ATLANTA — As the Atlanta Braves enjoyed a spectacular run through the playoffs to their first World Series title in 26 years, many wondered why the team's legendary manager of the last Braves title team never made a public appearance.
While the team surely would have loved to bring Bobby Cox into the spotlight and give him a special place in proceedings, the 80-year-old's health likely couldn't allow it.
Cox began to recede from public life back in 2019 when he suffered a stroke, according to a source who told 11Alive News anchor Jeff Hullinger about the incident at the time.
That happened in early April of that year, and later that month the Associated Press reported that he was still in the hospital following the stroke.
At the time, Braves manager Brian Snitker, who is close with the Cox family after serving as a team coach under Bobby Cox for many years, said he was a "fighter" and expressed confidence in his recovery efforts.
Hall of Fame pitcher Tom Glavine, an iconic star of Cox's 90s Braves teams, said that "for a guy that's as feisty and fiery and as tough as he is, you hate to see him go through something this."
"But at the same time those are the qualities that are probably going to pull him out of it and get him back to normal," Glavine said.
About five months later, Cox made an inspiring comeback to his first Braves game since the incident. The AP reported at the time he had regained feeling on his right side and his speech following the stroke, and was able to walk on his own.
At his appearance back in September 2019, he sat in a private box with team executives and was welcomed by a standing ovation.
"He looks great to me," Snitker told the AP that day. "I saw him walking around. ... It was true, too, when they welcomed him home. It's like home to him and he feels like he belongs, and he does."
Since then, he has not made another publicized appearance at a Braves game, possibly due to the pandemic. Both the Cox family and the Braves have preferred to keep his health status private.