Initially my wife and I planned to buy the special Zombie Night ticket package. This include being turned into a zombie by special make-up artists, an on field zombie walk plus an exclusive t-shirt and some other swag. We ended up opting to buy tickets via Stub Hub to save some money, however it was still a blast to see so many undead fans at the field.
We opted to sit in right center field. Last year we sat there and loved the view, plus it was fun listening to all the rednecks and drunk fans in our section heckle the right fielder (last year it was Hunter Pence). We got tickets on row 13, which oddly enough is the front row. Sitting right there at the wall is a lot of fun, plus we are right beside the Braves' bullpen so we can see Eddie Perez, bullpen coach (and one of the U.S.'s newest citizens!). We also have a good view of when Craig Kimbrel comes running out of the gates to take the mound when called upon. The Braves took on the Oakland Athletics on Friday, August 15th. Initially I was excited to see Yoenis Cespedes play, then he was traded to the Red Sox at the trading deadline. I really wasn't all that familiar w/ many of the A's players, but it was still fun listening to the fans heckle Josh Reddick...calling him JJ (Reddick of Duke basketball fame) and busting Coco Crisp's chops at his fielding blunders.
The view from our seats
Of course on of the things about sitting in the outfield is the chance of catching a home run ball. There were 4 homers in the game, but all of them were to center or left center field. Bummer. At least I was pretty close to a few pop flies that Jason Heyward caught. The Braves roughed up the starting pitcher, Sonny Gray, winning the game 7-2. Justin Upton, Evan Gattis, Freddie Freeman and Phil Gosselin all hit homers. Gosselin's was the first of his career.
I wasn't aware of the starting pitcher until I checked my phone on the way down I-85. When I saw it was Charlotte, NC native Alex Wood taking the mound, well that just made the day even better. Wood pitched 6 strong innings, giving up 4 hits, 2 runs, while striking out 1 and walking 3. Not the best numbers, but he won his 9th game of the year. The only drawback to the big lead was not getting to see Kimbrel pitch in the 9th. Oh well, I'll take a win over watching Kimbrel any day, especially with the way the Braves had been playing coming into the series with the A's.
Every game of the A's series had a different theme. Saturday's theme celebrated the 100th anniversary of the Boston Braves World Series Championship. Everything at the field had a throwback look, including the players uniforms and even the scoreboard on the jumbotron! Peanuts and Cracker Jacks were a quarter, hot dogs were a buck. I would have loved to stay another day for the game, especially since the Braves won again. Sunday's theme was Father Daughter day. I can't wait for my girls to get a little older when I can bring them with me to a ballgame.
The Braves ended up sweeping the 1st place A's that weekend. My wife and I had a great time, but like all good things the weekend had to come to an end. I hope to get back to Atlanta soon as the Braves only have a few years left to play at Turner Field before the team moves out to a new facility in neighboring Cobb County.