Sorrowful News: A Braves legend has passed away…

Levi Walker Jr. Dies: Atlanta Braves Mascot ‘Chief Noc-A-Homa’ Was 80.

Levi Walker Jr. Dies: Atlanta Braves Mascot 'Chief Noc-A-Homa' Was 80

Levi Walker, Jr., best known as the Atlanta Braves mascot Chief Noc-A-Homa, died Friday afternoon at age 80.

Walker served as the Braves’ mascot from 1966 to 1985, largely residing in a tipi beyond the left-field fence. He also became famous for doing a dance on the pitcher’s mound before games. Although others portrayed the mascot, Walker was the most famous and the only Native American, a Michigan native and member of the Odawa Tribe.

Facebook user Adam Murphy of Adam Murphy News posted on the death. “An Atlanta legend has passed away peacefully. Levi Walker, Jr., better known as Chief Noc-A-Homa, died at 12:05 PM today with his loving family by his side. He was the mascot for the Atlanta Braves from 1966-1985. I had the honor of meeting him when I was 12 years old and then again on a news story two years ago. He will be greatly missed by all of his family, friends and fans. #RIP.”

During the 1966 season, the Atlanta Braves held a contest to name their mascot. “Chief Noc-A-Homa” was the winning name chosen.

Walker approached the Braves in 1968 about having a real Native American portray the chief. He previously was an insurance salesmen, warehouse worker and plumber.

Chief Noc-A-Homa had two memorable moments.

On May 26, 1969, Walker set his tipi on fire after lighting a smoke bomb celebrating a home run by Clete Boyer of the Braves. He went back inside his tent, but came racing out when flames shot shot up. The fire was quickly quenched.

The Braves and Walker parted waives before the 1986, reportedly in a dispute over pay and missed dates. Walker allegedly made $60 per game.

The other controversy came when activist Russelll Means filed a lawsuit in 1972 against the Cleveland Indians for their “Chief Wahoo.” He also objected to Chief Noc-A-Homa. Walker said at the time, “I think Indians can be proud that their names are used with professional sports teams.”

Walker was first hospitalized in July 2022, and his health declined from there. But he still had love for his former role.

“I’ve been blessed by the fans to be the mascot for the Atlanta Braves,” he said last year.

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