There’s always something special about opening day. And although my entire life, opening day meant going and supporting my Detroit Tigers, this year I tried something different. As a new ATLien, I embraced the idea of cheering on another pack of boys and attended a very historic opening day at Turner Field
As most people know, Atlanta really gained its popularity from the 1996 Olympics. That year, millions of people from around the world gathered to this city for the 100th anniversary of the first Olympic Game. And of course every city in the olympic spotlight needs a shinny new stadium to host worldwide events which is why Atlanta got Turner Field, or as the locals call it, “The Ted”. Turner Field, then known as Centennial Olympic Stadium was where many summer events took place.
Quick facts about Turner Field/Opening Day:
- Location: 755 Hank Aaron Drive
- Capacity: 49,586
- First Opening Date: April 4, 1997
- Last Opening Date: April 4, 2016
- Game Time: 4:13 p.m.
Now 20 years later,the stadium is now hosting its last season of baseball. And while this was my first time ever stepping foot into the stadium, I was a part of a celebration of timeless memories once created here. From Muhammad Ali lighting the Olympic Torch all the way up to me drunkenly eating hotdogs and making memories with new friends, history and memories will forever live in the hearts of those who have been a part of this stadium.
So on this particular opening day, April 4th (my favorite day of the year outside of my birthday and Christmas) the Braves played the Washington Nationals. The opening starter for the Braves was Julio Tehran. This was Julio Tehran’s fourth year starting on Opening Day, so it was safe to say the 23-year-old Colombian right-hander was ready. Tehran is only the fifth Braves starter in the franchise history to start three connective Opening Days. For the Washington Nationals, the opening starter was Max Scherzer. Although I didn’t know much about Tehran before getting to Atlanta, Scherzer and I go way back. The 31-year-old pitcher used to lead the Detroit Tigers to many many victories, so now seeing him as an opponent made me a little salty. It’s always a little disappointing to see your favorite players in a different uniform but nonetheless, I was excited that baseball was back. I was thrilled to be a part of history and eager to see how the Braves play.
Not that many can say this about baseball, but the game started off with a bang! Apparently the Washington Nationals are our division rivals, so things heated up pretty quickly. While I didn’t know much about any of the Braves players, I had to start playing close attention to who did what, who was good and more importantly who was going to me my new cutie I’d fantasize about. Although my seat wasn’t what I’d consider a good spot, (upper deck behind first base) much like Comerica Park in Detroit, there wasn’t really a bad location to watch.
Throughout the game, things were pretty much tied up. The first inning, both teams scored 1-1 and then things were pretty quiet for the next 30 minutes. Then in the fourth inning, the Nationals scored again, which somehow motivated us, the Braves, to do the same making it 2-2. Nothing again for the next three innings. At the bottom of the 8th, we scored. And while Atlanta fans got began to get their hopes up for winning this historic game, Washington tied the game back up at the top of the ninth taking us into overtime. In the 10th inning, the Nationals scored and sadly we didn’t making it our first official loss of the season.
While it’s never a good feeling to lose a game, I was still happy to be spending a beautiful day, eating hotdogs, drinking beer, and cheering to my new team with even newer friends.
There are 80 games to be played this season, and a new supporter of this city, I plan on attending at least a few more games this year. My Detroit Tigers won’t be here until the 78-80th game and you better believe I will be here again to send off the Braves while rooting for my home team (Detroit, of course). I’m a Tigers gal for life, but for now, Go Braves!