Tim Bectel watched the first pitch thrown at SunTrust Park on Friday just steps outside the stadium in The Battery Atlanta.
The Atlanta Braves have played only two games at SunTrust Park, but so far they seem to be enjoying their new home entering the third game of a four-game set Sunday against the San Diego Padres.
Fireworks before and after the main event. A gentle, understated delivery of the national anthem by Phillip Phillips, the former American Idol victor from Albany, Ga.
San Diego (5-8) needs a well-pitched game because the Padres have been outscored 18-6 in the series as the Braves (5-6) stretched their winning streak to four games.
San Diego Padres' Austin Hedges (18) celebrates after hitting a two-run home run in the second inning of a baseball game against the Atlanta Braves, Saturday, April 15, 2017, in Atlanta.
"We really wanted this crowd to leave here happy". "I can not imagine a Braves game without him". "I'm up on him right now". "I was born 10 years too early". At the time, Braves Club President John Schuerholz said that Turner Field, where the team played from 1997 until the end of last season, needed "hundreds of millions of dollars of upgrades".
First putout. First hit.
His first-ever game was a Reds-Cubs matchup in Chicago as a kid (he can't remember exactly what age) and boasts that he and his dad once saw four games in one day - two doubleheaders in Chicago, then up the road in Milwaukee.
"I obviously got here right when the gates opened".
Of course, the Braves being the Braves, such euphoria was short-lived.
Colon started and pitched three innings in an exhibition game at SunTrust Park - his 45th major league ballpark - to close spring training, so he'll be familiar with the mound and environment.
The tie held until the fourth, when the Braves put together a two-out rally of their own.
Knoxville native Michael Noce was certainly happy to visit the new park for the opener.
Despite living in the Atlanta area for much of his adult life, he has ushered at Tennessee football games at Neyland Stadium for more than 40 years. "But I had to see this place".
Starting off the year by playing catch up may not have been their game-plan for their 2017 season.
So. his take on the new home of the Braves?
There was plenty of pomp before the game as the Braves moved into the suburban stadium, which replaced their downtown home of the last two decades, Turner Field. There were some reported issues with Uber though; several reports surfaced of the app not working in the vicinity of the stadium before the game, causing many to hail cabs.
A small town with a state-of-the-art stadium. "It was a great way to get everything started here".