After an exciting end to the 2014 baseball season that saw the retirement of longtime Commissioner Alan Bud Selig and the World Series championship taken by the San Francisco Giants in a historic pitching performance by ace and series MVP Madison Bumgarner, we stand at the cusp of the start to the 2015 major league baseball (MLB) season. The NL East division Atlanta Braves are set to take the diamond in their first home game after a three-game set against the Miami Marlins on April 10th against division rival the New York Mets at historic Turner Field.
For all of us, whether we are casual fans of the game, kids at heart or big league fantasy players that live for those moments in the sun at the ballpark watching our favorite team play, nothing speaks more to our shared experiences than enjoying the national pastime. If you’re an avid fan of the Atlanta Braves baseball team, here is a guide to the team, the city and how you can make your Braves game day the best experience.
The History of Baseball in Atlanta
The Atlanta Braves first began playing in the city at the beginning of the 1966 season although the history of the franchise dates back to 1871. The team began play as the Boston Red Stockings of the old National Association of Professional Baseball Players, the forerunner to today’s National League. The team officially became known as the “Braves” by the 1912 season and in 1953 made the move west to Milwaukee, Wisconsin to become the Milwaukee Braves. While in Milwaukee the team, led by Hall of Fame pitcher Warren Spahn, infielder Eddie Mathews and long-time MLB home run king Henry “Hank” Aaron, won the 1957 World Series in a dramatic 4-3 series over the Bronx Bombers, perennial MLB powerhouse New York Yankees. The ’57 World Series title is only one of two in the history of the franchise (the other being won in 1995).
Atlanta would become the next and current destination of this historic franchise, which boasts one of the greatest teams in MLB history from 1995-1999. The Braves teams of the 90’s has several members enshrined in Cooperstown, NY (baseball’s Hall of Fame), which is the pitching trio of Tom Glavine, Greg Maddux, and John Smoltz. The current Braves team is led by fourth-year skipper Fredi Gonzalez and are coming off a 2014 campaign that saw the team finish 79-83 tied for second place in the division with the Mets.
The Atlanta Braves Game Day Experience
The Braves currently play baseball at Turner Field, which is located merely 6 minutes southeast of Downtown Atlanta. The ballpark first opened in 1997 and has stood as a model for future stadiums due to its mix of modern convenience and nostalgic baseball field design. The stadium is accessible by every mode of transportation including car, bus and the area’s rapid transit system, the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority or MARTA. You can catch MARTA’s blue line train from the Five Points Station downtown and travel directly to Turner Field.
The parking lots at Turner Field are open three hours prior to the start of a scheduled game, unless otherwise announced. Tailgating is permitted on the grassy areas surrounding the parking lot, although tents and large umbrellas are not permitted. Whether driving or taking public transportation to the stadium, it is important to coordinate with any group you’re meeting as to where you are tailgating in order to maximize your enjoyment of Turner Field before the game. You can also visit any of the many fine eating establishments near and around the stadium that offer a wide variety of eating fare from burgers and dogs to barbecue and everything in between.
Lodging and Points of Interest in Atlanta
There are many lodging choices available to you that are both next to the stadium and within short travel to the Turner Field. Depending on when you plan to arrive in Atlanta, plan to take some time to not only enjoy the game but also visit Greater Atlanta and take in some of the points of the interest that make “The Big Peach” one of the jewels of the South.
Atlanta is comprised of three distinct areas, Downtown, Midtown (1 mile north of Downtown) and Buckhead (5 miles north of Downtown). Each of these areas is accessible by MARTA and bus and offer their own unique piece of Atlanta, its history and culture. There are many hotels near Turner Field, which is located on the southern edge of downtown Atlanta, available to you no matter where you choose to stay so plan your Atlanta visit accordingly and take in the smells, sights and sounds of this vibrant city while enjoying a day at Turner Field cheering on the Braves to victory.
Located just two miles away from historic Turner Field in downtown Atlanta, the Ellis Hotel is the top choice for out-of-town guests looking to experience all that Atlanta has to offer. Our downtown Atlanta accommodations bridge the best of the city’s past and present together for an experience unparalleled by any other hotel in Atlanta. Every room features a blend of classic beauty with modern amenities to provide guests with the comforts and luxuries they’d expect from a boutique hotel. Furthermore, guests of the Atlanta boutique hotel can take advantage of a MARTA and Atlanta Streetcar stop just steps away from the front door to whisk you away to any city attraction you see fit. Whether you’re relaxing in your room or off to root on the Braves against opponents from across the country, booking your Atlanta accommodations at the Ellis Hotel guarantees you a trip you won’t soon forget!