Garr and Lucas to enter Braves Hall of Fame

The Braves Hall of Fame will add two new members this August as former outfielder Ralph Garr and former General Manager Bill Lucas will join the elite group of Braves.

Long-time Atlanta Braves player and scout Ralph Garr and former general manager Bill Lucas will be inducted into the Braves Hall of Fame on Friday, August 11, 2006, at the eighth annual Braves Hall of Fame luncheon and induction ceremony. They will join Braves Hall of Famers Hank Aaron, Bill Bartholomay, Lew Burdette, Skip Caray, Del Crandall, Tommy Holmes, Ernie Johnson, Herman Long, Eddie Mathews, Dale Murphy, Kid Nichols, Phil Niekro, Johnny Sain, Paul Snyder, Warren Spahn, Ted Turner, and Pete Van Wieren.

The Braves will also honor Bruce Sutter who spent the last four seasons of his playing career with the Atlanta Braves from 1985-88, and will be inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame this summer.

The Braves Hall of Fame honors those players, managers, coaches, executives and other individuals who have made an exceptional contribution to the Braves franchise. Fans can reserve tickets for the Braves Hall of Fame luncheon and induction ceremony by calling (404) 614-2310. A reserved seat at the Braves Hall of Fame Luncheon guarantees fans the opportunity to sit with a member of the 2006 Braves team or a Braves Hall of Fame Member.

Bill Lucas spent close to 20 years with the Braves organization and became the highest-ranking African American in baseball history at age 40 on September 19, 1976, after being named general manager by new owner Ted Turner. Even though his job title was vice president of player personnel, he performed all of the general manager duties, as the Braves didn't have the title of "general manager" at the time. Lucas passed away at the age of 43 in May 1979 after two full seasons as general manager.

Lucas began his career with the Braves as a player in the farm system where he spent six seasons. After a knee injury ended his playing career in 1964, Lucas became public relations director for the minor league Atlanta Crackers in 1965. In 1966, he was part of the Braves' transition team for their move from Milwaukee to Atlanta. In 1967 he was named assistant farm director and was eventually promoted to farm director before landing his final position as the Braves GM in 1976.

Ralph Garr has spent close to 30 years with the Braves organization. Nicknamed "Roadrunner" for his speed, Garr posted a .317 batting average during his eight years as an outfielder in Atlanta from 1968-75. In the decade of the 1970s, he ranked as the number-two hitter in baseball with a .314 average.

Few players have burst onto the major league scene the way Garr did in 1971. In his first full season in the majors, Garr batted .343 with an Atlanta record 219 hits (second in the National League in both categories). He also set a franchise record with 180 singles that year.

The Braves regular left fielder from 1971 to 1975, Garr compiled three 200-hit seasons. He finished second in the NL batting race in 1971 and 1972 before he finally won it in 1974 with a .353 average – 32 points ahead of runner-up Al Oliver of Pittsburgh. He also made the All-Star team that year; led in triples (17) and hits (214); and became the first player since 1930 to have 200 hits by the end of August.

Upon the completion of his playing career, Garr has served the Braves organization as a coach and scout since 1985. He recently received the Buck O'Neil Professional Scouts and Coaches Association Man of the Year Award and currently scouts talent for the Braves in South Eastern Texas.

The Braves Hall of Fame is located on the Lexus Level and includes original paintings by world-renowned artist Bart Forbes and a highlight video on each Hall of Famer. A unit of the Atlanta Braves Foundation, the Braves Museum & Hall of Fame is open year-round and is the starting point of Turner Field tours. It features more than 600 Braves artifacts and photographs that trace the team's history from its beginnings in Boston (1871-1952) to Milwaukee (1953-1965) to Atlanta (1966-present).

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