March 23, 2009

All about Chief Noc-A-Homa

Chief Noc-A-HomaChief Noc-A-Homa was the original mascot of the Milwaukee and Atlanta Braves from 1950s until 1986. The name was used for the "screaming Indian" sleeve patch worn on Braves jerseys. From at least the early 1960s, while still in Milwaukee County Stadium, until the early 1980s at Atlanta's Fulton County Stadium, this mascot "lived" in a tipi in an unoccupied section of the bleacher seats.

The name was intended to be a playful variation of "Knock a Homer." The mascot's job was to exit his tipi and perform a dance whenever a Braves player would hit a home run.

Broadcaster Curt Gowdy, completely missing the point of the mascot's name, once referred to him in a way that sounded more like Japanese: "NO-KAH-HAH-MAH."

Late in Noc-A-Homa's duration, a young woman companion called "Princess Win-A-Lotta" was introduced. The original creator of the companion character was Princess Poc-a-homa.
And:The best-known Noc-A-Homa was Levi Walker, Jr., an Ottawa native. In 1986, Walker and the Braves mutually agreed to end their relationship due to disagreements about pay and missed dates. Walker petitioned the club to revive his role during the Braves' 1991 magical pennant run, but the Braves' management declined.

Noc-a-Homa was eventually replaced as the mascot by the characters Homer and Rally, most likely due to concerns over racism. This has not, however, circumvented the introduction of other Native American-inspired traditions for Braves fans, such as the "Tomahawk Chop," adapted with the arrival of Florida State University multi-sport star Deion Sanders from Florida State's popular War Chant.
Comment:  I presume Walker is an Ottawa Native rather than an Ottawa native. Only a real Indian could be called a sellout and turncoat--and rightly so, judging by the evidence.

For more on the subject, see Team Names and Mascots.

Below:  Chief Noc-A-Homa makes a fool of himself with Braves pitcher Gene Garber and teammates in 1982.

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