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Former Braves owner Bill Bartholomay loved baseball, and the game loved him back. That again was clear as the baseball world reacted to the news of Bartholomay's death at age 91:

"Yesterday the game of baseball lost a giant figure in its history. Starting with his move of the Braves to Atlanta in 1966, Bill opened up the South to professional sports and was involved in every important development in our game for over 50 years. Bill loved his family, the game of baseball and all other people. I could tell stories about him all day, but it just comes down to this: Everyone who knew him felt like he was their best friend … because he was their best friend. My family and I will miss him greatly." -- Los Angeles Dodgers President and CEO Stan Kasten, a former president of the Braves

"For more than half a century, Bill Bartholomay contributed significantly to the governance of baseball. More important, he played a role in fostering the game's spirit of social responsibility, philanthropy and inclusion. He was a dear friend to many of us in the game, and he will be greatly missed." -- MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred

"Besides being one of the most important figures in the game of baseball for more than five decades, Bill Bartholomay was a truly wonderful person and one of my closest friends in the world. His wise counsel and calming views were critical throughout my years as baseball commissioner. My wife, Sue, and I will miss him terribly, and we offer our heartfelt condolences to his family and friends." -- Former MLB Commissioner Bud Selig 

"He loved the Braves. He really did. He really loved the ballclub. He was just a wonderful guy. And I appreciated everything that he did for me." -- Braves great Hank Aaron (read more from Aaron here)

 

"Many thanks to Mr. B … the man who got the Braves to Atlanta. Thank you! RIP to a great man. Loved his Braves and the great game of baseball. Honored to have worked for him." -- Former Braves star Dale Murphy

"There is baseball in Atlanta today because of Bill Bartholomay. Affectionately known as 'Mr. B,' Bartholomay was instrumental in bringing people together and fostering diversity while helping shape Atlanta as a major city in the south when he relocated the Braves from Milwaukee to Atlanta in 1966. His warmth and grace were felt equally by Presidents, MLB Commissioners, business titans, Braves players and fans. He was a true gentleman, who served on a variety of MLB committees over the course of decades, and is widely regarded as one of the great influencers of the game during the modern era. Mr. B was inducted into the Braves Hall of Fame in 2002 for his role in making the Braves a storied franchise with his constant presence since moving the team to Atlanta. He was part of our organization for the last 57 years and never missed an Opening Day or significant event. He was a dear, thoughtful friend whose presence will be missed, but his legacy will surely stand the test of time for the Atlanta Braves and all of baseball. We send our deepest sympathies and condolences to his children Virginia, Bill, Jamie, Betsy and Sally, his grandchildren and great grandchildren." -- A statement from the Braves

(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)