This last Sunday, Atlanta residents said goodbye, not just to a baseball field, but to an long loved baseball era. The Braves have been calling Turner Field their home since before the majority of North Springs students were born, and as a girl who bleeds red, white, and blue, and whose main form of exercise is the Tomahawk Chop, saying goodbye to my home-away-from-home was one of the hardest things I’ve done in many years.
One of the only redeeming qualities of going to the Braves game last Sunday was the fact the Braves pulled off a win against the Detroit Tigers. However, my experience was somewhat ruined by the fact the other people in my section would not allow us super fans to stand up during the game. “I really feel where you guys are coming from. I want to stand too, I mean come on, it’s the last freaking game,” said the guys behind us, who had driven all the way from Auburn to say their farewells to the “Ted.”
The win was followed by a crazy dance party, after which it was announced that baseball legend Hank Aaron would be throwing the ceremonious last pitch at Turner Field. It was truly an amazing experience just to be in the same building as someone as significant as Aaron, and the applause when he threw the ball was deafening. This pitch was followed by Aaron removing Home Plate from the dirt and bringing it to a bus, in which it would be transported to the Braves’ new home, SunTrust Park.
After the excitement from seeing Hank Aaron had died down, it was announced that representatives from all the states that make up “Braves Nation,” which includes Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee, Mississippi, North Carolina, and South Carolina, would be marching around the field and meeting in the middle. This entire ceremony felt rather useless. “We just spent 25 minutes watching people march around the field,” said Sophomore Leo Sachs. It was during this ceremony we decided to leave the stadium and hopefully beat the traffic.
Overall, the final day at Turner Field was full of ups and downs. However nice SunTrust Park may be, it will be hard to build up the same culture that exists from the second you enter the gates to Turner Field to the second you walk out of them. At the end of the day, there was only one way to express how I felt. Giving us free dirt from the field does not make up for taking away our home for the last 19 years.