Dave Pursley, longtime Atlanta Braves athletic trainer, dies

Dave Pursley, a former athletic trainer for the Atlanta Braves whose work with the team placed him in multiple halls of fame, died on Sunday.

Pursley started his career as a teenager working as an athletic training student at Central Evansville High School in Indiana. While still in school, he worked summers with the Evansville Braves, who played just a few blocks from his house, according to the Georgia Athletic Trainers’ Association.

After graduating, Pursley started working as an athletic trainer at colleges like Evansville and Clemson while still working for the Braves farm club during the summers. Eventually, he moved his way to the major league team while it was still in Milwaukee and followed it to Atlanta when the Braves moved here in 1969.

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His work with the team would continue for over four decades, ending with his retirement as the head athletic trainer in 2002. In that time, Pursley worked with such greats as Hank Aaron, John Smoltz, and more.

Pursley's time at the Braves had him selected to work four All-Star Games in his career - the latest being in 2000. In 1995, he was named the Athletic Trainer of the Year. Nine years later, he was awarded the National Athletic Trainers Association Most Distinguished Athletic Trainer Award.

He was inducted into the Braves Hall of Fame in 2014. That's just one of his many halls of fame appearances, which include the Georgia and Indiana Sports Hall of Fames.

Pursley was married to wife Ruth for over 60 years before her death. He is survived by his two sons, Neil and Gary.

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