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!
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!
This time last Monday, we woke up with such excitement over Opening Day of Atlanta Braves Baseball.
Finally…after five L O N G months!
For us, it was Spring Break and we were happy! My husband was off from work and kids were out of school. Perfect. The game was at 4:00 and it was a beautiful weather day.
I was so excited that I made baseball pancakes. 🙂
They were not the most beautiful, but they were fun and tasty.
As we were making our way downtown to the ballpark, we were met with many other cars on the highway in the middle of the afternoon! Apparently, many other people were headed to Turner Field, too! Awesome! There was such an excitement in the air of the season to come. It turned out to be a sold out crowd that night. Excellent!
We usually go early for batting practice so maybe the kids can catch a homerun ball or maybe the players on the field will throw them one. We save every ball. I hope the players realize how much it means to our kids when they throw them a ball. I especially love it when the players interact and can be funny. With a simple friendly gesture, they quickly become our kids’ heroes.
We ended up going to 3 games this week and the Lead-off Luncheon. It was so much fun. The Lead-off Luncheon involves the players and coaches. One player or coach sits at every table. This year we were able to sit with Alexi Ogondo, relief pitcher. Williams Perez sat at the table next to us, and Jose Ramirez sat at the table on the other side of us. I was also able to see some friends that I hadn’t seen in a long time, so it was a very memorable day. I was very proud of my children. Not only did they handle themselves very well, they dressed up nice, thought the food was incredible (it was), and they thought it was the coolest thing ever to be eating lunch in the same room as their favorite players. I have to agree.
We always love to see our friends at the ballpark. We have been season ticket holders for a few years now, so we get to see the same people. Years ago, we started talking to one fellow, George, who works in the area where the kids can run the bases. He’s been there now for 10 years. We go see George every game we attend. He is always kind, genuine, and happy. Our kids don’t go to the run the bases anymore but we always go say hello. We found a picture of him from several years ago as we were taking a picture of our kids running the bases when they were small. It is so neat to look back and notice someone in your pictures that you didn’t realize you would know later.
The Braves this week have had more than their share of struggles. They are 0-5. But, our happiness is not based on whether they win or lose. I hope one day soon they can figure out what makes this new team work and find their success.
If you haven’t been following the Braves very closely. Here’s the scoop: Over the past 2 years or so, the Braves have gone through a rebuilding process that has included many trades, trying to get rid of long term high paying contracts and focusing on the farm system (minor league teams) and building them up (home grown) to become our primary Major League Players. It has been a painful process that has resulted in some of our higher playing favorites to be traded and to grow these younger guys properly to get them ready for our Major League team. It is also a very long process that might take a couple of years still, but the end result will be a winning team that will produce major results. The eye being on the World Series Title. a.k.a. the “Long Range Plan”
We will still enjoy the games at Turner Field. We are not fair-weathered fans. Is it painful to watch what they are go through?? YES!!! But, dark days do not last forever. They will be great again someday! Remember the Braves in the 90s??
Attending games at Turner Field is something we enjoy and with the family and friends we get to spend time with. Just the other night, we ran into 2 families that we knew and they said to me, “We knew you would be here” and I will be. One night, I looked up onto the Jumbo Tron and saw my high school friend, John, answering a question for a contest and won a $100 gift card to Home Depot. I was able to go find him and later met his family.
So, as our kids go back to school today and my husband goes back to work, I will fondly remember a really good week together. We enjoyed sleeping in, doing some fun family things, and cheering on our Atlanta Braves.
It was a beautiful day yesterday. Sunny. Temps in the mid 60s. Just perfect. I had to take my daughter to one area park for a softball clinic. My “hubby coach” had coordinated a baseball practice at our regular baseball park, so he had taken our son there for practice.
My husband wanted to work on specific things with the boys. He always has a practice plan. One that is organized and using every minute to develop the skills that he plans to work on. He uses his time well. He has the boys moving from station to station so there is not a lot of sitting or standing around. This is where I will help with one of the stations. We get our work done, but in a fun and positive way.
After my daughter’s softball clinic, we drove to where the boys were practicing, so I caught the last few minutes of practice. They were playing a game called “Two Strikes”.
It is a game that teaches the boys to be aggressive and focused at the plate with 2 strikes in the count. You divide your players into 2 teams. One takes the field, the other will hit live pitching from the coach. When batting, each player steps into the batters box with 2 strikes against them already. They only get one strike. If the batter gets on base (via hit or error) on the next strike he sees, his team gets a point. If he does not get on base on the next strike he sees, he’s out. A foul ball is an out. If the next pitch is a ball, then they keep going. Each half inning ends when the team reaches 6 points or 6 outs are made. You can play as many innings as you have time for.
The greatest things about this game is
1. It is fast-paced.
2. It teaches the players to be aggressive at the plate with 2 strikes against them and to be ready to swing at anything close.
The boys love this game. They were laughing. They were having fun. They were trying to hit the ball as hard as they could. They were running as fast and as hard as they could. They were trying to score at home while the coaches tried to get them out. It was hilarious. It was enjoyable. The boys were enjoying time with the dads that help out and enjoying time with their friends and teammates. The coaches were laughing, smiling, and running around with the boys as well. I was laughing too, especially because my husband was the only outfielder in this “game” and was repeatedly throwing the boys out at 1st base. So much fun to watch.
Pressure. The pressure that parents put on their kids. It is sad.
Today our 2 kids played 3 games again. 1 baseball/2 softball.
The Situation… Bases loaded… 2 outs… Bottom of the final inning. The team is down by one run. The count is 3-2… The batter hasn’t swung at any of the first 5 pitches. Her parents begin yelling at her to “SWING THE BAT! SWING THE BAT!” She glares at her parents…
On the next pitch, a ball out of the strike zone, a pitch she normally wouldn’t swing at, she started her swing but stopped it… called strike 3 on the check swing! Game Over…
What would have been a base on balls and tie game…
All because her parents were putting heated pressure on her to swing the bat.
I find this sad. This is supposed to be fun.
Last week we heard a coach completely LOSE it on the field because he was SCREAMING at HIS OWN CHILD during a practice! Why? This is supposed to be fun.
We also heard another mom last week, who was a self-proclaimed softball superstar in college, telling her daughter whether or not to swing at a pitch as the ball IS IN MID-FLIGHT!
Why? This is supposed to be fun.
With this tremendous pressure that parents are placing on their kids, it is going to drive them away from doing something they love, or something that they are really good at.
Why can’t they be there to celebrate in the good times and encourage in the bad times?
I wish parents could just enjoy watching their kids play…
At this game today, not only did this girl feel like she let her parents down, she felt like she let her team down. That is too much responsibility for one to have because her parents put tremendous pressure on her to do something she wasn’t comfortable doing… She is a decent hitter and had a good chance to make the right decision at the plate.
My kids have both struggled at the plate recently… it’s been hard for them. But today our daughter went 2-2 in her first game and walked twice in her second game. Why? Because of her HARD WORK! She has been taking extra batting practice and working with “Coach Dad” to get better. She could have easily gotten discouraged and walked away from softball forever! But no! We have encouraged her. She knows that her parents believe in her and support her. NO MATTER WHAT! In good times and in bad times! Today, we CELEBRATED with her! We TRUSTED her and she BLOSSOMED!
There was definitely no screaming involved.
Kids need just their parents to BELIEVE in them!
One day these high pressure parents are going to be surprised at the answer when they ask, “You don’t want to play ball anymore?”
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.