Take Me (Way) Out to The Ballgame

We are attached to places. Wendell Berry closes his Collection of Sabbath Poems with the words, “There is a day when the road neither comes nor goes, and the way is not a way but a place.”

Over the years, there are private places that have become touchstones of our lives. For me, there is the bench outside Alabama Hall over at Emory University where my husband of now 48 years told me he loved me for the first time. There is the quiet spot near the fence in our backyard where a gardenia bush blooms abundantly every summer, and the ashes of our favorite kitty lie buried beneath its shadow.

We are deeply attached to public places too.  The experiences we have in them with other people create that precious sense of being a part of the whole.  Our shared memories and common hopes create these places of special meaning.

Turner Field

Turner Field

Since 1966, the Atlanta Braves have been at home in the city of Atlanta. Over the years, millions of fans have turned both, the first then the second, stadiums into beloved sports arenas.

Season after season, we go to Turner Field to see baseball games, not ever knowing what to expect. Sometimes, we moan and groan; sometimes, we clap and cheer. We eat peanuts, drink cold beverages, and forget about the road that took us there and the road that will take us away.

It’s good.  Even when it’s bad, it’s good, because there are others with whom to commiserate the loss.

Generations of families, young people on dates, kids with gloves as big as egg baskets on their hands, babies in diapers, church youth groups, movie stars, and little league teams – everybody loves Turner Field. It’s our place.

I think of home plate as being the very heart of the city, where all that is great about living in the Atlanta area converges.

I will leave it to others to do the Cobb County cost analysis.  Maybe in 10 years, I’ll come around on this one, but today, I am sad.

Today, I am reminded of how painful an unexpected punch in the stomach can be.

Today, I just want to buy my grandson some Cracker Jacks at Turner Field.

I am not nearly ready to tell The Ted, “Rest in peace.”

3 Responses »

  1. Jami Wise says:

    Amen! Just this summer we sat at Turner Field on the last day we hoped the Braves might make it past the first round of the playoffs, looking out over the city from our nosebleed seats, & I thought how lucky we were to have a stadium in such a place. I’ve been crabby about it all day long.

  2. Phillip says:

    Well-said, Sister Rev.; very well-said! As a life-long Atlantan, who has always since 1966 root, root, rooted for the home team I too was shocked and saddened by the news. But on the flip side I’m reminded that this is Atlanta, and change, and demolition to construct something else is who we are. I’ll always believe somebody torched the Lowes Grand so GA Pacific could acquire the property for its headquarters. And gone are the glittering lights of the old Coca Cola sign near the same location.

    Not as bad as the fans of the Baltimore Colts and the Cleveland Browns felt when their teams left their cities, but still a sad moment.

  3. Jill says:

    One only has to look through the book “Atlanta: Then & Now” to make even the most unsentimental person blanch. To think that we could have still had the lovely home that Margaret Mitchell grew up in! Back in the 50′s, the historical squares in Savannah were almost paved over because they were seen as a traffic hinderance. Thanks to a group of “steel magnolias” putting their collective feet down, they sufferaged to form a historical society and now tourism is the number one industry down there. Like my grandmother always said, “When it’s gone, it’s gone.”

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