Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Annual Trip to SunTrust Park - with bobbleheads, lots of HRs & even a Topps Now card

Living in the upstate of SC it takes a little bit of effort to get down to Atlanta, GA to see a Braves game, however my wife and I try to make it a point to take in at least one game each season. Back in the spring when we decided we'd catch a game we hit the schedule to choose when we'd go. Usually we try for a weekend game as it's easier for us to find someone to watch our girls, however this year I wanted to try to go to one of the games where a bobblehead was offered. Looking over the 2019 promotional schedule there was no shortage of games that were offering bobbleheads, but one stood out more than the others. It was none other than "Swanberson". Tuesday, June 11th it was. We purchased front row tickets in left centerfield for something like $22 each, booked our hotel that was within walking distance and then waited for the game.

Danby Swanson and super star utility player Charlie Culberson look like brothers that were separated at birth. Someone had the great idea to merge the two together to create this interesting looking bobblehead. This was limited to 15,000 and to be certain I got mine I was lined up outside the gates 3 hours before the game. I wasn't going to drive nearly 6 hours to this specific gate and miss out! My wife was very patient with me, even though I believe she was bored out of her goard waiting.

Assuming my wife doesn't want to keep her bobblehead, I'll have an extra to offer up in trade.

Even though I've been to SunTrust Park on several different occasions now, I still love walking through the area with all of the team's history displayed. At the center is this awesome bronze statue of Hank Aaron with a giant '755' made of bats. Above is a constant loop of the video of 755 as well.

While I would prefer sitting a little closer to the action, ticket prices in the outfield are just too good to turn down, so we selected tickets in left centerfield. We were wedged in between Ronald Acuna Jr. in center and Austin Riley in left. My last game I sat over the Braves bullpen and I didn't have a very good view of the scoreboard, but this time that wasn't a problem.

I had no idea the Braves would be this good this season. I was hoping of course last year wasn't a fluke and so far in the first half of the year they have turned out to be on the best teams in the National League if not the whole league. It was so fun sitting in the stands at SunTrust, feeling the electricity in the air. I can only imagine what it would be like there during a pennant race or playoff game. It also excites me for the 2021 All-Star game in Atlanta. I'm going to do my best to get tickets for that weekend.

The Braves hosted the Pittsburgh Pirates. Early on the game was to Pittsburgh's favor behind NC product Chris Archer. However the fireworks would start early for the Braves as Josh Donaldson would lead off the inning with a solo home run. Nick Markakis would follow up with his own solo shot. Next up was Austin Riley, however he wasn't able to muster a hit. Then Brian McCann stepped up to the plate with his solo shot, followed by Ozzie Albies. Two back to back home runs in the same inning. Unfortunately most of the HRs hit were to the right side of the field, but it made for an awesome game. Topps would commemorate this game with a Topps Now card the next day - limited to just 315 copies.

The Braves would go on to win the game 7-5. Josh Bell did his thing and made the game close with a late inning home run. Then the clouds rolled in and it quickly began to rain in the middle of the 8th inning. We found some shelter and hung around for about 45 minutes waiting to see if the game would resume. It was a pretty big storm and it was getting late so we decided to make our way back to the hotel. Thankfully we found some janitors that gave us each a big black garbage bag that we made into makeshift ponchos for the walk back. Not one of my finest moments, but at least I stayed (mostly) dry.

It was a quick trip to Atlanta, but it was a fun time. Depending on my work schedule and my wife's schedule, I would love to try and squeeze in another game in the 2nd half of the season. I don't know if it'll happen, but if the schedule allows I have a feeling that those same seats I had won't be as cheap if the Braves can keep up their current winning pace.

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