A Letter to the Ted

Dear Turner Field,

You’ve been obsolete since last October. I have spent many car rides looking up at you and what to me now seems like a ghost town. Obviously, the stadium is always empty during the offseason, but this year there was something different. I guess it was the fact that I knew I would never walk into Turner Field to watch the Atlanta Braves play again. I would never walk under the bridge up to the gates again. The place where I grew up watching baseball would not be the same place I would spend the next summer watching games.

Now you probably know I am not a Braves fan. I never have been. Even when I didn’t like sports, I knew we were Phillies fans and that meant we rooted against the Braves. I didn’t always have the best experience at the stadium, and you were also definitely not my favorite stadium because that is reserved for Citizens Bank Park. However, Turner Field is where I spent my summers. It’s where I learned about baseball and fell in love with the sport. It’s the place where I sat in the heat and humidity to watch my favorite teams and players. I watched Shane Victorino play one of his last games in a Phillies uniform. I specifically went to a Marlins game to see Logan Morrison. I had amazing seats to watch Mike Trout play, and I watched the Cubs play during their World Series season. Turner Field is a place that holds a lot of memories for me.

When I first heard the Braves were getting a new stadium, I was confused. I mean, Turner Field was barely older than I was. The stadium, while it was definitely not the nicest, wasn’t terribly torn down. It had only been opened for baseball since 1997, but here we were. The only Atlanta stadium I had ever known was no longer going to be the home of the Braves. But then I learned something else. Something that made me angrier than Turner Field no longer being the home of the Braves. The Braves weren’t even playing in Atlanta anymore. 

For those of you not from Atlanta, the new SunTrust Park is located in Cobb County or more specifically Cumberland, Georgia, which is located on the Northside of Atlanta. It’s an area completely different than one where Turner Field is located on the Southside of Atlanta. This is the same area where the old Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium was located. Since becoming the Atlanta Braves in 1966, the team has always played in one general area of Atlanta up until this season. 

I am sure there are reasons for the move that I don’t completely understand. Getting more money. Bringing in more fans. Trying to win a championship. Moving to a "better" area of the city. However, the fact is it is Opening Week, and the Braves won’t be playing in Turner Field in a couple of days. Now, remember I am not a Braves fan, and I didn’t particularly love Turner Field as a stadium. But to me? A huge part of not only my life but Atlanta is gone. The Braves won’t be playing in the same area at the Hawks and Falcons and the new Atlanta United team. In fact, they are playing 12.3 miles away, and with Atlanta traffic, we all know how long that will take. The city is weirdly changed because of this move.

Now will I continue to go to baseball games? Of course, I will. Baseball is still my favorite sport, and I am sure the new stadium is amazing. (It better be for long it will take to get there.) But it will be different. Turner Field is no longer where I will spend my summers, and I guess it’s fitting. Turner Field, a huge part of my childhood, closed the year I went to college. We both had to grow up and move on. 

Here’s my goodbye to Turner Field. Something I probably should have written in the fall, but I figured it was appropriate to write for the start of Opening Week. Happy baseball season everyone.

xx, jKm

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