Friday, July 17, 2009

Day 59/Game 25.5: Greg Maddux’s Number 31 Retired at Turner Field

Today we originally planned to spend the day driving to the D.C. area to be there for the Nationals game tomorrow night. However, I found out that today they were retiring Maddux’s number 31 at the Atlanta Braves and earlier this month we decided to get tickets to see the pre-game ceremony. We never planned to stay the whole game, but we ended up staying until 9pm and seeing 3 and ½ innings of the game before leaving to head to the D.C. area. We got the best handicap seats available for this game and they were way better than last night. They were so good Mik actually did not want to go when we said it was time to go.

We got to the ballpark very early today (3 hours before the gates even opened at 5pm). We got in line and were among the first into the park. As soon as we got in the park we rushed to get in line to get an autograph from Dale Murphy. We then had to wait over 45 minutes for him to show up. He was not supposed to start until 5:30pm, so the wait was not that delayed. Anyways it was worth it and we got our Braves Hall of Fame tickets signed by him since he is in the Hall of Fame. The usher handing the stuff to Dale was like you sure this is what you want signed and not a Braves bumper sticker, which they were giving out. Of course, we did not want a bumper sticker, I had thought long and hard on what to get signed and if I do say so myself I came up with a brilliant thing to get signed.

After getting the autographs we headed to our seats to be ready for when the pre game ceremony began. The pre game ceremony was cooler than yesterday’s Coca Cola Bottle unveiling, but no Hank Aaron, so I really got to say the two things tie in coolness to see in person. Sure seeing Greg Maddux and some other great Braves like Dale Murphy and Phil Nierko was cool and we were closer to the field today, but the unexpected seeing Hank Aaron ranks it up to just as awesome of an experience.

The pre game ceremony began with them introducing the important people up on the stage they wheeled out in front of the pitcher’s mound. They presented Maddux with the last official 31 Braves jersey. They then unveiled the number 31 up with the other retired numbers up near the giant Coca Cola bottle.

Overall tonight was a cool game to go to. It was fun to get the autograph of Dale Murphy even if I never heard of him until I looked him up yesterday when I heard about the opportunity to get his autography today. Seeing a number’s retirement and the retired number unveiled at the stadium was also a great historical event to add to our ballpark road trip experience. Plus the Braves got a great ballpark worth experiencing more than once. It would have been nice to stay for the whole game, but with a Cubs @ Nationals game on the schedule tomorrow I want to make sure we get to the D.C. area for that.

Kj’s Baseball Collection: Ty Cobb Museum

They had two different baseballs at the Ty Cobb Museum. Both basically looked the same, but one was just a cheaper vinyl one and the other was an actual leather Rawlings ball. I just went with the cheaper one, since the only thing on the leather one was the Rawlings logo that would end up hidden when I put the ball on my display rack. The ball has the museum’s logo in black ink. The black ink logo is of a bat with a ribbon around it that says Ty Cobb Museum. Below the bat logo it says Royston, GA.