Citi. June 19th, 20th, & 21st - TURNER FIELD
New York Mets at Atlanta Braves

I decided to forgo a quick visit home to California and instead flew down to Atlanta to see the Mets take on the Braves for the weekend. I've always considered Atlanta a sports rival not only because of Braves-Mets but also the New Orleans Saints-Falcons football rivalry.

It has been warm in New York but nothing like what I found in Atlanta. Three of the hottest days of baseball I've ever been to. Probably normal for Georgians but not for me.

Very interesting baseball player display made from old license plates located in the hallway of the stadium. This was very cool and an idea for my creative brother Don.

TURNER FIELD * June 19th 2015

Lets Go Mets! I arrived in Atlanta around 4pm and although I had planned to cab to the ballpark, I had limited cash on me and decided to rent a car instead. Hertz had a nice Dodge Charger available. My Marriott hotel room was near the airport and Turner Field was about 12 miles away. Luckily the room air conditioner was already on and set at 68 degrees. It was very comfortable but I knew it would be humid at the ballpark.

View from my seat Friday

Welcome to Braves Country

I met some very nice Braves fans next to my seat. Atlanta has very friendly people. Employees, fans, concessions, hotel staff, etc. How they put up with the heat I don't know. I'm just a wimpy California kid not used to this humidity. Before the game I met a very nice Braves employee named Katie who answered some questions I had while entering the stadium for the first time. I shared my story with her and she was very impressed with my adventure [and the 7Line Army] and admitted to being up late Friday night reading my blog. I saw her all three games and appreciate her support.

Braves won 2-1

Jacob deGrom pitched well but the Braves scored late in the game to win. Another disappointing loss to a division rival. With Washington now in first in the NL East ahead of the Mets, Atlanta is breathing down the Mets neck looking to overtake them for second place.

Young Mets fans

TURNER FIELD * June 20th 2015

750 crazy Mets fans

Saturday's game I sat with the 7Line Army with 750 other Mets fans, overtaking four whole sections in the left field stands. The videos below show just some of the intensity of sitting with the 7Line Army.

The 7Line Army

It was a great time with the 7Line Army. We were loud, annoying the Braves fans and drowning out the freaking stupid tomahawk chop. Thundersticks are not allowed in Atlanta and we were asked to put them away. Here is an explanation to rumors that came up after the game. Being in a huge group of Mets fans in another team's ballpark is a lot of fun. Even though all three 7Line Army road games I've been to resulted in a Mets loss.

Before the game a Mets fan named Chris, who lives in the Atlanta area, came up to me and introduced himself. He said he has been reading my blog all year and complemented me on it and my season. Again another very nice Mets fan and the first I've met that has been reading my blog before I met him.

Honoring Negro League players before the game

Before the game I met Ken and Lisa in the parking lot. Atlanta residents but huge Mets fans. Ken ran in a 5K run in the morning and then got to parade around the field with his wife and the other runners who participated. Both of them were representing the Mets on the field. I was able to get a wave and a photo of them from my seat in the 7Line.

Ken & Lisa getting the thumbs down from a Braves fan

Good pizza

The Mets and Braves battled back and forth until Atlanta took the lead for good in the 6th inning. Andrelton Simmons is becoming a Mets killer. Travis d'Arnaud injured his elbow in a tag play at the plate after homering earlier in the game. The Braves prevailed 6-4 to climb closer to New York in the standings.

TURNER FIELD * June 21th 2015

Sunday's view

Mets batting practice [they need it]

A very hot day. During batting practice I ventured down by the Mets dugout. No one else was around in the stands. Four people were standing in front of the dugout, the first I noticed was Jay Horwitz who is the famous long time Mets vice-president of media relations. We caught each other's eye and I asked if I could have a minute of his time. He came over and I introduced myself and told him briefly my story. He listened, shook my hand, and said nice to meet you as he walked away (he seemed unimpressed but probably thought I wanted something).

Next was SNY roving field reporter Eamon McAnaney who stood next to me and I asked him about Steve Gelbs not making the road trip. I did not mention my story to Eamon as I talked to Steve a few weeks ago and told Steve my story and he expressed a desire to do an in game interview later in the season.

The third gentleman was Mark Carig who is a Mets beat writer for Newsday. He overheard my talking to Jay Horwitz and that I was from California. He is originally from the east bay in California and we struck up a conversation about the Bay Area, Modesto, and my Dream Season. A very nice guy, he also expressed a desire to maybe do an article on my story that he said was pretty remarkable.

The fourth gentleman looked very familiar to me. I didn't think he was a ballplayer, his son was with him. He had been talking to each of the three I talked to. I was still the only fan in the area of the dugout and came this close to asking "Sir, you look familiar. Where do I know you from?". After being brave enough to talk to Jay, Eamon, and Mark, I thought better of bothering the man with his son on Father's Day. After receiving a baseball from a Mets player in the dugout (I don't remember who tossed it to me, it surprised me), I returned to my seat. About the 3rd inning it came to me who the gentleman was. Seth Gilliam. Who you say?

Seth is better known as Father Gabriel from my favorite show "Walking Dead". Once I put the face to the person I was disappointed I did not say something to him during BP. Later I saw Eamon doing an in game interview with Seth on the PIX11 broadcast. I don't hang around the dugout much at Citi as the access certainly is not as good as Turner Field yet it was nice to briefly chat with 3 of the 4 gentleman before the game.

My first baseball at game #44

The Mets got another great pitching performance from Matt Harvey but the Mets bats could not back him up. Julio Teheran gave up only one hit in seven innings and his pinch hitter knocked in the only run of the game, giving him the victory. The disappointing 1-0 loss gave the Braves a 3 game sweep of the struggling Mets.

Center field dugout store

Atlanta's old ballpark

Now a parking lot

This was the fourth "Ghost Stadium" that I have visited this year. The park that was old Yankee Stadium, the parking lots that were Shea Stadium in New York and Three Rivers stadium in Pittsburgh. It was neat to visit the section of fence that was were Bill Buckner climbed trying to catch #715. I remember watching TV when Hank hit the home run that broke Babe Ruth's record.

Site of Hank Aaron's 715 Home Run

Lots of Hank Aaron around

View of downtown Atlanta - No zombies present!