Thursday, July 25, 2013

Alumni Weekend with the Atlanta Braves - June 2013

We spent a long and hot weekend in Atlanta to celebrate Braves Alumni Weekend and the retirement of Chipper Jones #10.
Friday was the big ceremony to retire Chipper's number. The pre-game ceremony was pretty quick, but nicely done. It is hard to see, but if you look in the outfield a #10 is highlighted in the grass.

There was a lunch honoring Chipper that day and that seemed like the real party. Lots of Braves legends were on hand to congratulate Chipper.

Throughout the game on Friday, video messages popped up on the scoreboard. Of course Dale Murphy was there on the screen and in person. He was signing autographs on Saturday, but the line to see him was crazy long and pretty much in direct sunlight. We just kind of walked by his table and got a quick view while he was signing.

Saturday was a blast. Before the actual game there was an alumni softball game. Past players were split in to two teams and they played a mean game of softball. There were quite a few shenanigans including an umpire catching a fly ball and it counting as an out!

Some of the alumni players brought their kids to run for them. It was really cute to see them take their job very seriously. The umps and players made sure the kids scored if they were close to home plate. 

John Smoltz was a team captain and he hit a monster home run. He had a good time running the bases.

Sunday was alumni photo day with groups of players arranged around the stadium. Most of the stations didn't have very long lines so we decided to meet some players and get some photos. All of the players were so pleasant, it ended up being a highlight of the trip.

In the photo below: Denny Neagle, Craig Skok, Mike Bell, Tony Brizzolara, and one other play to be identified and of course KO and MW.

And we managed to get in to the special 'season ticket holder' station to get our photo with: Marquis Grissom, Mike Bielecki, Adrian Devine, and Chris Hammond. Chris Hammond is the player who has his arm around me, I went to shake his hand and ended up getting a hug!

Our last photo session ended up being the best. We were the last people to get our photos taken with this group and they were very chatty. As we were waiting to pose for the photo two of the alumni were comparing their World Series rings. The staff person with my camera was nice enough to snap photos of this, I was so happy this candid moment was captured. 

The alumni players were Brad Clontz, Jay Howell, and Curtis Pride. Mark Lemke was supposed to be with this group but he wasn't which was a bummer because I was wearing my Lemke shirt! He was supposed to see what a big fan I am :-)

The game on Sunday was dedicated to the troops. As part of the opening they had military members walk on the field and be part of the flag salute.

And the best part of the weekend the Braves swept the series! Braves win! Braves win! Braves win!