Top 5 Memories at Turner Field

30 Oct

Baseball is about to close down another season, and my Atlanta Braves closed down Turner Field (1997-2016) earlier this month. Time to reflect on so many great sights and sounds through the years at The Ted:

5. (TIE) I am blessed with so many great memories at the erstwhile home of the Braves that it’s hard to narrow them down. How ‘bout a triple play to start off? From a nice vantage point behind home plate, I got to see Mark McGwire pulverize a Greg Maddux pitch into the upper deck beyond left field. Thankfully, it was just a loud (the loudest?) foul ball. I was also in attendance for the introduction of the Hank Aaron Award in 1999 and Tim Hudson’s 200th career win in 2013.

4. The drama turned to delicious delirium on 10-10-10 when Eric Hinske yanked a pinch-hit homer over the right-field wall in the bottom of the 8th to give the Braves a 2-1 lead in Game 3 of the NLDS against the San Francisco Giants, which had held the home team hitless through the first five innings. With a solo ticket in the upper deck, I can’t remember hugging and high-fiving so many complete strangers in my life (and I can’t —won’t — remember what occurred to my Braves the very next inning of that game, Bobby Cox’s second to last as Atlanta’s manager.)

brian meets hank aaron_011309

Thanks to Hank!

3. There was no game that 2009 day at Turner Field, but it is one I’ll never forget because I got to go one-on-one with Hank Aaron. This freelance writer, who interviewed the legend in his office overlooking left field, kept thinking that I should be paying for this amazing experience instead of the other way around.

2. May 2, 2012 is a day that will live in ecstasy for this Braves fan. All of the following happened just a few rows in front of me and three buddies, who were perfectly positioned in the Voice of the Braves’ seats: the Braves rallied from a 6-0 deficit against two-time Cy Young Award winner Roy Halladay, including a grand slam by Brian McCann off the Philadelphia pitching ace; the home team rallied again, this time from four runs down in the 8th inning; and then soon-to-be Hall of Famer Chipper Jones, the ATL legend playing his final season, crushed a two-run, game-winning home run in the bottom of the 11th to end an eight-game losing streak against the Phillies and cap off the absolute best non-playoff game I’ve ever attended.

1. It didn’t include any walk-off heroics or meeting a Braves legend, but it was so special. I’d never set foot on the baseball diamond until my sweet girl allowed me access on Girls Scouts Day at the park during the second to last home stand ever at Turner Field. We circled the field with her fellow scouts and then the Braves circled the wagons against the first-place Nationals. The win kept intact my daughter’s all-time undefeated streak at Turner Field (4-0) and started the team on a seven-game win streak and 12-2 finish to the final season there.

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