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Milwaukee Braves: Heroes and Heartbreak Paperback – March 20, 2009

5.0 out of 5 stars 14 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Povletich masterfully recounts one of the most important periods in baseball history. By exploring both the what and the why of baseball's westward expansion, this is truly a must-read for educated baseball fans and historians alike. I came away from Milwaukee Braves with not only an understanding of what made Milwaukee a sports Mecca in the 1950s, but also a deep appreciation of how the business of baseball affects everything about the game today." (Doug Russell, Sportsradio Host, 1250AM WSSP, Milwaukee)

"Thanks to William Povletich, the Milwaukee Braves are no longer before my time, no longer just the team before the Brewers or merely a line in the Baseball Encyclopedia attached to the year 1957 as World Series winner. . . . This book is a timeless reminder of those thirteen great years the Braves spent in Milwaukee." (John Anderson, ESPN Sportscenter)
 
"William Povletich treats us to a joyous journey through time. This is a rich treasury of photos and stories that will surely please any Milwaukee Braves fan." (Tom Stanton, author of Hank Aaron and the Home Run that Changed America)
 
"William Povletich's unprecedented offering details a unique love affair between a region and a team. Beyond the heroes, and the magical moments that occurred on the field, the book also captures the behind-the-scenes events that catapulted baseball into big business." (Rick Schabowski, president of the Ken Keltner Badger State Chapter of Society of American Baseball Research)
 
"Chronicles a return to the Milwaukee and Wisconsin that time has all but forgot. It was a time when County Stadium was the place to be, a time when many of the ballplayers stayed year-round and worked in public relations for Miller or Blatz during the off-season, a time when players never had to pay for a meal and always got a free car to drive. It was all Braves, all the time. The Milwaukee Braves are long gone. So are high-kicking pitchers like Warren Spahn, double headers, streetcars to the stadium. But the Milwaukee Braves are a reminder of what we were. . . . Fortunately for avid baseball fans, this book brings the Milwaukee Braves back to life." (Bud Lea, former sports editor, Milwaukee Sentinel)

Even if you have read other books about the Milwaukee Braves, you should still check this one out.  This books writing style and photos give it an entirely different feel than some of the others.  Each book offers different things about the same subject, and this one has earned its rightful place among them.  Braves fans will not be disappointed.(Gregg Kersey, Gregg's Baseball Bookcase)


2009 Bronze in the Sports Category from ForeWord Magazine’s Book of the Year Award 
2009 Winner in the Recreation/Travel/Sports Category from Midwest Independent Publishers Association Book Awards
2009 Finalist in the Design: Interior Layout and 3-Color Cover Categories from Midwest Independent Publishers Association Book Awards
2010 Winner in the General/Non-Fiction/4 Color Internals from the Chicago Book Clinic and Media Show
2010 Winner in the Sports Category from National Indie Excellence Awards
2010 Finalist in the Cover Design Non-fiction Category from Next Generation Indie Book Awards
2010 Winner in the Regional Non-fiction Category from Next Generation Indie Book Awards
2010 Finalist in the Sports: General Category from USA National Best Book Awards

About the Author

William Povletich has a wide array of experience in the film and television industry and as a writer. His documentary film Henry Aaron’s Summer Up North was an official selection to the 2006 National Baseball Hall of Fame Film Festival and the 2005 Wisconsin Film Festival. Povletich was also an executive producer on the one-hour television special Milwaukee Braves: The Golden Legacy for Fox Sports Net, the exclusive fiftieth-anniversary tribute to the 1957 World Series champions. His History Channel documentary Rwanda: Do Scars Ever Fade?, earned a 2005 Peabody Award and an Emmy nomination. Povletich is the author of Green Bay Packers: Legends in Green and Gold. A native of Mequon, Wisconsin, he lives and works in Stevenson Ranch, California.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Wisconsin Historical Society Press; 1 edition (March 20, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0870204238
  • ISBN-13: 978-0870204234
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 0.6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #863,081 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By Borowy26 VINE VOICE on March 16, 2010
Format: Paperback
I had previously read another enjoyable book on the same subject by Bob Buege ("Milwaukee Braves: A Baseball Eulogy"), which covered many of the same topics. Nevertheless, William Povletich's "Milwaukee Braves: Heroes and Heartbreak" will satisfy readers even if they have read the earlier publication. The author was able to interview most of the surviving players from the Milwaukee Braves who participated in the World Series games in 1957 and 1958. The book is lavishly illustrated with many editorial cartoons and rare photographs.

The Braves relocated to Wisconsin in 1953 as a result of serious attendance declines in Boston. The Red Sox owned the Hub City and the Braves failed to compete with their American League counterparts even after winning an NL pennant in 1948. Remarkably, the sudden franchise shift, which occurred after Spring training had ended, allowing virtually no time for advance ticket sales in Milwaukee produced a succession of attendance records in one of baseball's smallest markets. Milwaukee was the first team to draw in excess of 2 million fans per season.

The team responded to the adulation of their new fans and quickly rose from the cellar to contention. The Milwaukee Braves never finished below .500 in thirteen seasons which was quite a departure from the team's constant struggles on the field and at the box office in Boston.

Euphoria soon gave way to tragedy as the team's new absentee owners were eager to move the franchise in the early Sixties. Atlanta beckoned with the promise of extraordinary regional television broadcasting revenues that Milwaukee could not match as other professional teams were located in three neighboring states.
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Format: Paperback
Written by award-winning documentary producer William Povletich, Milwaukee Braves: Heroes and Heartbreak captures the astonishing rise and fall of the Milwaukee Braves baseball team. For thirteen years, the Braves never had a losing season - they won two National League pennants, and in 1957 they earned Milwaukee its only World Series championship. Attendance records surged and stars like future Hall of Fame residents Henry Aaron and Eddie Mathews captivated fans. But after their landmark 1957 win the Braves underwent a downward spiral, leading to declining attendance and finally one of the most bitter breakups between a sports team and a city. Illustrated with more than 200 vintage black-and-white photos, Milwaukee Braves: Heroes and Heartbreak is a spellbinding chronicle especially recommended for sports history scholars and fans.
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Format: Paperback
Bill Povletich is a Wisconsin native, and though he did not grow up during the era of the Braves, he writes with a passion that allows the reader to imagine that he was in the seats at County Stadium watching Aaron, Logan, Spahnnie and the rest at work. His deft description of the love affair between the town and team, and his insightful analysis of the economic, political, and other factors that led to the team's departure for Atlanta, is both scholarly and entertaining. He also goes into great detail about how Milwaukee got the Braves from Boston, shedding light on the first major league transfer in 50 years and the start of the expansion era. Povletich also produced an award-winning documentary about the Braves in Milwaukee, which I highly recommend as a companion purchase with this book. He is as strong a filmmaker as he is a writer.
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Format: Paperback
Great photographs are the highlight of this book. It is well
researched from a variety of sources, resulting in many notable
quotes. The book will appeal to all baseball fans and is a good
addition to the genre.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I was six years old, living in a Milwaukee suburb, when the Braves came to town in 1953. Like any local boy, I was captivated by the Braves, and stayed that way until they moved to Atlanta. But I was never clear about why they moved to Milwaukee, and then Atlanta, so I read this book. Povletich not only explained all this with great clarity, he went into the right amount of detail about individual players, games and seasons, filling in many of the blanks I've had all these years. The photos alone are worth the price. If you can read only one book about the Milwaukee Braves, this is for you.
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The book is outstanding. It brought back a lot of memories from my childhood, because I was a huge Eddie Mathews and Braves fan. I've read just about everything I could lay my hands on about the Braves' Milwaukee era, and this was the most insightful. I thought it was a little pricey for a paperback, but not after arrival when I saw all of the pictures.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I grew up in Milwaukee and remember going to Braves games as a kid. Now I know more of the back story as to why they left for Atlanta. I enjoyed the trip down memory lane and reading about the exploits of some of my baseball heroes. To this day, I still will not root for the Atlanta Braves. Great book!
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