Baseball has always been a huge part of my life. 

I spent countless hours of my childhood either practicing, playing, or watching baseball. I have been an Atlanta Braves fan for as long as I can remember. Every time the Braves are playing, the game is on at the Nevels’ house. I can remember going to my great-grandmother’s house when I was a kid and her always telling me that the Braves lost, why they lost, and what they needed to do to win. 

One Christmas, my parents gave me a book that had all 30 Major League ballparks and it was filled with all the facts about the stadium. I decided that day that I wanted to go watch a game at every stadium in the Major Leagues. Our family vacations, as you can imagine, are a lot different than a normal vacation. 

We try to go to cities and states that have an MLB team or two, and we will plan our vacation based around that. So far, we’ve been to 13 stadiums around the country. 

The first park I went to was Turner Field in Atlanta. I lost count of how many times I went to a baseball game at the Ted. 

I don’t even remember who the Braves were playing the first time I went, but I have seen some of the best games and made some of my best memories at Turner Field. 

We would always go to Braves games when they played the Baltimore Orioles. 

The O’s are our favorite American League based solely on the fact that my dad lived in Baltimore for a few years. A few games really stick out when I think of Turner Field. The first one was June 27, 2009. 

The Braves lost to the Boston Red Sox by a score of 1-0. I remember that game because Tim Wakefield dominated the Braves with his knuckleball, and Kevin Youkilis hit a triple and scored the game’s only run. I also remember that game because there were more Red Sox fans than Braves fans at the Ted. 

June 28, 2013 is another date that comes to mind when thinking of times I spent at Turner Field. That night, the Braves retired Chipper Jones’ number. 

Jones was always my favorite player and being there the night his number was retired was really special. It was a sellout crowd that night, and the Braves beat the Arizona Diamondbacks 3-0. 

The last game I ever attended at Turner Field was on June 25, 2016. That was the final season the Braves would play at Turner Field. They lost to the New York Mets that night 1-0 in 11 innings. Former Brave Kelly Johnson hit the game-winning home run in the 11th inning. That was a disappointing season for the Braves so I guess a disappointing end to that game was fitting. 

Turner Field is now Georgia State University’s football stadium, but I’ll never forget the countless innings of Braves baseball I got to watch at Turner Field. Next week, I’m going to talk about the Braves new stadium, SunTrust Park.  

› Brad Nevels is a staff writer for the Jackson County Sentinel. He is on a quest to visit every MLB Stadium. Contact him via email at brad.nevels@jcsentinel.com.

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