When the Atlanta Braves sent out an email blast with $18 tickets and I found seats on the right-field warning track, it was too good to pass up. School was still out and a 7pm EST start time meant we’d probably get home about Midnight – plenty of time for me to get some shuteye and make it to work the next day. Little did we know that what we were really going to see was the LONGEST GAME in ATLANTA BRAVES Franchise history.

Yep. The game lasted 19 innings for 6 hours and 39 minutes. Yes, we made it home and yes I made it to work — only about 2 hours late. It was all worth it because the Braves won – even if it was a controversial call.

Plus, we made it on TV – twice. You can see the clips above. Carter, Riley and I are walking the plaza at about 20-seconds on the pre-game show. At about 40 seconds, look below the SportSouth logo and you can see us all for a second and Carter for a few more as he walks down to the right-field wall.

There’s no doubt that we like the Atlanta Braves. Everyone has their own favorite player. Carter likes Schafer or Heyward, Jill likes Chipper (and so do I). But, just like the Braves themselves, we all like Martin. It was a little disappointing to see him move to the outfield this year and we’ve missed him with his recent stint on the DL. If there was any doubt how important his is to the Braves franchise, their promotional materials for this year should let you know.

The Atlanta Braves filmed several commercials for this season during Spring Training. They debuted one featuring Jason Heyward first and it was especially funny since it dealt with a partially true Spring Training story. Chipper’s commercial was next and the content and attitude embodies Chipper (it’s also one of Jill’s favorites). The third commercial released featured Huddy and Lowe showing off their new pitches – which look like they were developed by Bugs Bunny. The fourth commercial featured Brian McCann in a deadpan performance in his catcher’s gear. I had heard the final commercial featured Prado and was the best of the bunch. After we saw it the first time, there was no denying that it was the best.

Although Chipper is having an outstanding year and I hope he returns for the 2012 season, I would love to see Prado take over 3rd base when Chipper retires. Various outlets have stated that Prado is the heart of the team, so I can’t wait to see how they perform when he returns (hopefully after the All-Star break).

Carter Running the Bases at Turner Field

I live in a family of Atlanta Braves fans. That’s not a bad thing. It’s turned me into one as well. Growing up, it’s something I never would have guessed I would enjoy so much, but it’s become something that we, as a family, share.

This past weekend, Jill and I took Carter and my mother to Turner Field to watch game 3 of the Braves vs. the Astros. It was the first trip to Turner field for any of us. Before the game, we asked my mom how she got hooked on the Braves.

My mother is the biggest fan of the bunch. She subscribes to ChopTalk (the official Braves magazine) and can tell you stats, trivia and other facts. Since she spends so much time with Carter, it rubbed off on him at an early age. She was determined to get him into baseball. Since he’s now in his third season of playing T-Ball, I would say it worked. Being surrounded by it and helping coach Carter’s T-Ball team, I find myself wanting to watch as many games as I can. She’s passed her fandom on to us.

She started watching the Braves with my Granny (her mother). We’re not sure when Granny became a fan, but we think it was shortly after my grandfather passed away in 1993. At 78, she didn’t drive and we guess she started watching the Braves on TV to pass the time.

While she also watched Basketball, it was the Braves that she was always most interested in. From 2002 – 2006, I was lucky enough to work close by. I was able to eat lunch with her almost every day. She always looked forward to seeing me and I almost always found her waiting in the kitchen when I arrived.

Unless the Braves were playing.

In that case, she would be eating her lunch in her chair and I didn’t exist on game day. When I came in the door, I would give her a quick kiss and she would half-heartedly tell me what there was to eat in the kitchen. She never took her eyes off the game. She rarely spoke during the game. It was clear that during Baseball season, I ranked just below Chipper Jones (her favorite player).

Before the game, my mother joked that everyone always talked how Granny never said anything bad about anyone. That is, unless it came to the Braves. Mom remembers watching a game with Granny, only to hear her mumble something about Chipper Jones not batting as good as he should.

I’m sad to say that the day I purchased our tickets (great seats – row 17 – behind first base), Granny passed away. We never had our chance to tell her how excited we were to be going, but we sure had fun thinking and talking about her at the game.

I’ll continue this story in a few days with photos from the game and my impressions of the Braves, Turner Field and game day. Stay tuned

This past weekend we went to Atlanta to visit Jill’s “Favorite Aunt Sue.” It was a great two day trip. Carter had a blast driving in the golf cart, feeding the horses and playing in the river bed. He especially enjoyed dropping (and breaking) the sheets of ice that Uncle Kevin gave him. Here’s a picture of Carter right before dropping another piece of ice.

River Ice