Showing posts with label Atlanta Braves. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Atlanta Braves. Show all posts

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Kj's Baseball Collection: Inaugural Season SunTrust Park

Mik's Mini Bat Collection: Inaugural Season SunTrust Park

Mik's Food Scrapbook: SunTrust Park

At SunTrust Park, Mik tried the buffalo fries from Potato Cutter. He enjoyed them, but they were messy and spicy. The Potato Cutter also has a seasonings bar to flavor your fries how you want and Dad and I enjoyed the regular fries with garlic onion seasoning.

I also got a Tomahawk Chop with Butterfinger topping. It was good, but also messy as the chocolate fell off almost right away.

SunTrust Park

Date of Visit: July 14, 2017

Since a new ballpark opened, we had to go to the ballpark for a family vacation this year. We choose the game based on when the Dbacks were in town. Interestingly, the Dbacks ended up in town for Mom’s birthday, which was the same time we did Atlanta on our 2009 ballpark trip and we had even gotten her a ticket to join us that game, but she didn’t due to work and joined us in St. Louis for a game instead.

We ended up parking in Lot 29, which is what I repurchased for parking when I bought the tickets. When I was buying tickets I couldn’t find any parking map that had the same labels as the online ticket system so I kind of had to guess what seemed the closest. This isn’t the closest, but it wasn’t too bad of a walk up the hill and over the bridge to the ballpark. Also, when we were walking out of the parking lot they asked if we wanted the shuttle, so it doesn’t seem difficult to utilize that service if needed at least to get to the park (not at all sure about the after game logistics of that).

The gates were open when we got there and we tried to go in like everybody else in the middle ones and they told us we had to go over to the media entrance with the wheelchair. That’s fine, but the real problem is we get there and only one person gets to go in with him. So I then had to go back to where there was now lines of five to ten people at every gate. Nats park sometimes does it like that, too, but they specifically only send one person with the wheelchair. Also, I know for a fact a person in a wheelchair had just been allowed through the metal detector entrance instead of going around, so it’s certainly not a consistent or fair process and they are way too far into the season for any excuse to the total confusion for the entrance experience.

Once inside the way we came in there are steps down to the concourse. There is also a ramp to the left, which we used to get down, as well as elevators, but the elevator lobby is before they scan your tickets and when you come in it looks like it’s only for those going to suites, although we used them later to get to our seats and they really seem to be for general use.

We walked all the way around the main concourse before heading up to our seats. Overall we found it felt too small and crowded. That may partially have been because it was a Friday fireworks and bobblehead game, so a lot of people were there and there early. However, it really is nowhere near as wide a concourse as say like Nationals Park, which also can be crowded at times but it takes many more people to do it. Also, there are a lot of lines for team stores taking up space, which were almost Opening Day type bad that we never even went into the big team store and just got our bat and ball at the little shop by our seats in Section 339.

The one thing that we liked about the main concourse was the monument area, which seems to basically be some of the stuff from the museum that was a separate admission thing in Turner Field. It is kind of nice that it is now accessed as really a feature of the ballpark, but then it ends up more crowded and it’s kind of more like walking through the numbers at Yankee Stadium except it isn’t manned (or even have signs) to make it so that traffic flows in just one direction, which it appears is how it is designed to be done.

Overall our impressions of SunTrust Park were that it’s not a better ballpark and in fact worse. However, the actual view and seats were as good if not better, so at least the actual game experience is still good. Of course, it would’ve been better if the Dbacks won, but at least it was a close game the whole time.

Of course, Mik was happy they had cupholders for each spot in the wheelchair row. It even gets a bonus on the cupholder rating because the folding chairs in the wheelchair row also have one on them.

Destination Info:
SunTrust Park
755 Battery Avenue Southeast
Atlanta, GA 30339

Friday, June 28, 2013

Kj's Baseball Collection: 1993-2012 Chipper Jones

Chipper Jones Baseball
I did not even think of getting a baseball when we were at the Chipper Jones Number Retirement game because I remember them having nothing special back in 2009 when we went to Maddux's number retirement.  However, I guess because Chipper Jones was a much more major player for the team they did have merchandise (or they have learned from people wanting to buy stuff and there being nothing) including a baseball with an image of Chipper Jones and the years he was active/a Brave.

Mik's Mini Ballplayer Collection: Chipper Jones

Chipper Jones Mini FigureThe Chipper Jones mini figure was the obvious choice for Mik to get for his mini ballplayer collection when we went to the Chipper Jones Number Retirement game.  It was from the generation one series that was released last year rather than this year's series and was overpriced at $20 vs. the normal $12.99, but it makes sense for his collection and there likely will not be another one featuring him and the other players/generation two figures may be around on another visit.

Accessibility Review: Turner Field Section 229/231

Chipper Jones #10On June 28, 2013, we went to the Dbacks @ Braves game.  Mik wanted to go to the game as soon as he found out that the one time the Dbacks were in town at the new closest MLB ballpark for us (4 hours vs. when we were only 2 hours from Phoenix) was also when they were retiring Chipper Jones jersey (only one of Mik's favorite players that was never a Dback or a pitcher).  I put off getting the tickets for awhile since we did not know our flights for our Disney Cruise until late April.  Once I knew we would be back in barely more than enough time to get to Atlanta for the game I found the game sold out when I went to the regular online ticket buying, but when I clicked the accessible link and went through the chat process to purchase there were still wheelchair seats with the best available being in 229.

No Cup Holder
Not sure if the seats have been changed throughout the park since 2009 or it is just the 200 level, but they now have seats that can be folded and swung to the side out of the way every two or three spaces for the accessible rows.  That seems to be an improvement, but sadly still no cup holders and it is annoying with the regular seats in that section having them.
View from 229/231

The view from our seats was not bad, but the scoreboard was partially blocked.  Mostly that did not matter, but during the Chipper Jones number retiring ceremony it was annoying to not be able to see what was going on on the field due to only seeing the bottom half of the scoreboard.  Since the row is raised up a good amount from the section, heads do not get in the way, but it also leads to it being mainly just an obstructed scoreboard view for the accessible row.  They attempt to fix this problem with television screens, but the one in our section was not on and there was nothing they could do about it (or even say that it was broken).  What is really sad is now that I look at the ballpark map, I believe we got seated in 231 and not our ticketed section of 229 and that TV worked.

Mik Food Scrapbook: Corn Dog @ Turner Field

Corn DogMik was not sure what to have at the ballpark after referring to his post from 2009.  He considered some waffle fries, but he wanted something more than that, so Dad and I walked to the stands near our seats to see what we could find for him to try.  We decided to get him a corn dog, which he ended up enjoying and did not need any waffle fries in the end.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Kj's Baseball Collection: Braves Spring Training 2013

Braves Spring Training 2013 Baseball
After being somewhat disappointed in the Nationals Spring Training ball option, which I probably would not have gotten if it was not my favorite team, I was really excited to find a cool one when we went to see the Nats play the Braves at Champion Stadium.  The ball features a Spring Training 2013 logo with palm trees and says Grapefruit League.  The Braves logo is kind of hidden in the logo, but as a non-Braves fan I do not mind that at all.

Mik's Mini Bat Collection: Brave Team Signatures

Braves Mini Bat
Before we left for the spring training trip Mik said he was not going to get any mini bats unless they were of the parks or really cool.  Apparently, this one with the signatures of several Braves players was a design he thought qualified as really cool as he just had to have it when he saw it.  It is actually a 2012 Braves mini bat design and his reasoning for getting it was that it has Chipper Jones on it, which is sort of special with him now retired.
Braves Mini Bat

Mik's Food Scrapbook: Champion Stadium

Champion Stadium
There were quite a few food items that appealed to Mik as we walked around Champion Stadium.  At first he was really into getting the brisket sandwich basket.  However, once he found out there was a cheese pretzel dog he had to have that, as he is a huge pretzel dog fan.  He really enjoyed it, although it ended up being quite messy with the cheese oozing out as he ate it.
Champion Stadium

The evening was a little windy and cool, so he also was glad that Dad found hot chocolate for him to warm up with.  He did not say what he thought of it, but it must have been at least okay or he was really cold because he downed it pretty fast (Dad taste tested to check it was not too hot before giving it to Mik).

Accessibility Review: Champion Stadium

Champion StadiumTonight we went to see the Nationals play the Braves at Champion Stadium located at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World.  We were staying at Disney World, so we could have taken the bus transportation they offer from resorts to the ESPN Wide World of Sports, but Mik does not particularly like riding on buses and there can end up being a bit of waiting for them at times.  Thus, we drove from the resort and parked at the complex, which is at least free, although you can pay $20 for valet.  The lanes are clearly marked for disabled parking as you enter the parking area, however, there are not that many rows of actual handicap spots and like our Disneyland experience they always seem to be full and it is just a close to park/tram section of the parking lot.  Since we need the handicap space to be able to unload Mik, we just parked between two spots like we normally do when handicap spots are full.

Champion Stadium
For the game we sat in section 104 along the first base foul line.  The wheelchair rows are nicely marked on the ground for each spot.  The ushers are good about bringing out chairs as needed.  They only allow you to buy one companion ticket and oddly our ticket for the row in front was for a space on the opposite end of the row and not right in front like we thought because the bleacher row starts with 1 on the right and the wheelchair row behind it starts with 1 on the left.  It did not end up mattering, though, as they had no problem bringing us two chairs and sitting together.  It is nice they enforce the one companion spot for the wheelchair rows while also being flexible to allow you to sit together on gameday when it is not crowded.

Champion Stadium
Overall, though, Mik quickly rated the accessibility low.  Mainly he did not like that the handicap section was not raised more than the typical row above the regular seating.  This meant that his view was easily blocked when people sat in that row.  Of course, he also did not like there being no cup holders, but that is something lacking at even some major league regular stadiums, especially when you sit in the bleacher sections.

Most annoying to him, though, was when there was a bunch of fireworks after the National Anthem.  He was totally ready for potential ones to go with rockets red glare, but he was pissed when there was a mini show of mostly really noisy fireworks after the anthem.  Between that and it being a somewhat windy and chilly evening, his opinion was tainted a little more than normal, so I think his low rating is not as low as he made it seem, although it really does make a big positive difference in enjoyment when the wheelchair seating at the top of a section is raised up more.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Game 30: Atlanta Braves 3 @ Florida Marlins 6

Our final game of the trip and our last ballpark in hindsight was not the optimal way to end a trip. Seriously I should have thought of it and about half way through the trip I kind of realized that ending here probably was not going to be that great of an end, but it is still awesome to have finished the trip even if it was at one of the most blah ballparks. Actually, it barely can even be called a ballpark. It is only one because the Marlins do still play here, but it is very much just Dolphin Stadium (technically now Land Shark Stadium, but still says Dolphin Stadium in a lot of places) and as that it is mostly about the football team. It is not as bad as the Metrodome, but it is not the best of the football/baseball stadiums either, as that honor goes to the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum.

The main thing that makes this not feel like a ballpark is that you walk off the elevator and onto the main concourse and the concourse is huge, as you expect at a football stadium. Of course, the expanse of empty upper deck seats all around give the same feel of it being way too big for the sport. The biggest down is that it really is deserted and shows that it is not for baseball.

There are few concession places open and way less than even at regular ballpark. That is partially obvious because they have a lot of concessions closed that only are for football season, but it is obvious that they do not need that many because the fan turn out is extremely minimal. Seriously, though, who wants to go to a game when the rain is often a possibility this time of year and if it is not raining it is miserably hot and humid. It was still humid tonight, but after the rain all day it was not as hot as it had been earlier this week for us in Florida, so surprising not too bad for an outdoor Florida game. However, it will be much better to go to a Marlins game in 2012 when they get their new ballpark, which they just broke ground for earlier this month. It will not only actually be built for baseball, but it will have a roof in the style of Safeco Field and Minute Maid Park.

There is a few good things about tonight's game and the main one is that it actually ended up being played completely with no rain delays. All day there were thunderstorms off and on up until only an hour before the game. I give the grounds crew and staff here big props for actually being very efficient and having the game start on time. So many parks do not actually have the top of the first start at game time and usually they are just finishing the pre game ceremonies and such as that time or the team is just taking the field to warm up for the inning. Here, though, they really did start the game at 7:10 with the actual first pitch to the opposing first batter.

One of the other good things was that it was actually a pretty good one. The pitching was not overall that superb, but the relievers did pretty good and for the most part it was decent. It was not a major slugfest, which personally I am kind of tired of, but there were some homers including 3 by the Marlins. The most exciting of the homers was the 3-run one hit by the Marlins starting pitcher. There was also some uniqueness of the Braves manager and catcher getting ejected. We never could figure out what they were arguing about, but I think it was that the catcher was called out at first on a double play and they thought he should have been safe.

Overall the Marlins game experience was pretty good, as the Marlins and Braves both have some good players worth watching. However, the ballpark experience is rather dull and makes it so obvious that the Dolphins do not want the Marlins here at all. For those that do not know the history between the two teams, the Dolphins own the stadium and told the Marlins back in like 2004 that they would kick them out in 2010 unless a ballpark is eminent. Not at the bottom of our ballpark experiences, as there are worse (Dodger Stadium, Skydome, Citi Field), but definitely close to the bottom.

Updated August 4, 2009: Added photos finally

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Day 58: Atlanta Fulton County Stadium

On July 16, 2009, we checked out the site of the former Atlanta Braves stadium that was known as Atlanta Fulton County Stadium. It is not exactly hard to find and is really something everyone that goes to a Braves game should check out since it is right there in the Green Parking Lot across the street from their current ballpark, Turner Field. The most historical moment at this stadium was probably Hank Aaron hitting his 715th career home run over the left field wall, which broke Babe Ruth’s career home run record.

The outline of Atlanta Fulton County Stadium’s field is recreated with a red brick warning track around what used to be the field, but is now a parking lot. The brick is also used for the other parts that would have been dirt (i.e. the base paths and batters box). While all of the brick is just meant as a recreation of the field look there is something that is original to the park.

The thing that is original to the Atlanta Fulton County Stadium and still remains in the middle of what is now the parking lot is a piece of the outfield wall. This piece is the wall Hank Aaron hit his 715th home run over on April 8, 1974. A baseball shaped marker is placed on the preserved piece of the wall. The marker says Hank Aaron Home Run 715 April 8, 1974.

The main thing to see is the piece of the outfield wall, but you can also find the locations of the original bases, home plate, and pitching mound. This is not too different than we have found in several other parking lots on this trip (i.e. Comiskey Park, Veterans Stadium, Shea Stadium). The markers, however, are metal plates rather than stone like the others. They sure get hot. I usually pose by the home plate and touch the home plate while Dad takes a photo, but it was too hot to touch them, so I just had my hand close to it.

If you are going to do old ballpark hunting in a parking lot only once, this is the one to not miss. The other ones are cool to find, but this is one is the most interesting because there is actually a piece of the park kept there. I also like the brick marking the dirt areas of the field. However, the metal plate markers look like a cheap way to do it and messes up the otherwise well done marking of the old stadium.