Chief Noc-A-Homa, Atlanta Braves Legend
A big piece of the Atlanta Brave history involved Chief Noc-A-Homa, the Braves iconic mascot from 1969-1985. His teepee was in a section of the bleacher seats. He danced whenever the Braves hit a home run and led the tomahawk chop when a rally was needed. When the Braves were in first place in 1982, they needed to remove the teepee to sell more seats. The Braves lost 19 of their next 21 games and fell to second place. They put the teepee back up because fans were upset and the Braves went back to first place and won the Western division. The teepee and Noc-A-Homa were beloved by the superstitious fans and players.
A few weeks ago when I was selling my book McIntosh Summer in Indian Springs, GA, at the Native American Festival, my friend GT, the Creek whose picture I posted on facebook, said, “Looky over there. Do you see that old Indian with the long white ponytail? The one walks with the cane? Do you see him?” I did. “That’s Chief Noc-A-Homa of the Atlanta Braves.” I wanted to say it couldn’t be. Noc-A-Homa couldn’t be old. My kids loved him! Yes. We all did. Years ago. “C’mon, I’ll innerdoose you.”
We approached the tent where the man was sitting by his merchandise. “Hey, Levi, this here’s my girlfren. She’s the arthur what wrote about Chief McIntosh.” He looked up at me and said, “Is that a fact. Why?” I gathered he believed McIntosh was traitor and thief. I smiled and shook his hand. “Because it’s a good story,” I said. He nodded. “Okay. Want to buy a ball?” The crowd was gathering. “I need to get back to my table,” I said. “Maybe I’ll come back later. Nice to meet you.”
It wasn’t until too late that I learned the balls he sold were baseballs, signed by him. I wish I’d bought a few of them. They would have made great gifts for my family of Braves fans.
His name is Levi Walker. He’s a Chippewa-Ottawa from Charlevoix, Michigan. He’s “around” 75 now, and lives in North Georgia. He made $60 a week as Noc-A-Homa and received a $5000 termination settlement when political correctness ended his time of celebrity.