To Bobby Dews, quail hunting is much more than killing birds. It’s watching the dogs work, enjoying the land, and reminiscing about the wonderful hunts of the past with his family and friends. He says that every wonderful memory in his life seems to be present as he walks through the fertile fields near Edison, Georgia.
During about eight months of many years, Bobby Dews was the Minor League Field Coordinator for the Atlanta Braves, but for several years lately, he has been either their Third Base Coach or Bullpen Coach.
The other four months of the year, are spent in his home town of Edison, Georgia, quail hunting with friends and clients. He sees that the fields where he takes people to hunt are well-stocked with fresh quail as well as residual birds from other stockings. He keeps four trained bird dogs of his own and two dogs that belong to his good friend Mac McNair.
Just the ride to and from the fields, while hunting with Bobby, is interesting. He transports hunters and dogs with his vintage VW Thing. Besides, Bobby is an extremely personable, entertaining, southern gentleman. His hunts are both very exciting, and lots of fun.
Bobby grew up in Edison and still holds the record for the most points scored in a basketball game in Candler County. He graduated from Edison High School in 1957, where he starred in both baseball and basketball. He went to Georgia Tech on a basketball scholarship, and played there for three years until he was drafted by the St. Louis Cardinals baseball team in 1960.
He played shortstop and second base in the Cardinal organization, making it to as high as AAA before a spleen injury in an accident cut short his career. He then coached a couple of years in the Cardinals system before being hired by the Braves in 1970.
His input has been extremely instrumental in the development of the type of professional talent that came out of the Braves minor leagues in the past decade, which won them the World Series. Some of the players he help develop were Mark Lemke, Jeff Blauser, Chipper Jones, Ryan Klesko, Javier Lopez, Dave Justice, Andre Jones, and Germaine Dye.
Bobby Dews is a person’s person’s, and one of the big reasons that the Atlanta Braves have been so successful. Nevertheless, hunting and fishing have always been important in Bobby’s life.
“I came here at the age of six, and the people of Edison sort of adopted me,” related Dews. “They have always been supportive in every aspect of my life, and have made it possible for me to enjoy my vacations away from baseball. I really look forward to returning home each off-season, and because of the wonderful people and great hunting, I will probably retire here.”
Bobby Dews preaches and teaches hunting safety in a warm and friendly way that makes those who hunt with him feel very comfortable. He even allows hunters to bring their own dogs, and provided they do it safely, they can hunt the quail in the manner they are accustomed.
“I styled my operation to the way I always wanted to be treated when I went hunting,” said Dews. “That way, it’s a much more enjoyable outing for everybody.”
The serenity he found while quail hunting has equated to great patience and perception on the baseball fields of the Braves minor league teams. His work with the young players in the farm system has resulted in a steady flow of well-trained young personnel being always available for the big club, and Bobby loves that part of his life as well.
“I thought that I loved baseball as a player until I started working with the youngsters in the minors,” stated Dews. “I found it much more rewarding to watch them develop than to just play the game, and I guess I’ll stay with it until they tear my uniform off!”