End of an Era

I arrived in Atlanta in 1996, and was caught up with the Olympics held in and around the City. I attended a couple of events at the Olympic stadium which was subsequently and quickly converted into a baseball stadium to become home to the Atlanta Braves. I attended several games in their inaugural season of 1997, so I thought it was fitting that I  should attend one of the games in their final season at Turner Field. Nostalgia? Curiosity? Sentimentality? Call it what you will.

I went last night to see a game featuring the Philadelphia Phillies with my friend George. This was the penultimate series to be held at the Ted before the Detroit Tigers bring the curtain down on the weekend. George wrote a brilliant piece on Facebook capturing the essence of our experience last night, and it is posted below:

My friend David Alexander James and I attended the Braves-Phillies game tonight at Turner Field. We arrived early, had some good food and stayed until the 8th inning. I did a lot of looking around tonight at The Ted as we Atlantans have come to know the ballpark. Lots of baseball and Olympic events were held in this space.

Now that the Braves are moving to Sun Trust Park next year it was truly a pilgrimage of sorts for my friend and I to attend this game. I have to admit I haven’t followed the Braves much this year. And when the starting lineup was announced I found myself saying, “Who’s that guy?” A LOT. So the trip was not really about watching the game but to be in that space one last time before it’s no longer the Home of the Braves.

The field looked immaculate as always. And the Braves won tonight in grand fashion. But I couldn’t help but feel some sadness. I am glad that the ballpark will not be torn down but instead will be converted to a football/track and field stadium for my alma mater Georgia State University. And from what I understand, the parking lot that was Atlanta Fulton Co. Stadium will once again be a baseball field. That is certainly fitting in my eyes.

But the one thing that I said more than once was, “ I can’t believe that this will not be where the Braves play ball anymore. “ I understand the whole move…..money, business and so forth. But with the exception of several lights or panels out in the various displays around the stadium, the place is in fantastic shape. It’s a shame that the powers at be could not come to some sort of compromise. I’m sure I’m not alone in my feelings.

So ends the 2016 Braves season in a few days. I feel good that I did go back to that ballpark and “pay my respects” so to speak. I won’t ever forget this place. Lots of memories and fun times have taken place in the Ted for me as I am sure is the case for countless other people. And although maybe the place can’t hear me, this I verily say unto thee…..

Thanks for the memories. I’m glad you are sticking around.



Leave a Reply