Since 1997, the Atlanta Braves have played at Turner Field in downtown Atlanta. But despite the ballpark being only 17 years old, the team thought it was time for an upgrade. Before the season, the Braves announced they'd have a new home for 2017 — and that it would be located outside Atlanta in Cobb County.
Today, the team gave the world its first look at what it says will be a "state-of-the-art ballpark."
We've already had Batkid and Darth Vader throw out first pitches this baseball season, so why not a dinosaur? Before yesterday's Padres-Royals game in San Diego, the dinosaur Baby T from the show Walking With Dinosaurs took the Petco Park mound to get things started.
You might be wondering: How does a dinosaur throw out a first pitch? With attitude! And it's mouth:
Not so long ago, in cities very, very nearby…
It was a time of celebration. Baseball clubs, located in stadiums big and and small, spent the weekend celebrating the Star Wars series. At events across the country, players and fans dressed as their favorite characters while the heroic Wookie Chewbacca and the Empire's master of evil, Darth Vader, threw out ceremonial first pitches.
Sunday was May 4, which has become an official day to unleash your inner Jedi. Why? Because when you say the date it sounds an awful like the Star Wars' series signature line: May the Fourth be with you. And no sport has embraced the Dark Side quite like baseball. Minor league clubs like the Durham Bulls, Lansing Lugnuts, and Kane County Cougars mixed it up with bounty hunters and droids who turned the teams' stadiums into parties the likes of which have only been seen on Endor.
Now that the 2014 MLB season is underway, many teams are relying on the players they signed in the offseason to get to the playoffs and beyond. While many fans know the big names of favorite players and coaches, few of them know what goes on in making the deal, behind the scenes in MLB front offices, or in the minds of owners.
These were some of the topics covered at the 2014 SABR Analytics Conference in Phoenix, Arizona. Sportswriter and TV commentator Ken Rosenthal interviewed owners, general mangers, and others who play key roles in making these moves happen.
It was 100 years ago today that that grand old ballpark Wrigley Field (and home of the Chicago Cubs) opened its doors for the first time. This afternoon, the Cubs celebrated with a party and a game against the Arizona Diamondbacks. Chicago wore throwback Federations jerseys and fans came dressed in their best 1914 attire. Even Arizona got in on the act, wearing their own throwback jerseys even though the team wasn't around back when Wrigley opened.
For a while, it looked like Chicago would mark the anniversary with a win. But what would a Cubs party be without a loss? Chicago was up 5-2 on the Diamondbacks and an out away from winning the game when everything imploded. The Cubs committed a couple errors and gave up five run, capping Wrigley's centennial party with a L.
Tough luck and sloppy play has been a hallmark of the Cubs time at Wrigley. (It has never seen a World Series champion — the last time the team won a title was 1908.) But that's not what draws people the ballpark. Instead, it's the history. And the tradition. And that ivy in the outfield. Actor Bill Murray might have summed up the Wrigley experience best in an interview with the New York Times:
There's an old saying in baseball that a player hit the ball so hard he tore the cover off of it. You very rarely ever see it happen — except maybe in home run celebration cartoons. But on Friday, in a game between the Brewers and the Pirates, the cover was actually ripped off the ball!
It happened in the sixth inning. Milwaukee's backup catcher Martín Maldonado was a the plate and hit a pretty routine ground ball to third. Except that as the ball bounced to third baseman Pedro Alvarez, it had a portion of its covering trailing behind it: