Sunday (today) is the final game that the Atlanta Braves will play at Turner Field.
After 20 years, the Braves will soon move and next year begin their next season with their home in SunTrust Stadium. We are excited about the new stadium, new memories and watching our home team launch into this new season, but I am surprised at the fact that I am as emotional as I am about them saying goodbye to the Ted.
From the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, to Braves games, to special events to even finishing the Atlanta Half Marathon and parking in the parking lots for pick up there, we have enjoyed many memories at or near Turner Field.
My kids love passing it and every time we see it, Brother breaks into chants of “the hom-uh-tawk chop” – as he calls it. I posted a few weeks ago about how he calls it “his stadium” and about how we headed down for a game and for the kids to run the bases.
With us being on the brink of having a newborn and with the amount of home games dwindling down, when a boss friend of mine offered us their tickets to go, we jumped at the chance for one last trip to the Ted.
As it turned out, it was a bit crazy, but we ended up having an awesome time and though the Braves lost, it was a great game for our family to end on.
The game happened to be on a school night, which we knew would make for a late night for Annie M, and of course for Daddy who gets up at the crack of dawn for work. It didn’t help that a huge storm rolled in and there was a few hour rain delay!!
Since we had been gifted the tickets and it was our last trip to the stadium, I was determined to stick it out for a few innings. The tickets were also third row behind home plate and I couldn’t pass up the chance to watch the game from some of the best seats in the house.
As we walked in, I noticed that our tickets had access to the 755 Club. We opted to head up there to wait out the rain delay and get dinner. As it turns out, we were able to snag seats outside so that when the game started, we ate our dinner and enjoyed the first few innings of the game.
Annie M ordered a pizza and declared it, “the best one she has ever had” and I had a burger, which was pretty amazing too.
After dinner, we headed down to our seats and promised the kids frozen lem-o-lades (Annie M’s word for lemonade) for dessert. It was middle of the fourth inning and we got to our seats in plenty of time to enjoy the bulk of the game.
As mentioned, our seats were pretty amazing. We were third row, right behind the visiting teams dugout. The kids also thought being so close was cool and only a time or two did Brother attempt to bolt from his seat to climb onto the dugout so that “he could go play on the field with the big boys.”
…I held my breath as I envisioned my kid being the one to jump on the field and all sorts of security chasing the three year old in circles around the field.
Being up close and personal had it perks. Between foul balls from the players and bat boys and team managers throwing balls into the crowd, we had our fair share of game balls that came our way.
The first ball that the Hubs attempted to snag was too high and a gentleman three rows back caught it. Brother also had his glove up and was standing in hopes. The kind man caught the ball and handed it to Brother – who promptly took the ball and threw it back onto the field.
Cue my freak out moment as I am pretty sure it all happened in slow motion at that point.
“NOOOOOOO!,” I yelled as people around us kind of giggled. Poor Brothers face looked half terrified and half confused as his large and pregnant mother screamed at the manager guy that it was our ball and to please toss it back! I am not sure if he threw it back to us because of my cute kid, my pregnant self causing a scene or just to get me to shut up, but regardless, the ball was tossed back to us, my husband caught it and I promptly grabbed it and stuffed it in my bag as I lectured Brother about these are NOT balls you throw back!
He told me, “he was throwing it back so he could go play with the big boys.”
Precious, I know but the whole three minute scene gave me panic attacks and still makes my hands clammy just thinking about it!!!
The kids enjoyed their lemonades, I held our game ball, Annie M caught a tee shirt and it was going on 11 pm. We had discussed staying through the 7th inning as Brother loves to sing, “take me out to the ball game” and then heading home. The 7th inning turned into the 8th and once the time came to actually leave, Annie M had elephant tears that her brother had a game ball and she did not.
UGH. I felt awful for her. She is the sweetest, most patient older sister you’ve ever seen and often, I feel like due to her kind nature – and the fact her brothers cause a bigger, louder scene, she gets the short end of the stick.
I told her we would try to get her one too, and I prayed and told Husband we weren’t leaving yet. By praying, I also mean that I told God that, “I NEEDED ONE MORE GAME BALL SENT TO ME PLEASE.”
Hubs was NOT thrilled about staying as Brother was about to be in meltdown mode, but you know how us crazy mamas get when we want something for our kids and so despite his desire to go, he made no further comments as we watched the game head into the 9th.
In between innings, the players toss balls around and I knew there would be a bunch potentially coming our way. As the balls came towards the dugout and the bat boys and managers picked them up, I turned crazier than I already was. I grabbed a glove, started yelling and waving my arms as I begged for a ball. Begging is not in my usual nature and this wasnt glamorous, I am sure.
I caught the eye of one of the guys and he tossed it our way. I jumped as high as my 35 week belly could get and watched the ball sail over my head. Again, slow motion as I turned to watch it hit the top of the seats three rows back and then bounce forward back in our direction. Annie M was a bit oblivious, as I think she was caught up in watching me act a fool.
I kid you not, the ball that hit on the rim of the seat and was on its way forward, sailed over Annie M’s head and landed on her tutu, right in her lap. Her eyes were as big as saucers as she proudly grabbed the ball, held it up and squealed to all who could hear that she caught a ball!!
She cheered, I cried and my husband promptly grabbed our bags and announced it was time to go.
My heart was so happy and full and I thanked the Lord as we took one final family picture before heading out. Just FYI, I handed the kids the balls for the picture then took them back til we could get out of throwing range of the field. 🙂
We were so blessed to be given these tickets and it was an awesome finale to end our trips to the Ted. My parents kept Moose so we could go and enjoy it and we were so thankful for that as well – especially since we didn’t get home til almost 1 AM and then they still had to drive 45 minutes home!!
Love these memories we have made with our kids and I know we will love looking back on them all and remembering one day!
Farewell to Turner Field and we look forward to many memories at SunTrust Park starting next season!
As always, Go Bravos!