ATLANTA — A fight is brewing over the fate of the Hank Aaron statue now at Turner Field.
The Braves say it belongs to them and should be moved to the new Cobb stadium.
The man who led the fundraising campaign for the statue years ago told Channel 2's Diana Davis the Braves don't own the statue.
"Hammering" Hank Aaron broke Babe Ruth's record for home runs in 1974.
The statue now in front of Turner Field, originally part of the old Atlanta Fulton County Stadium, was dedicated in 1982.
Fans told Davis at an Atlanta sports bar that they are already mad at the Braves for moving to Cobb County.
The idea of packing the Aaron statue has them steamed, as well.
"I think it should probably stay here because he broke the record here, and he has nothing to do with Cobb County," fan Ben St. Clair told Davis.
"I feel it should stay in Atlanta," said fan Sean McCllellan.
Atlanta's Bob Hope was the Braves' public relations manager when Aaron hit homer No. 714.
He started the fundraising campaign for the statue.
He told Davis the $130,000 statue was donated to the stadium authority, not the Braves.
"That was who we were told to work with when we were raising money for the statue. There wasn't paperwork that I know of, so I assume it belongs to the stadium authority," Hope said.
The city of Atlanta controls two
-thirds of that authority ; Fulton County the other third. Still, Hope said the statue should move with the new stadium.
"To me it should go where the Braves play," Hope said. "I don't have a vote, but Hank said it was fine with him to go to Cobb County
The statue move and ownership is a sensitive issue.
The Braves refused to talk to Channel 2 Action News, and security asked Davis and her photographer to leave the property as they were photographing the statue.
In the middle of the controversy, one Atlanta state legislator wants the city to extend the city limits of Atlanta to include the new Cobb stadium location.
If that legislator is successful in annexing the chunk of land to the city of Atlanta, the whole statue issue would be moot. But few people think that will happen.