This is awesome, so damn awesome. The Braves surprised a longtime team employee, Walter Banks, with his own bobblehead giveaway day on July 5th against the Marlins. What an honor for the longtime usher for the Braves. If you didn't tear up when you saw his reaction to being told he was going to be turned into a bobblehead than I don't need to know you as a person.
Banks first year with the team was in 1965, and eventually moved with the club when they moved into Turner Field in 1997. Naturally he made his way into SunTrust Park when they opened a few years back. He's a living legend among Braves fans and what a way for the franchise to honor their longest tenured employee. I read a story about how Banks would take a bus to the Turner Field, and would get a ride back to his house after the games from a fellow employee, but since the new park wasn't near any bus stops, the Braves offered to pay for all of his Uber rides to and from the park. The Braves treat Walter Banks better than my own family treats me.
He was one of Ted Turner's favorite employees and is often assigned areas around the owners box, so he's in charge of taking care of alllll the celebrities and former presidents that have stopped by Braves games, that's high praise for a guy that's been there that long. The team has a hospitality award named after Banks, has a whole section in one of their team stores that include a t-shirt Banks has designed, and has him pick special items of the month for the stores. Very, very neat to see a team treat an employee with such respect and honor. You don't see this in sports, hell, you don't see this in any job really. When the 78 year old lady at your office retires, they give her a cake and assign her desk out the next day, this is how you treat people who have treated you so well for so long.
I'm genuinely happy for Walter and hopes he's with the Braves for 54 more years. It's nice to see good things happen to good people. Shout out to the Braves too, this was a really neat gesture that will go a long way.