In terms of baseball stadiums, 20 years is not a long time. Fenway Park and Wrigley Field have been around more than five times as long. But in only two decades, fans at Turner Field have seen their fair share of thrills. As the Atlanta Braves play their final games at Turner Field this weekend before moving to SunTrust Park, let’s review some of the most memorable moments in the stadium’s history.
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The first All-Star Game of the 21st century was at Turner Field. Although the American League ended up winning the game 6–3, Atlanta third baseman Chipper Jones stole the show. In the bottom of the third with the National League trailing 1-0, Jones smacked an opposite field home run out to left-centerfield off of White Sox pitcher James Baldwin. It was the only home run of the game, and a player has not hit a home run in the All-Star Game in his home ballpark since.
Photo: Steve Schaefer/AFP/Getty Images
A Perfect Game for the Visitors
On May 18, 2004, Randy Johnson became the oldest pitcher in MLB history to throw a perfect game. The 40-year-old Arizona Diamondback struck out 13 batters — and threw 87 strikes to only 30 balls. It was just the 15th perfect game in MLB history, and it remains the only one in Diamondbacks history.
Photo: Pio Roda/Atlanta Braves/MLB/Getty Images
Not only had the Cubs not won a World Series since 1908, but also when they played the Braves in the 2003 NLDS, they hadn’t won a playoff series since 1908. Ninety-five years of not advancing in the postseason ended on a cold October night in Atlanta. The Cubs hit two home runs, and Kerry Wood pitched eight innings while giving up only one run as the Cubs won 5–1.
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The Braves and the Mets carried their NL East rivalry from the regular season to the postseason in 1999. After the first five games of the NLCS — all decided by two runs or less — Atlanta led 3-2. Game 6 was at Turner Field. The Braves bolted out to a 5–0 lead after one inning, but the Mets clawed back to tie 9–9. In the bottom of the 11th, Kenny Rogers (the pitcher, not the Gambler), walked Andruw Jones with the bases loaded to clinch the series for the Braves.
Photo: Keith Torrie/NY Daily News Archive/Getty Images
Olympic Moment for the Ages
Turner Field is a baseball stadium, of course, but its most famous moment came at the opening ceremony of the 1996 Summer Olympics. All corners of the world gathered at Turner Field for an unforgettable night. Hall of Fame boxer Muhammad Ali, fighting his Parkinson’s disease the way he fought opponents in the ring, lit the torch to get the Games underway. No matter what the Braves accomplished in the stadium, nothing will top that moment.
Photo: Peter Read Miller
Remembering the Top Moments in Turner Field History
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