It’s finally here! We have waited a long time for this day! April 14, 2017!! Three years ago when we got the announcement that we were getting a new ballpark, I had no idea how much progress, vision, and creativity could be carried out so well, so beautifully and so quickly!!
What an honor to serve on the Braves Fan Advisory Board for the new SunTrust Park for 2-1/2 years, working with some of the nicest people, and it is really amazing to see Braves’ vision (and what we have been talking about for so long) finally come to LIFE!!
There was so much excitement Opening night, throughout opening weekend, and so much energy in and around SunTrust Park. There is so much to do and see at SunTrust Park and in The Battery Atlanta. We attended the games Friday and Saturday night of Opening Weekend and still didn’t get to experience everything there is to offer. I can’t wait to go back (which will be soon), and try several new food items by Delaware North in SunTrust Park, and enjoy all the cool places to eat in The Battery Atlanta. There is so much thought and creativity that has gone into this ballpark. It is amazing!! I will let the pictures tell the story.
I was so happy to be a part of this project, even if in a small way. I am proud to call this ball park, HOME! Go Braves!
I wanted to pass on some important information from the Braves about how to get to and from SunTrust Park on game day!
The Atlanta Braves have put great thought and detail into how to make getting to SunTrust Park the best experience for you! The Braves have joined in partnership with Uber, Waze, and Cobb County to help get you to the ballpark easier and help manage the traffic during game days. They are excited to pilot new technology with the Uber app, and the updated MLB.com Ballpark App, to help make the entire process easier from purchasing your tickets, and planning your trip to and from the ballpark.
New Partnership with Uber:
“Uber announced the pilot of new technology that will make the pick-up experience fast and more efficient at SunTrust Park.”
“Riders leaving SunTrust park will be directed to the Uber Zone, which is located steps from the ballpark along Windy Ridge Parkway, through in-app messaging and physical signage. At the Uber Zone, fans will open their Uber app, set their destination and request a car as usual. Instead of having to navigate to find a specific car and driver, riders will see a personalized PIN cole in their app and can simply give it to the next available driver in the Uber Zone.”
For game day travel, you are encouraged to make a plan in advance of your trip to SunTrust Park. This can be done in 3 easy steps, and can be completed through the updated MLB.com Ballpark app.
What You Need to Know:
Buy your ticket in advance!The Braves have transitioned completely to PAPERLESS TICKETS. Tickets can be purchased through the MLB.com Ballpark app where you will receive a barcode that will be scanned on your phone as you enter the gates. You can also purchase tickets at Braves.com, or calling the Braves ticket office at 404-577-9100.
Buy your parking in advance! When you purchase your game tickets, please also select and purchase your parking! This will give you better choices of where to park and ultimately save you money. There are 14,000 spaces around the ballpark, but purchasing before you arrive will give you customized directions and a pre-purchase discount. Many lots will require a pre-payment, although some will accept credit cards at the site. Plus, if you have bought your parking in advance, you will have the added benefit of the Waze app to help you get there.
Use the Waze App! Because they are partnering with the Braves, Waze will be receiving real-time traffic information and updates from Cobb County to help spread out traffic in such a large area and help you maneuver around and find the best way to your parking lot (another reason to buy parking in advance). Cobb County and Waze will be able to get you around trouble spots, much more than a smartphone map app, because it is customized to help you get to a Braves event.
To also help reduce congestion, The Cobb County DOT is assisting with traffic manageability by offering The Cumberland Circulator. This transit system will have new routes to help you on game day, make daily traffic a bit more manageable, with enhanced mobility and frequency.
There are 14 access points to get in and out of the ballpark area, minimizing impact on everyday commuters. There are 14,000 parking spaces available around SunTrust Park. 5,000 more parking spaces than at Turner Field…. for a ballpark with 8,000 less seats!
I’m ready for new season in our awesome new ballpark!! Let’s Play Ball!
The Braves have worked very hard to include a fun space for our kids! As with the rest of the ballpark, this area has been well thought out and carefully designed. Now when your kids come to a game, they will get to enjoy so many amenities that SunTrust Park has to offer. The Braves, in partnership with Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, have come up with a fabulous kids’ zone called ‘Hope and Will’s Sandlot’. It is located behind sections 151-155!
As always, there is a Braves Kids Club membership so your kids can be a part of the team! A premium membership is $25 (per membership) or there is a free membership option as well. When you buy a Premium Membership, there are several really great benefits and prizes that include a Dansby Swanson jersey and much much more. Check out all the info at Braves.com/kids.
And be on the lookout about how you can reserve your times in advance for all the fun games and activities you will see here.
In the meantime, let me show you around….
Thanks for letting me show you around the Kids’ area! It’s going to be a really fun season!
The Atlanta Braves A-List members, a.k.a. season ticket holders, we were given a chance to explore and enjoy all that the new SunTrust Park has to offer at their ‘SunTrust Park Open House’. The ballpark is beautifully built, thought out, and elegantly designed. And to think this all started from a field of dirt just 3 years ago. The Braves staff have been working around the clock to have this incredible ballpark ready for us for the Open House but more importantly, by our Home Opener…April 14th! Let me tell you, it will not disappoint!
During our time at SunTrust Park, we were given a chance to find our seats, test out the new concessions, and watch the first game ever to be shown on the big screen which was a Braves Spring Training game being played in Orlando.
The new kids area, Hope and Will’s Sandlot, was up and running and complimentary for the day. It has a new Pop Flier Zip Line and Climbing Tower as well as other fun games…some I used to play as a kid.
Words cannot describe my level of excitement for this new ballpark and the start of a new season. MLB owners are referring to our new ballpark as “revolutionary” and I totally agree!
Please stay tuned to more posts about our new amazing ballpark…So much more to come!
Do you have an amazing coach that has given your kids a great experience at their favorite sport? As we all know, a good coach is hard to find. These guys are volunteers and choose to spend their time teaching and helping our kids. I know we all want a meaningful way to show our appreciation.
I love the idea of going in together as a Team and doing something nice for your favorite coach. There are many ideas circulating but these are my favorite.
The parents on our team usually collected money for a very nice gift card to various restaurants or sporting goods stores and present it to the Coaches at the End of the Season Party. This is such a great idea. They do this on their own. They know as a team mom, I am working on a gift from the players to the coaches, and I have something special I give to our players….See my post on Team Mom: End of Season Gifts for Coaches and Players.
A meaningful gift for a coach from their players, is a team picture, surrounded by a mat, in a nice frame that the players have signed. I’ve had several coaches tell me they really appreciated this. My husband loves seeing pictures of every team he has coached on a special wall in our home. See my post on Team Mom: End of Season Gifts for Coaches and Players.
Another great idea I heard about was from my friend, Donna. A coach she had worked with had really done an outstanding job with her kids. She also knew he was a HUGE Boston Red Sox fan. She emailed them telling them how excellent this coach was and that she wanted to do something nice for him.
They sent her a bottle of field dirt…to some, it might not mean that much, but to him, it meant the WORLD. It contained actual MLB Authenticated game-used dirt from Fenway Park. You can actually go to an authentication database and enter the hologram number which is displayed on the bottle. This validates that this is actually game-used field dirt. A very thoughtful gift, and something very meaningful to a true fan.
So, if you are looking for a meaningful gift for an important person or favorite Coach…. find out what their favorite team, or player, and try sending that email to that professional organization to see what they may send you or see what you can find online.
Everyone appreciates a good coach and we want to properly show our gratitude!
What a fun and meaningful day. It was a bittersweet day. We are excited for things to come but sad to say Goodbye to a place where we have spent so much time.
I’m really proud of the Braves Organization for working so hard to make this day so special for all of us, as we are life long Braves fans.
I loved seeing the alums during pre-game like Javy Lopez, Chipper Jones, Marcus Giles, Rafael Furcal, Adam LaRoche, Andruw Jones, Brian Jordan, and Gary Sheffield. We all loved the moment when Greg Maddox, John Smoltz, and Tom Glavine walked in together from Centerfield to throw out the first pitch. To have Timothy Miller sing the National Anthem as well as ‘God Bless America’ was a special treat.
I’m so happy that our Braves are playing strong baseball, winning their last 12 out of 14, and ended the season well.
And of course, how perfect that Hank Aaron would throw out the final pitch to Bobby Cox in a great closing ceremony!
Thank you to the Atlanta Braves, for a very proper tribute.
So now we say, so long Turner Field! A new chapter begins at SunTrust Park! Go Braves!
Our Memories at Turner Field… Where do I start? There are too many to count. I truly can’t believe that we are about to go in to the last weekend at this ballpark. I am excited about SunTrust Park and all of the new awesomeness that we are about to experience, but, I am a little sad to say goodbye to a place where we have spent so much time.
My husband and I attended the second game ever at Turner Field in April of 1997. We were only dating at the time. Our first date had been to a Braves game at Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium just the summer before, now our life together was to continue at Turner Field. Since then, we have gotten engaged, married, and had 2 children, who are now 11 and 15 years old.
Over the years, we have attended MANY MANY games. When we aren’t attending, we are watching the game on TV. We started bringing our children when they were young, but only 2-3 times a year. As they got older, we started attending more and more games and ultimately found ourselves becoming A-List members and attending 20+ games a season.
Our babies attending their first ballgame when each was around 4 months old. They both sat so still and were in awe of everything going on around them. They have loved it from the beginning!
As I look back at the number of years we have attended games, I am amazed of how many friends and family members we have run into there and attended games with.
I think about how many times we have run the bases, both on the field and up in the Coca-Cola Sky Field area, or how many times we have pitched or hit a ball in Scout’s Alley, or how many times my son has played foam baseball in the Children’s Healthcare Family Zone. I wonder how many times my daughter and I have gotten our face painted, how many times we have walked around the warning track, chased foul balls, or have been on our feet cheering our guys on to win.
We have celebrated our wedding anniversaries, our children’s birthdays, graduations, Mother’s Days, Father’s Days, large groups from our youth group at church and school, etc.etc.
The list goes on and on……
I think about the number of hotdogs, pizzas, chicken fingers, bags of cotton candy, ice cream cones, and King of Pop popsicles we have eaten. The number of posters that my children have made to support their favorite players, the number of balls we have caught during batting practice, and the number of players that have thrown a baseball to my children, which is an absolutely precious gift.
I think about the time my husband caught a homerun ball, hit by Evan Gattis, in his glove in centerfield on Father’s Day! And the time a homerun ball, hit by Freddie Freeman, bounced on the seat behind me and I reached up and caught it barehanded.
I think about the number of post-game concerts we have stayed for, the number of fireworks displays, and the number of rain delays we have sat through…
But most importantly, the number of hours we have spent watching our favorite game, cheering on our favorite team… together.
My children will remember growing up at this Ballpark.
I’ve always loved it that when we were at a game, my childhood or current friends would send me a message saying, “Hey! We are at the game, are you here?” They knew we would be there, and this has prompted some very fun reunions.
At the start of this season there was so much negativity surrounding how the Braves were playing and attendance has been low, so we have been able to “stretch our legs” a little bit at games this year. But now, I am THRILLED that the team is playing FANTASTIC baseball, winning their last 10 out of 11 games, and there will be a sold out crowd at the Final game this Sunday to celebrate the final game. I’m so proud of our team and always proud to be a Braves Fan!
I feel a little nostalgic to say ‘so long’ to Turner Field, but so excited for the next chapter at SunTrust Park. This team is going to take us very far in the years to come!! Just Wait!
So, Thank you to The Atlanta Braves and Turner Field for making the last several years really fun and enjoyable for our family.
Our Memories are Priceless.
An autographed ball by Fredi Gonzalez and Andrelton Simmons! Andrelton threw a ball to my daughter during batting practice the day before and on this day he signed it! We loved him!
Do you have any shoes that have gotten super dirty and think they can’t be saved? Do you dread having to buy your kids more shoes because they are so muddy and hate cleaning them?
Being a mom and coach of baseball, it never fails that my tennis shoes get dirty. Really dirty… with Red Georgia Clay from the field, or mud, or grass. Every year I try to have an extra pair of shoes just for the field.
Sometimes it is just not possible to have an extra pair of shoes. Years ago, my arch collapsed and planters fasciitis set in, so it became imperative to have good shoes, especially when I am on my feet in the dugout or running drills with the boys on the field. These shoes are so expensive, I was forced to find a way to clean them.
My favorite cleaning trick is whitening toothpaste and an old toothbrush! It works wonders on solid leather tennis shoes.
If your shoes are solid leather, when you rinse them, the inside of the shoes will not get wet. Look at the difference when I scrubbed one side of my shoe with the whitening toothpaste and an old toothbrush. These were my “baseball shoes” from a year ago, so this is not fresh dirt…it still came off and looks like NEW.
Recently, due to new problems in my feet, I was forced to get a different kind of tennis shoe. They have mesh on the sides and top, so when I tried to wash the soles using the toothbrush and toothpaste, the inside of the shoe got wet. Not good. I had to find a new way to clean them….
Perfect Example: Yesterday, the family and I went to the ballfield to practice hitting and fielding. I love to get out there with them and run around. We have had so much rain here, the outfield was like a marsh pit. The soles of my shoes got so packed with mud (since they are my only athletic shoes now) I had to do something.
I scraped off as much dirt outside as I could, but still my shoes were a mess. I found 2 Foil Lasagna pans in my kitchen that I had never used, and put them to work. Don’t worry, I won’t be using them now for Lasagna! I put some hot water (just enough to cover the bottom) and a squirt of Dawn Dishwashing Detergent. I swished around the detergent until it produced some bubbles and put a shoe in each pan. I was careful not to get the water too high in the pan so the inside of my shoes would get wet.
I soaked them for about 20 minutes and was pleased to find that most of the dirt had come off and out of those pesky little grooves on the sole of the shoe. I still used my toothbrush to scrub out the dirt in those tiny places. My shoes were so dirty and packed with field dirt (mud really) that my shoes required a second soak. Overall, I am pleased with the results. I was able to remove about 99% of it. Not bad since my shoes were really bad off.
What you will need:
An old tshirt to wear because if you are using any brush to scrub, there is a good chance it’s going to splatter
For good solid Leather shoes, you will need a spare tube of Whitening Toothpaste and an old toothbrush: Please don’t use the same tube of toothpaste to brush your teeth with. This tube of toothpaste will be declared, “For Cleaning Only” as will the toothbrush. Eek! Lol!
Two Foil Lasagna pans that you can find in any grocery store. I like them because they are bendable and you can bend the pan to get to the parts of the shoe that need it most.
HOT water. Fill it with just enough to cover the bottom of the pan and to the desired height to surround the sole of the shoe.
Dawn dishwashing detergent. I added a squirt in each pan and stirred with my fingers to produce the bubbles. This solution will break up the dirt in the little grooves of the bottom of the shoe.
A toothbrush. A great tool to use for those tiny, hard to reach places.
After scraping as much dirt off outside that you can, let the sole of the shoes soak for about 10-15 minutes, check and see what dirt has been loosened or falling off. My shoes were so bad, I needed a second soak. I would not recommend leaving your nice shoes in for a super long period of time as it is not good for the rubber soles.
My kids have always appreciated when I can work on their dirty, yucky, shoes and give them new life. As they get older, it is something they can work on, too. With a lot of desire, and a little bit of effort, it is always rewarding to make something feel and look new again.
If you are a Team Mom, then Congratulations! You have a very important role. It is fun and rewarding. You will find yourself a coach’s assistant, administrative assistant, fellow coach, parent liaison, and have a fun connection with the boys. It has been a very rewarding experience for me, one that I love doing because it is helping our teams do something so very special. You can really help make baseball a very good experience for these boys. This is my 12th season doing this with my husband, the head coach, and with our son who is passionate about baseball. I am happy to help you along this journey….
This is how it has worked for us.
First, I get a copy of our players, parent phone numbers, and email addresses. If you are married to your head coach, this information should come easy to you. If you are not married to your head coach and/or working with someone else, then please make sure you get this information. In our situation, we get our roster and parent information and our practices start almost immediately. So my hubby/coach has to call the families pretty quickly so they know what day to show up for practice. Usually there is a team meeting the night of the first practice (or whenever your coach chooses) … so please make sure to attend so you meet the parents and say hello.
After the coach’s first introduction, either by call, email, or parent meeting, I usually send everyone an email further introducing myself. Please include your cell phone number in every email in case parents need to contact you.
In your introductory email, you want to pack in as much information as possible. The questions that every parent has is,
When is the game schedule coming out?
When do we bring snacks and drinks for our team?
I will answer these questions… usually in our case, the game schedule doesn’t come out for another week or so, and I will assure them I will get it to them as soon as it comes out. Then, at that time I will coordinate post-game snacks and drinks.
Ask if anyone has any food allergies
ask that the Medical Release Form be filled out and turned back in to you (if applicable)
Ask for their cell phone number
We have started to ask for our parent’s cell phone numbers for a texting list. Parents really appreciate this. This is great to communicate those last minute cancellations or field changes that needed to be communicated immediately. Especially when you are on a travel team or moving around from one location to another, it is important to have that direct line of communication. Texting is even more efficient than email. There are team communication apps to assist with this now but require a sign up or install, and cost. If parents have to sign up, register their number, or install an app, we have found, you only get half of them. You’ll have to text or email out the important message anyway.
Also in your introductory email, include information about screen printing names and numbers on the back of the jerseys. (if it applies to you-see below)
In Recreational baseball: At the first practice, it is important to get every player’s desired number for the back of the jersey. In some situations we have been given jerseys with numbers 1-12 to pass out, in other cases the boys can choose any number they want. It is important to research the t-shirt screen printing places in your area. We had some that charge as high as $7.50 to screen print a name (numbers were already on) on the back of the jersey but can have it done in 48 hours. Then, we have some that will take as long as two and a half weeks. I am not happy with the high cost and it definitely should not take 2½ weeks. Even the store owner was mortified at this time frame and gave us the screen printing cost for free. The perfect situation is to find someone that can do it for around $5 and can do it very quickly. A few days seems acceptable but the trick is to get started early so you’ll have time to get your jersey back before the first game. Remember there are several other teams turning their shirts to be screen printed also.
We are now on a ‘Select’ Baseball team at our park, so they are handling uniforms and screen printing. Just this morning, I just got an email saying that we all have to pay a small fee for the cost of putting names and numbers on jerseys, and monogramming numbers on hats. The cost? $10. And so it goes…
Some leagues require a medical release form to be filled out by each parent with a doctor’s contact information, parent info, and date of last tetanus booster in case of an emergency. Parents can return these to you at practice or email these to you for their convenience (and you can print them out). It is necessary to make sure you get one from every parent. I usually keep a notebook with these forms, game schedule, and snack/drink schedule in a small notebook and in my bag. That way I’m always prepared if anyone has a question.
Our league also asks each family on our teams to provide snacks and drinks for after one of the games in the season. I always ALWAYS let my parents sign up for whatever game works for them because if they know the time that they will be out of town or will not be able to attend games, it take the stress out of not having to worry about switching around with another family for snack. This is just my personal preference. I do not like being signed up for something and then it falling on a weekend if I can’t be there. It happens every time. Then it’s just one more thing to have to worry about. Usually, all my families will respond to sign up within the day. I do have a couple of parents that will say, “just sign me up wherever” so I will just put them in the missing weeks. I like to give them the option to sign up for what works for them. I feel it is more respectful of their time.
If a parent does not sign up for snack, I’ll ask them if they can take a particular game. They will always say yes. I have found that parents are happy to help. If you are nice, they’ll be nice, too. I assure them that I will send them an email reminder 1-2 days prior to their scheduled game. I found they are thankful for this, too.
I feel that coaching or being a team mom is an outreach to our community. It is an opportunity to touch lives. You never really know what kind of home that these kids are coming from. Some don’t have good situations at home, even if you live in a nice area. Some have parents dealing with divorce, or illness, or a disability. Some have hardships beyond our comprehension. Some have never played baseball before and are scared to death. Some don’t have dads at home to work with them or to simply play catch. Baseball could be the very thing that lets them escape from all of that. It is our job to give them a few hours a week of positive, uplifting, confidence building, team building fun. It is important to build a good, long lasting baseball experience that they will remember forever.