Sutton back to Braves

Published 12:02 am Wednesday, January 28, 2009

ATLANTA (AP) — The Atlanta Braves will have a familiar name and voice back in their radio booth this season: Don Sutton said Tuesday he’s coming home.

Sutton is returning to the Braves’ radio broadcast team after spending the last two seasons working on Washington Nationals’ television broadcasts.

Before his two years with the Nationals, Sutton worked for 18 seasons as a member of the Braves’ broadcast crew with Ernie Johnson, Pete Van Wieren, Skip Caray, Joe Simpson and others.

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Caray died in August and Van Wieren retired after the season.

“What people are going to see and what people are going to hear is a person who has a lot of love and respect for all those guys,” Sutton said Tuesday night in a telephone interview.

Sutton said he will embrace his new role as the most experienced member of the broadcast team that also will include Jim Powell, who spent the last 13 seasons calling Milwaukee Brewers games.

“I love it and I will try to fulfill the responsibility that goes with it,” Sutton said.

“If somebody were to ask me in September ‘Can you give me three reasons for wanting to leave (Washington)?’ I would have said no. But now, if it’s ‘Can you give me 15 reasons for wanting to be back in Atlanta?’ I can do that easily.”

Sutton won 324 games with the Los Angeles Dodgers, Houston, Milwaukee and California. He retired after the 1987 season and was elected into the Hall of Fame in 1998.

Powell is a Roswell, Ga., native and University of Georgia alumnus.

“He’s out of the Pete Van Wieren cloth,” Sutton said. “It’s going to be a delight to work with him.”

Braves executive director of sales and marketing Derek Schiller said Sutton and Powell “can continue the great broadcasting tradition here at the Braves.”

Sutton said he, like Powell, feels like he’s coming home.

“The 18 years I spent there as a broadcaster, I think qualifies me as a homebody,” he said. “It’s the longest I ever spent in any one place. You’re getting two southern boys coming home.”

After working on TV the last two years, Sutton said he was most interested in a return to radio.

“That’s one of the things I really missed,” he said. “I missed being a broadcaster and a complete broadcaster. As an analyst you really only get to do about 50 percent of the broadcasting. Radio is like home cooking and I love it and I missed it for two years.”