Monday, January 30, 2012

MLB BP: Top Ten Reasons to Go Early

Most years I do good to make it to five Braves games, so I try to make each Turner Field trip an event. Instead of arriving late to a game that I may have to leave early, I’d much rather go early for batting practice.

Why do I love thee? Let me count the ways…

10. Avoid rush hour traffic. Plus you get the pick of parking spaces.

9. Fun chatting in the dollar ticket line with other true fans. The stories are always interesting, and educational.

8. Ushers don’t run out of the promotional giveaway items. Be sure to bring a bag to carry them home.

7. Its relaxing to sit in outfield stands, watching batting practice, listening to the music. Bring a snack to munch on.

6. The chance to chat with players shagging flies in the outfield. They’re much more cordial before the game, as long as you’re not screaming for them to throw you a ball.

5. The thrill of catching a BP home run. Bringing a glove helps, and there’s something about watching a game with a baseball glove on your hand that just seems right. Better yet, keep score.

4. Plenty of time to sign up as a Designated Driver. The old lady is a big fan, and has been manning the booth for years. Plus you get a free Coke, and a cool bracelet.

3. Take the long way around the stadium to your seats. People-watch, and see what’s going on. Check out the pregame radio show, with Lemke, Mazzone, and Buck. Pound fists with Crazy Darryl.

2. Extra time to spend with your son/daughter/wife/friend. Snack some more, and fill out the lineups on the scorecard.

1. Never miss ceremonial first pitch and national anthem. Often you’ll hear another interesting, heart-wrenching story.

My goal is stick around at least through the seventh-inning stretch, if not the entire game. I would never leave if a pitcher had a no-hitter going. Sticking around after the game can be fun, if there’s a postgame concert, fireworks, or kids run the bases. A postgame swing by the Varsity is always memorable, but these days the Varsity closes at eleven…often putting a damper of a postgame chili dog.

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