlanta Crackers, 1950

Members of the 1950 Atlanta Crackers team carry the Southern Association pennant into Ponce de Leon Ballpark. The Crackers, a minor league team, won seventeen league championships between the team's formation in 1901 and its final season in 1965.

Atlanta Crackers, 1960

Atlanta Crackers, 1960

By 1960 the Atlanta Crackers, a minor league baseball team, had lost a number of fans to such new attractions as television. In 1962 the team won its final championship, the Junior World Series, before playing its final season in 1965.

Atlanta Crackers

Atlanta Crackers

The Atlanta Crackers, a minor league team in the Southern Association, formed in 1901 under the leadership of Charles Abner Powell. The origin of the team's name is unknown, although several theories exist.

Courtesy of Atlanta History Center, Atlanta History Photograph Collection, #
VIS 170.173.001.

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Atlanta Crackers

Atlanta Crackers

The Atlanta Crackers club dominated the Southern Association until the league's demise in 1961. Ted Cieslak, at bat, played in the major leagues during World War II. 

Cecil Travis

Cecil Travis

A native of Clayton County, Cecil Travis earned honors as both a hitter and a fielder during his major league baseball career with the Washington Senators, from 1934 to 1941. In 1975 he was inducted into the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame.

Photograph by the Boston Public Library

Nap Rucker

Nap Rucker

Nap Rucker, pitcher for the Brooklyn Superbas (later Brooklyn Dodgers) from 1907 to 1916, winds up a throw. Rucker, a Georgia native, is often credited with the invention of the knuckleball in 1905, along with Augusta native Eddie Cicotte.

Courtesy of Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division

Nap Rucker

Nap Rucker

Nap Rucker, a native of Crabapple, pitched for the Brooklyn Superbas (later the Brooklyn Dodgers) throughout his career in major league baseball, from 1907 to 1916. Rucker is pictured on a baseball card issued in 1911 by the American Tobacco Company.

Courtesy of Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, Benjamin K. Edwards Collection, #LC-USZC2-1363.

Rudy York and Roy Henderson

Rudy York and Roy Henderson

Rudy York (left) sits with teammate Roy Henderson in 1930, when the two played together on the company team for the textile mill in Atco. York later went on to play professionally for the Detroit Tigers.

Photograph from Collection of Bartow History Center, Cartersville

Rudy York

Rudy York

Rudy York began his career with the Detroit Tigers in 1933, when he was only nineteen. After rising through the ball club's minor league system, York joined the Tigers' major league team in 1937, with whom he remained through 1945.

Rudy York

Rudy York

Rudy York examines a baseball bat in the late 1960s with three young boys wearing Atlanta Crackers jerseys.

Photograph from Collection of Bartow History Center, Cartersville

Spud Chandler

Spud Chandler

Despite being interrupted repeatedly by injuries, Spud Chandler's career was exceptional. With the highest winning percentage in major league history among experienced pitchers, and having pitched for six world championship wins, Spud Chandler received the American League's Most Valuable Player award in 1943 and is a member of the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame.

Courtesy of University of Georgia Sports Communications Office

Spud Chandler

Spud Chandler

As a young boy, Spud Chandler, shown here in his Yankees uniform between 1937 and 1947, was a fan of the New York team. While at the University of Georgia, he rejected offers from professional football teams and from other professional baseball teams so that he could play for the Yankees, with whom he spent his entire pitching career.

Courtesy of University of Georgia Sports Communications Office

Bob Montag

Bob Montag

Bob Montag, an outfielder for the Atlanta Crackers during the 1950s, was a fan favorite who hit 113 home runs for the team before his retirement in 1959.

Courtesy of Bob Montag

Atlanta Braves

Atlanta Braves

The Atlanta Braves play at Turner Field (later Center Parc Stadium) in July 2005.

Photograph by John Ashley

1995 Atlanta Braves

1995 Atlanta Braves

In 1995 the Atlanta Braves defeated the Cleveland Indians and won the World Series. The team that had once been a laughingstock became the world champion of baseball. It was the first time any Georgia sports franchise won a major world championship.

Turner Field

Turner Field

Turner Field was originally built for the 1996 Olympic Games, held in Atlanta. The stadium was renovated and served as the Atlanta Braves' home stadium from 1997-2016. It was redeveloped for Georgia State University in 2017 and later renamed Center Parc Stadium.

Photograph by Valerie 

Phil Niekro

Phil Niekro

Phil Niekro fashioned a long, successful sports career by mastering the knuckleball, the most confounding pitch in the history of baseball. Unlike other pitches, the knuckleball floats with no spin or rotation, then suddenly dips, dives, or swoops. It's almost impossible not only to hit but also for pitchers to control.

Courtesy of the Atlanta National Baseball Club, Inc. Copyright 2003. All rights reserved.

Hank Aaron At Bat

Hank Aaron At Bat

After his first season in the majors (1954), Hank Aaron hit at least twenty home runs a season for the next twenty consecutive seasons, with thirty home runs or more in fifteen of those seasons. The feat remains unmatched today.

Dale Murphy

Dale Murphy

Outfielder Dale Murphy, the most popular player ever to wear an Atlanta Braves uniform, won two consecutive Most Valuable Player awards in 1982 and 1983.

Bobby Cox

Bobby Cox

In 1991 Bobby Cox led the Atlanta Braves on their famous worst-to-first charge. Cox was named National League Manager of the Year, an award that he would take home again in 1993 and 1999. 

Earl Mann

Earl Mann

Earl Mann, also known as "Mr. Atlanta Baseball" and the "Baseball Genius in Dixie," owned and operated the minor league Atlanta Crackers from 1949 to 1959.

Robinson Family

Robinson Family

Jackie and Rachel Robinson with their three children, David, Sharon, and Jackie Jr. in 1956.

Courtesy of Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, Look Magazine Photograph Collection, #LC-L9-54-7021-A, #15.

Jackie Robinson, 1954

Jackie Robinson, 1954

Jackie Robinson of the Brooklyn Dodgers, posed and ready to swing. In 1954 at the age of thirty-five, he became the first National Leaguer in nearly twenty-six years to steal his way around the bases.

Courtesy of Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, Look Magazine Photograph Collection, #LC-L9-54-3566-O, #17.

Jackie Robinson

Jackie Robinson

Jackie Robinson played shortstop for the Negro League's Kansas City Monarchs in 1945.

Courtesy of Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, Visual Materials from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People Records, #LC-USZ62-119886.

The Jackie Robinson Story

The Jackie Robinson Story

A still from the 1950 motion picture, The Jackie Robinson Story, showing (from left to right) Richard Lane (as Clay Hoppice), Ruby Dee (as Rachel Robinson), Jackie Robinson (as himself), and Billy Wayne (as Clyde Sukeforth).

Library of Congress, Broadcasting and Recorded Sound Division

Jackie Robinson’s Birthplace

Jackie Robinson’s Birthplace

This historical marker in Cairo marks the birthplace of Jackie Robinson, the "first African American in Major League Baseball." In 1998 the Georgia Historical Society assumed responsibility for the state's historical marker program and since that time has erected more than 100 markers around Georgia. 

Jackie Robinson Comic Book

Jackie Robinson Comic Book

Jackie Robinson's life story and career inspired a movie, a play, and a comic book series, among other endeavors. This issue of the comic book was publsihed in 1951.

Courtesy of Library of Congress, Serial and Government Publications Division

Jackie Robinson Stamp

Jackie Robinson Stamp

The U.S. Postal Service featured Jackie Robinson on this 1982 postage stamp.

Courtesy of Smithsonian National Postal Museum

Ralph “Country” Brown

Ralph “Country” Brown

One of the most popular professional baseball players in Atlanta history, Ralph "Country" Brown was a member of the minor league Atlanta Crackers from 1947 to 1952.

Courtesy of Special Collections & Archives, Georgia State University Library, Tracy O'Neal Photographic Collection.

Chuck Tanner

Chuck Tanner

Atlanta Braves manager Chuck Tanner watches over spring training practice in 1988. It would be Tanner's last season as Braves manager.

Chuck Tanner

Chuck Tanner

Chuck Tanner, Atlanta Braves manager from 1986 to 1988, promised Atlanta a world championship, but his Braves teams finished last and next to last. When the Braves fired him in May 1988, the team had won twelve games, lost twenty-seven, was in last place, and already out of contention for the division title.

Courtesy of Atlanta National Baseball Club, Inc. Copyright 2002. All Rights Reserved.

Whitlow Wyatt

Whitlow Wyatt

Whitlow Wyatt, pitching coach of the Atlanta Braves (1966-67), was a former star pitcher for New York's Brooklyn Dodgers and manager of the Atlanta Crackers.

Courtesy of Atlanta National Baseball Club, Inc. Copyright 2002. All Rights Reserved.

Whitlow Wyatt

Whitlow Wyatt

Whitlow Wyatt was named to the National League All-Star team four times and is a member of the Brooklyn (New York) Dodgers Hall of Fame and the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame.

Courtesy of Atlanta National Baseball Club, Inc. Copyright 2002. All Rights Reserved.

Ponce de Leon Ballpark

Ponce de Leon Ballpark

The minor league Atlanta Crackers played at the Ponce de Leon Ballpark.

Ponce de Leon Ballpark

Ponce de Leon Ballpark

The Ponce de Leon Ballpark, on Ponce de Leon Avenue in Atlanta, is pictured in 1957. The park was home to the minor league Atlanta Crackers until the mid-1960s. The former Sears building is visible in the background, and today a shopping center stands on the site of the park.

Courtesy of Georgia Archives, Vanishing Georgia, #
ful0951-85.

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Magnolia Tree, Ponce de Leon Ballpark

Magnolia Tree, Ponce de Leon Ballpark

This magnolia tree, which once stood in centerfield of the Ponce de Leon Ballpark, is all that survives of the former home of the minor league Atlanta Crackers. Legendary professional players Babe Ruth and Eddie Mathews are the only two men ever to have hit home-run balls into the magnolia.

Photograph courtesy of Chris Dobbs.

Pearl Sandow with the Carters

Pearl Sandow with the Carters

Pearl Sandow (right) in her usual seat at Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium greets two other loyal Braves fans, Rosalynn and Jimmy Carter.

Courtesy of Atlanta National Baseball Club, Inc. Copyright 2002. All Rights Reserved.

Pearl Sandow

Pearl Sandow

Pearl Sandow (center) celebrated her 100th birthday in 2002. On her left is a statue of Sandow from the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York, that was shipped to Turner Field (later Center Parc Stadium) in Atlanta and was on display at the party.

George Stallings

George Stallings

Georgia native George Stallings, known to baseball fans as the "Miracle Man," managed one of the most renowned teams in the game's history, the 1914 "Miracle" Boston Braves.

Courtesy of Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, Bain News Service photograph collection.

George Stallings

George Stallings

Boston Braves manager George Stallings. Stallings finished his career with 879 victories in 1,813 major league games.

Courtesy of Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, Bain News Service photograph collection.

Carrollton Team, 1928

Carrollton Team, 1928

After playing in 1920-21 as the Georgia State League, the Georgia-Alabama League was rekindled in 1928 with Carrollton, Cedartown, and Lindale as the Georgia teams.

Atlanta Crackers, 1950

Atlanta Crackers, 1950

The Atlanta Crackers (1901-65) was one of the longest-running minor league baseball clubs in Georgia.

Ty Cobb

Ty Cobb

Regarded by many as the fiercest competitor in baseball history, Georgia native Ty Cobb won a record twelve batting titles and established the all-time mark for highest career batting average with a .367.

Rome Braves

Rome Braves

The Macon Braves moved to Rome and became the Rome Braves in 2003. The Rome Braves are a Class-A minor league affiliate of the Atlanta Braves.

Photograph by dawgfanjeff 

Thomasville Team, 1913

Thomasville Team, 1913

In 1913 the minor league Thomasville Hornets played with the Empire State League. The league changed its name back to Georgia State League in 1914.

Cordele Team, 1937

Cordele Team, 1937

The Cordele Reds played in the Georgia-Florida League from 1936 to 1938 and again from 1941 to 1942.

Macon Braves, 1998

Macon Braves, 1998

George Stephens carefully grooms the mound at Luther Williams Field following a game on August 2, 1998.

Americus Team, 1923

Americus Team, 1923

In July of 1923 Shoeless Joe Jackson (not wearing shoes) signed on with the Americus team of the South Georgia League, after being implicated in the Chicago White Sox scandal of 1919.

Macon Peaches, 1948

Macon Peaches, 1948

Throughout the 1940s the Macon Peaches (1920s to 1964) were affiliated with the Chicago Cubs.

Macon Peaches, 1962

Macon Peaches, 1962

In 1962 Pete Rose, who would go on to become the Major League career hit leader, played for the Macon Peaches team (1920s to 1964) in the South Atlantic League.

Hank Aaron

Hank Aaron

Hank Aaron holds up the ball that broke Babe Ruth's home run record after connecting for his 715th career homer on April 8, 1974, in front of a record crowd at Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium. 

Hank Aaron

Hank Aaron

Hank Aaron hit a record 755 home runs in his twenty-three-year career in major league baseball. Aaron also holds several other records, such as career runs batted in (RBIs) and number of All-Star game appearances. 

Photograph by Chris Evans

Hank Aaron

Hank Aaron

Both on and off the field, Baseball Hall of Famer Hank Aaron continued the struggle against segregation begun by Jackie Robinson in 1947.

Hank Aaron and Johnny Isaacson

Hank Aaron and Johnny Isaacson

Hank Aaron (right), selected in 2010 as a Georgia Trustee, is presented his award by U.S. senator Johnny Isaacson at the induction ceremony in Savannah. The Georgia Trustees honor is bestowed annually by the Georgia Historical Society and the Office of the Governor.

Phil Niekro Signing an Autograph

Phil Niekro Signing an Autograph

At the age of twenty-eight, Phil Niekro was a late bloomer on the pitcher's mound. But he made up for lost time by pitching until he was forty-eight years old.

Photograph by Jim Accordino

Johnny Mize

Johnny Mize

A member of the Baseball Hall of Fame, first baseman and Georgia native Johnny Mize was one of the most prolific home run hitters in the game's history. Graceful at the plate, the 6-foot-2-inch Mize was immortalized as the "Big Cat."

Luke Appling

Luke Appling

One of baseball's most revered players, Luke Appling was for nearly twenty years (1930-43, 1945-50) the star shortstop of the American League's Chicago White Sox. Before that he played for the Atlanta Crackers.

Bobby Cox

Bobby Cox

In 1995 Bobby Cox (on right) led the Atlanta Braves to the team's first World Series championship.

Bobby Cox and an Umpire

Bobby Cox and an Umpire

One of the greatest managers in the history of major league baseball, Bobby Cox (left) led the Atlanta Braves of the 1990s to an unprecedented domination of the National League. 

Ty Cobb

Ty Cobb

In 1911, in one of the greatest offensive displays in baseball history, Ty Cobb paced the American League in hits (248), runs scored (147), doubles (47), triples (24), runs batted in (127), and stolen bases (83).

Eddie Mathews

Eddie Mathews

One of the best third basemen in major league history, Eddie Mathews played fifteen seasons with the Atlanta Braves, dominating the game with his fiery playing style, a powerful bat, remarkable speed, and a strong arm.

Eddie Mathews

Eddie Mathews

A nine-time National League All-Star, Eddie Mathews ended his career with 512 home runs and 1,453 runs batted in. In 1978 Eddie Mathews was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame. 

Photograph by Wikimedia