Hank Aaron Drive Southeast
Atlanta, GA 30315
May 26, 2012The Braves allow you to enter the gates 2 ½ hours prior to first pitch, which is the earliest we’ve seen at a stadium thus far. Since we were staying with Lisa’s family in Tennessee, we left nice and early to get to Turner Field as soon as possible so that we could take in all that the Braves had to offer before the game started. And it turned out to be a sh*t ton.
We parked in a non-sanctioned lot across the street from Turner Field for $10. $10. Do you even understand how cheap that is? It cost Serena more money to take Mamadukes to see The Avengers on Mother’s Day. Even the “sanctioned” lots were infinitely cheaper than any lot we’ve seen. For $15, you can park your car in a lot owned and operated by the Braves. $15 still costs less than The Avengers.
The cool part about one of their $15 parking lots is that in the “Blue Parking Lot,” which is adjacent to Turner Field’s main entrance, is a tribute to the Braves’ former home, Fulton County Stadium. Near Exit C, in the far left hand section of the parking lot, is a brick layout of the stadium’s former field as well as the entire outfield wall.There’s also a marker indicating the location of Hank Aaron’s 715th career home run.
From this point in the parking lot, you can get a pretty good view of the stadium.
After snapping a few photos of the parking lot like true tourists (there were no locals hanging out in this region of the parking lot), we headed into the plaza just outside the main gate.
The photo opportunities didn’t stop there. For starters, they had giants balls. Secondly, they had large statues of their franchise’s retired numbers made of a metal-like material. Here’s Bobby Cox…and an enormous ball.
We stumbled upon Tom Glavine and became weepy. At the time, we didn’t know that the numbers were made of some type of metal...baking in the hot Atlanta sun. Serena, in a rare moment of giddy girlyness, excitedly asked Lisa to take her picture with “her Glavine.” She immediately ignored the fact that there was a police officer standing nearby and attempted to drape herself across his number, as if somewhere in his retired La-La Land, Glavine would be able to feel her need to be close to him.
While Lisa posed the camera to snap the photo, Serena suddenly began to feel Glavine searing himself into the inner part of her thighs and arms. It was like being a piece of cattle branded by a Cy Young Award winner. After Lisa gave the nod to indicate that the photo was taken, Serena hopped off the stand and examined her arms. The skin was scarlet red. She showed the damage to Lisa and said, “Look. Tom Glavine burned me.”“He burned me too,” Lisa replied.
After the injury, we decided not to climb on any more Braves…after all, we disliked most of the players with retired numbers anyway. C’mon. One of them was Greg Maddux:
Hank Aaron got a fancy, old-school looking retired number.
We found it a little odd that John Smoltz’s number wasn’t retired, yet Glavine’s and Maddux’s were. Both Glavine and Maddux ended their careers with a team other than the Braves whereas Smoltz faithfully remained a Brave until the end of his days. Nearby was a brick walkway inlaid with plaques. It kind of looked like the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
We meant to find out what this walkway was all about, but got distracted by one of our least favorites jack asses of all time.
Did we mention that they love their Hank Aaron here? Like really, really, really love?
After dry humping a few inanimate objects, we decided that it was finally time to enter the actual stadium. Immediately to the right of the turnstile was something called “Scout’s Alley.” It reeked of a kids’ zone, which we naturally needed to check out…for the blog. Of course.
Boy, we were right. Batting cages, face painting, pitching machines…this place was a goddamn gold mine. It came close to being nearly as awesome as Miller Park’s kids’ zone, but not quite. Miller Park has sausages…it’s going to take one epic kids’ zone to beat that.
Also located in Scout’s Alley is the Braves Museum (& Hall of Fame).
For a token (aka: the cost of $2/each), you can check out a pretty awesome museum. We’ll admit that it’s a nicer than the museums that the Mets and Yankees offer.
Just inside the doorway is a complete listing of each home run Chipper Jones has ever hit. There’s a lot of Shea Stadium listed.
Brian McCann’s Silver Slugger Awards are also on display.
Of course, there’s much love to Tom Glavine…
There’s a wall that indicates the franchise’s all-time leaders as well as its current leaders.
Obviously, a World Series trophy and the team’s World Series rings.
The best part of the museum, however, has nothing to do with awards, trophies, or home runs. It’s a train car. A legitimate train car. Of course, there’s an educational purpose for this train car, but we didn’t really care because we were allowed to climb on it and that was enough for us.
Look at how crooked the painting is in the background of this photo. It looks like we wrecked the place during a drunken orgy.
ANYWAY, back to the educational purpose of the train car. Back in the day, before the Braves were the Atlanta Braves and more like the Boston or Milwaukee Braves, players had to travel to their away games via train. This is an example of the bathroom they may have used during their travels.
The Braves have had an impressive history. 14 straight Division Titles is no laughing matter. There is a locker display representing each of these successful seasons, however we took a picture of just one: 1996. Why? Because after pummeling the Yankees in Games 1 and 2 of the World Series, the Braves returned home to their Fulton County Stadium expecting to sweep the Yankees. We think we all know how that worked out for them.
Look a photo of us in a fake dugout not doing anything stupid:
And here we are blowing the whole stupidity thing out the window:
Notice how this sh*t is chained down and we still managed to f*ck around with it:
Even the bullpen phones didn’t escape our a-hole behavior.
We should point out that there were literal children running around the museum not behaving like this.
Having done enough damage to the minds of Atlanta’s youth, we exited Scout’s Alley and stumbled on an opportunity to get free crap. And you know how much we love free crap. All we had to do was fill out a survey about Chevy and we got this t-shirt:
The Braves Plaza of Turner Field is like one big southern party. There’s a hick-a-bob band playing country crap on the stage at the center of the plaza. You can smell smoking BBQ food everywhere. A marching band complete with dancers perform for you. Oh, and there’s a mascot named Homer. This was the easiest mascot stalk session of our careers. He was just standing there waiting for us. He was also very skinny beneath his outfit. Skinner than us. He’s either anorexic or we’re fat. He’s probably anorexic.
During our wanderings, we found the enormous drum behind centerfield that Homer bangs on during key moments of the game. As you can see, there is a staircase leading up to the top part of this drum. We decided to investigate. Perhaps we had another epic photo opportunity in the making here.
We circled the drum several times, each time spending more time lingering by the staircase and eyeing the security guard for a chance to make our move. Alas, she was on to us like white on rice. She gave us a very mean look that clearly stated, “not up in here” and then roped off the staircase. She might have growled at us too. Disappointed, we headed into the team store to buy our merchandise. Since it was so hot out, Lisa also purchased a hat for $18. One of the cheaper hat purchases Serena had made in all of our travels to date.
For $15, Lisa bought yet another beanie bear because the team apparently doesn’t sell Homer dolls. Lisa was pissed.The only good part about this bear is that it’s not just any bear. It’s Huddy.
We had about 30 minutes before first pitch, so we decided to grab food at The Braves Chop House, thinking we’d partake in some southern-style BBQ. Our pulled pork sandwiches came with a side of potato chips and cost us $13.
While we did get this nice view of the field…
…this pulled pork sandwich was probably a strategic error on our part. It wasn’t the worst thing we’ve ever put in our mouths, but it was definitely not the most exciting and for $13 in a place like Atlanta, we were expecting legendary BBQ. Plus, we were sitting in some oppressive heat. Even at 4:00 in the afternoon, as we bit into the sizzling pork, beads of sweat were slowly making their way down our backs. We couldn’t imagine what this game would have been like had it started at 1:00.
We made it to our seats just in time to see Mike Minor throw his first pitch. Unfortunately, he ran into a little trouble rather quickly. Before the inning was over, Adam LaRoche succeeded in hitting a sac fly to left field, giving the Nationals a 1-0 lead.
Stephen Strasburg made it through the 1st unscathed. Minor gave up a 3-run home run to Danny Espinosa in the top of the 2nd, giving the Nationals a 4-0 lead, which seemed to be on par with the last few games the Braves had played recently. According to Serena’s neighbor, the Braves had lost 5 games in a row. Thankfully, in the bottom of the 2nd, the Braves struck back. After back to back walks given up by Strasburg, Juan Francisco hit a double to score 1 run. JC Boscan hit a ground ball to score Jason Heyward from third, making the score 4-2.
Here’s some fun sh*t that goes down while the game is in progress. A) when a Braves pitcher strikes out a batter, a brief, pathetic pitter patter of fireworks shoot off from behind the Gas South sign and the “Bring the Heat” electronic scoreboard keeps track of it. The fireworks proved beyond difficult to document, but the scoreboard was easy enough.
B) during every single potentially exciting play, the drums begin beating a terrifying, imposing sound that sounds like it’s begging the skies to strike down with lightning and thunder. The fans respond to this tribal call with this. Every single time. Without fail.
C) when a player hits a home run, fireworks are shot off behind the Chick-a-Filet cow in left field. He also does the TomahawkChop while the Coke bottle flashes the player’s number.
As you can see, fireworks during a day game are pretty hard to photograph:
LASTLY, when a player hits a home run, the tomahawk on the scoreboard in centerfield also does a neon chop, which you obviously can’t see here because it’s a neon light in the day. Sadness.
By the time the top of the 6th rolls around, Minor is relieved by Kris Melden, it’s hot as balls, and the Braves are losing 6-4. It’s Bedlam. We attempt to keep cool by storing our bottles of Coors Light between our thighs, which in retrospect, probably horrified 90% of our section.The only good thing to happen during this time was the tool race. By tool race, we do not mean that a bunch of douchebags got onto the field and started to run around like a pack of ass clowns. We literally mean that tools ran around the warning track much like the Presidents do in DC and the Sausages do in Milwaukee.
It’s even funnier when the drill falls down. The paint brush is apparently a slower runner than we are.
Between innings 6 and 9, we fall in and out of heat-induced comas. We think that we participate in several tomahawk chops, but there’s no way to be sure. It could’ve been a hallucination. Serena strangely recalls licking sweat off of her own arm and thinking she tasted like BBQ-ed chicken. Lisa swears she saw the ghost of Hank Aaron selling hot dogs. There was a random sing along in which the Braves fan sang about hot hootchie cootchies. We couldn’t tell if they were singing about vaginas, whores, or something entirely different. Or maybe all of the above. At one point, Serena asked Lisa if she could just take off her clothes and sit in her knickers. Lisa handed her wet wipes to clean herself with. Which we both did, much to the dismay of the folks sitting behind us.
In the bottom of the 9th, the Braves sent Brian McCann in to pinch hit. He did absolutely nothing.
The Braves lost 8-4. That’s 6 games in a row. Serena’s neighbor turned to her and said, “6 in a row? They’re terrible.” In a strange moment of yogic-like peace, Serena replied, “it can’t rain all the time.” Something she stole from the movie, The Crow. WTF? The heat does strange things to the TBB.
We’d serenade you with the hootchie cootchie song, but we don’t actually know the name of the song, so instead we’ll leave you with the next best thing: “The Braves broke the fans’ hearts, their achy breaky hearts, they just can’t seem to win a game.”