Originally created 09/22/99

Johnson calls his last game



After 35 years of describing Braves baseball action on radio and television, Ernie Johnson Sr. will make his last call tonight when Atlanta and the New York Mets continue their National League East showdown series at Turner Field.

Johnson's last play-by-play descriptions will be on Fox Sports Net South's telecast, which begins at 7:30 p.m. Johnson is retiring after a 49-year association with the Braves franchise -- from Boston to Milwaukee to Atlanta -- as a right-handed pitcher, franchise public relations director and radio-TV announcer.

Johnson joined the club's radio broadcast team in 1962, assuming play-by-play duties when the Braves moves to Atlanta in '66. He moved to television in 1972 when the Braves first appeared on WTBS, and he remained in that role until retiring from TBS in 1989.

He then hooked up with Fox Sports, where he has been a fixture for 10 years as the lead Braves announcer since it began telecasting in 1990. This season, Johnson has called Braves home games only, with the exception being two mid-season telecasts of Braves-Brewers game in Milwaukee -- where Johnson pitched for eight seasons as a member of the Braves organization and helped the club win the 1957 World Series.

"Ernie's style and his love for the game of baseball have made him a favorite of Braves fans for many years," said Hunter Nickell, Fox Sports Net South general manager. "His anecdotes and insights have combined to give Fox Sports Net South a wonderful baseball ambassador in our telecast booth.

"Ernie's the best, and we're grateful he wanted to spend the past 10 years calling our Braves games."

Johnson joined the Braves in Boston in 1950, made the club's move to Milwaukee in 1953, pitching eights seasons there before retiring in 1960.