With the announcement last year that The Atlanta Braves will be moving into a new stadium in neighboring Cobb County in 2017, it is time to begin saying goodbye to Turner Field and other familiar landmarks. Here are the top six things that I will miss about going to a game at Turner Field.
Hank Aaron’s 715 Marker. No, it is not in Turner Field, but it is in an adjacent parking lot. After the demolition of Fulton County Stadium, the marker indicating where Aaron’s 715th home run was caught by relief pitcher Tom House was preserved, along with most of the outfield retaining wall. There has yet to be an announcement about what will happen with the marker. Perhaps Cooperstown would be a safe place.
Greg Maddux Pitched Here. Somehow, 4% of the Hall of Fame voters managed to leave “Mad Dog” off their Hall ballots, but he spent his best years pitching in Fulton County Stadium and Turner Field. Before I forget, Tom Glavine and John Smoltz also had some great seasons here, also. Glavine will join Maddux in the Hall of Fame inductions later this year. Smoltz should follow soon after.
Chipper Jones Played Here. In the debate over which was better, Chipper or Derek Jeter, I fall on Chipper’s side. Chipper homerun number exceeds Jeter’s by over 200. That more than makes up for small batting average lead that Jeter holds. It is no contest in my mind.
September 18, 1967. That was my irst time to attend a Braves game. Pete Rose, Tony Perez, and Johnny Bench started for the Reds. Aaron, Joe Torre, and Clete Boyer, were on the field for the Braves. The game was in Fulton County Stadium, not Turner Field, but when “The Ted” goes in three years, the painted outline of the Fulton County Stadium infield in the northern parking lot is sure top go, also.
June 10, 1998. This was the last Braves game I would attend with my Dad. The starting pitchers were Denny Neagle and Pedro Martinez. The Braves lost 10 -6.
Opening Day 2002. Gary Sheffield sent a rocket into the left field stands during the fifth inning. It bounced several times before coming to rest in the seat in front of me. The young boy who had been sitting there had his hands full of a hot dog and wasn’t able to beat me to the ball. I gave it to him anyway. There should be no punishment for eating a hot dog at a baseball game.