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On the Ball
Max Blau | Photo: Troy Stains | March 5, 2013
Destined to knock it out of the park, former Atlanta Bravesballer Ron Gant takes the field for a morning-show spot.
We all remember him as an integral part of the famed “worst to first” Atlanta Braves team, but, in 2003, Ron Gant retired after a 16-year career in Major League Baseball. Like many former professional athletes, the onetime Braves outfielder couldn’t quite leave the game altogether. So, he found a way to talk about it instead. He became a broadcaster—employing his baseball expertise as an analyst and color commentator for a variety of television networks.
Following this year’s MLB playoffs, Gant stepped away from the diamond once again (this time for good), to start a new chapter in his professional life, joining FOX 5’s popular morning show Good Day Atlanta (myfoxatlanta.com).
“I’ve been doing baseball since I retired... doing a lot of television pre- and postgame on FOX Sports South and MLB Network. [This is] kind of like a new phase in my career as television personality,” he says.
Last summer, Gant appeared as a guest on the morning news show, talking with anchor Buck Lanford about the Braves—including Chipper Jones’ heroics as he hit a walk-off homer against the Phillies in extra innings. FOX 5 quickly noticed Gant’s natural talent on camera, with the station’s General Manager Bill Schneider impressed by Gant, calling him a “good communicator” with an “engaging personality.”
Discussions quickly snowballed, and, in the fall of 2012, Gant announced that he would join Lanford and the rest of FOX 5’s team on a permanent basis.
“I’m doing everything. I’m a co-anchor and reporter,” Gant explains. “It’s full-time, five days a week, [all] in the morning.”
Despite his baseball expertise, Gant’s position focuses far beyond just sports. Having lived in the Atlanta area for more than two decades, his longstanding concern for local issues and citizens largely informs his reporting.
“I genuinely care about the community and the well-being of our city,” he says. “I’ve always been one of those types of people that thinks everyone in our country should have a fair shake at life and at the things that they want to do. However we can achieve that, I’m all for it.”
In addition to Lanford, Gant will sit alongside current anchors Gurvir Dhindsa and Karen Graham, filling the void left by former host Mark Hayes—who left the morning show in April last year after a 10-year run. Gant hopes that his role will bring about positive change in Atlanta and its surrounding communities.
“My outlook on my new job is: How can we make our city better? What stories am I going to want to cover to shed light on everyone in our state and in our city, [so we can be] proud to live here?”