The Atlanta Braves departure from the city for the suburbs looks like a messy divorce, but it appears a statue Hammering Hank will be staying in the city.
The final disposition of the statue has been in flux while the team and city officials hashed out a question of ownership.
Tensions hit a fever pitch this week when Keisha Lance Bottoms, executive director of the Atlanta Fulton County Recreation Authority, issued a statement saying a deal with the Braves would keep the statue in Atlanta. The Braves responded by saying there was no deal and that the statue should go wherever Aaron wanted it.
Today, however, the team said it would no longer fight for the statue.
“Nothing could be further from the character of Hank Aaron than the divisive conversations that are occurring over his iconic statue,” The Atlanta Journal-Constitution quoted the Braves as saying in a statement. “As such, the Atlanta Braves have decided that we will no longer contest the eventual location of the statue and will instead focus on how to best showcase Hank’s impact and legacy at SunTrust Park.
“Part of this will include commissioning a new statue for all baseball fans to see. Hank Aaron is, and will always be, a significant part of the Atlanta Braves and our proud legacy,” the team added. “Our sincere hope is that the existing statue will continue to be preserved and displayed in a manner befitting his legacy as the greatest Brave of all time.”