Chief Noc-A-Homa was the original mascot of the Milwaukee and Atlanta Braves from 1950s until 1986. The name was used for the "screaming Indian" sleeve patch worn on Braves jerseys. From at least the early 1960s, while still in Milwaukee County Stadium, until the early 1980s at Atlanta's Fulton County Stadium, this mascot "lived" in a teepee in an unoccupied section of the bleacher seats.
The name was intended to be a playful variation of "Knock a Homer." The mascot's job was to exit his teepee and perform a dance whenever a Braves player hit a home run.
In the late 1970s, when the previously mediocre Braves became contenders again, a peculiar superstition arose. When football season approached and the portable bleachers needed to be opened up for the Atlanta Falcons, the teepee was typically removed, and at that point, the Braves would typically start to lose. Superstitious fans claimed that disrupting Noc-A-Homa's home was the cause of their downturn, rather than the team just not having enough depth to sustain first place for the season. After this happened several years in a row, though, the story began to gain some currency. The rumor reached its height in 1982, when the Braves were in first place with a seemingly insurmountable lead. Needing additional seating for sellouts, the Braves removed the teepee and sold tickets for the seats normally supporting it. The Braves promptly lost 19 of their next 21 games and fell to second place. When Braves management put the teepee back in place, the Braves went back to first place and ultimately won the Western division that year.
Late in Noc-A-Homa's duration, Hopewell, Virginia native Kimberly Ann Calos was introduced as "Princess Win-A-Lotta"
The best-known Noc-A-Homa was Levi Walker, Jr., an Ottawa native and an Odawa Indian. In 1986, Walker and the Braves mutually agreed to end their relationship due to disagreements about pay and missed dates. Walker petitioned the club to revive his role during the Braves' 1991 magical pennant run, but the Braves' management declined. During the late 1970s, the Braves also had a green mascot called Bleacher Creature.
Noc-a-Homa was eventually replaced as the mascot by the characters Homer and Rally. This has not, however, circumvented the introduction of other Native American-inspired traditions for Braves fans, such as the "Tomahawk Chop," adapted with the arrival of Florida State University multi-sport star Deion Sanders from Florida State's popular war chant.
- Native American mascot controversy
- List of sports team names and mascots derived from Indigenous peoples
- List of ethnic sports team and mascot names (all ethnicities)
- "Mascot Won't Return". the New York Times. 1986-01-19. Retrieved 2007-06-30.
- "‘Screaming savage’ makes return on Braves’ batting practice caps for 2013". Yahoo!. 2012-12-27. Retrieved 2012-12-28.
- "First look: new MLB batting practice caps". ESPN.com. 2012-12-27. Retrieved 2012-12-28.