It’s Opening Day. Spring is here, and so is baseball season.
Cotton-Eyed Joe, anyone?
Yet, the typical excitement I usually have every year has been replaced with a feeling of nostalgia.
I was privileged to be part of The Atlanta Braves Tomahawk Team. Cheering on our home team, rallying up the crowds, and spending time under the bright lights of Turner Field is an experience I will never forget. Especially since this is the last season for The Braves before they move to Cobb County.
Me & The Braves Tomahawk Team at Turner Field
This year, April through October will not represent a period of familiar sights, sounds, smells, and activities that I typically associate with those months. They will not mean spending almost every night at Turner Field, surrounded by the sport that I love. I will not only find myself admiring the game from the stands rather than the in-game action as a Tomahawk Team member, but I will also find myself attending the final Opening Day ceremonies at Turner Field.
Freddie Freeman & I at Turner Field
For 20 years, I have known Turner Field to be my second home. For 20 years, I have grown up watching legends perform the art of baseball. For 20 years, I have admired my team and been a loyal part of Braves Country.
A throwback picture of me in my very first Braves uniform around age 9.
For the last three years, I have worked alongside people who have made a lasting impact on me. From late nights in the locker room during rain delays, to early donut and coffee runs before day games, I couldn’t have asked for a better Braves family.
I went to visit a Children’s Hospital with some of The Braves players. The kids faces were priceless!
When you spend 81 home games each season together, the memories that you make are endless, and they will always hold a special place in my heart. My last three years working within the Atlanta Braves organization has also proven to me how baseball can be a genuinely enjoyable activity that people of all ages can enjoy.
To think that the sport of baseball is slowly dying out brings a pain to my heart. Each season brings with it something new and exciting, yet familiar and recognizable. Each game supplies unique experiences, traditions, and memories. I love the historic atmosphere that surrounds the game. I strive to hear the cheers and chants among fans. I yearn to see the amazed faces of young kids admiring their heroes from afar, and the ecstatic smiles when they get to meet them.
I LOVED volunteering at the Special Olympics Baseball Camp
Baseball unites us, yet separates us. It excites us, yet infuriates us. It captivates us, yet liberates us.
Baseball is recognized as America’s national pastime not only because it was one of the original sports in the country, but because it has grown to be one of the most popular as well. For generations, baseball has brought excitement and entertainment to wide varieties of people, ranking highest among family-friendly environments.
Like a lot of fans, I appreciate baseball as more than just a sport. I have realized that following and interacting with the game has become a passion that can be shared not only among people all over the country but around most of the world as well.
I think that is what I find so exhilarating about the game. It can be so many unique things among so many countless moments. It can mean so many distinct things to so many diverse people, yet it still finds a way to unify us into something larger: a team, a league, a community, a generation.
The Home Depot Tool Race – a tradition at Turner Field
As Atlanta Braves season ticket holders, my family never turned down an opportunity to go to Turner Field during my childhood years. Between the face painting, peanuts and popcorn, and our favorite usher, “Sunny,” we were guaranteed to have a blast at the ballpark, rain or shine.
My time as an Atlanta Braves Tomahawk Team Member may be coming to an end, but that only means that the rest of my life is just beginning. Additionally, just as the Atlanta Braves time is coming to an end at The Ted, they are rebuilding for something far more exciting in the future.