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Muhammad Ali Atlanta fight 1970

Knockout: An oral history of Muhammad Ali, Atlanta, and the fight nobody wanted

The notion that Muhammad Ali—a conscientious objector who was a member of the Nation of Islam—would make his comeback in the deep South at the height of the civil rights movement and the Vietnam War seemed laugh-out-loud ridiculous. But thanks to one fortuitous telephone call to a local businessman—and the political savvy of State Senator Leroy Johnson—Atlanta stunned the world by granting Ali a boxing license and playing host to his return on October 26, 1970.

Old Timer: Chipper Jones is the kind of vintage baseball player fans have craved

His eyes are the eyes of a hunter. Even though he cloaks them under the shadow of his low-slung baseball cap, there's no escaping the complete focus, the fierce confidence. Necessarily arrogant is the way he likes to describe it.

Coming: Mr. 715

He is almost always just Hank. He is recognized wherever he goes and people want to touch him, get his autograph and pose for pictures with him. He was 20 when he began these sojourns, swatting No. 1 in 1954, when Eisenhower was President.

Ivan Allen and the Stadium

There's a cavernous concrete oval rising like an elevator on the edge of town, and Ivan Allen Jr. has staked a piece of his political future on his ability to fill it with mayor league ballplayers and playing customers. What will it mean for the city?

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