Bobby Cox is getting used to retirement. Since stepping down as Braves manager after the 2010 season, Cox and his wife Pam have been to Mexico twice and New York once, and will leave in April for a Mediterranean cruise.
"It's a lot calmer spring for the wife and I," Cox said. "We're having a great time."
For Cox, part of retirement includes being saluted as he was Monday night. The manager of 14 consecutive division title winners received a lifetime achievement award from the Atlanta Sports Council at its annual awards banquet at the Fox Theatre.
Others attending the event included former Falcons coach Dan Reeves, former Braves Javy Lopez and Otis Nixon, Georgia State football coach Bill Curry, former Georgia kicker Kevin Butler, Thrashers left wing Evander Kane and Dream coach Marynell Meadors.
In a career that most likely will receive enshrinement in the baseball hall of fame, Cox worked for the Braves in two stints for more than 30 years. In his career, he won 2,504 games, which is fourth in major league history, was named National League manager of the year four times and led the Braves to the 1995 World Series title, the only championship won by an Atlanta pro sports team in the four major sports.
In receiving the award, Cox joined Atlanta sports royalty. Past recipients are baseball hall of famer Hank Aaron, Georgia coaching legend Vince Dooley, Atlanta Olympics chief Billy Payne, former Braves owner Ted Turner and developer Tom Cousins, who brought the NBA and NHL to Atlanta and built the Omni. Turner was among those whom Cox credited in an interview prior to the dinner.
"It's humbling, but anytime you get an honor, you haven't done it by yourself, that's for sure," Cox said.
Cox has attended every home spring training game in Orlando and said if team officials ever need his help "all they have to do is ask." After spring training and the cruise, though, he's not sure what lies ahead.
"That's the good thing about retirement," he said. "You can make your own schedule."
Cox has a fan in Falcons coach Mike Smith, who was given the coach of the year award. The Falcons, who earned the NFC's top seed with a 13-3 regular-season record, were named the team of the year.
"I have always observed him from afar and I really loved his style," Smith said. "His players loved to play for him, just an observation from afar, and he is one of the most passionate men about his sport."
Collegiate athlete of the year: Jen Yee, Georgia Tech softball
Coach of the year: Mike Smith, Falcons
Female high school scholar-athlete of the year: Andrea Howard, Norcross High
Male high school scholar-athlete of the year: Matthew Cribb, Roswell High
High school athlete of the year: Brian Randolph, Kell High football
Lifetime achievement award: Bobby Cox, Braves
Professional athlete of the year: Roddy White, Falcons
Sports person of the year: Bill Curry, Georgia State football
Former Braves are likely to dominate the National Baseball Hall of Fame class of 2014 more than any team has in quite a while, and Bobby Cox could get the ball rolling Monday when the Veterans Committee announces its selections.
The Atlanta Braves delivered their pitch to real estate developers Friday, formally opening the search for a partner on a proposed $400 million mixed-use development adjacent to a new Cobb County stadium.
Atlanta Braves executives will return to work from their Thanksgiving travels Monday, still thankful for $300 million in public funding for a new stadium but aware that last week’s vote by the Cobb County Commission signaled the start of an unforgiving timetable to get the ballpark built by 2017.