For any baseball lover, the two words, “Play Ball” has many meanings from welcoming in spring to enjoying baseball games under the stars with friends and family. Baseball officially returned with the start of the regular season, Monday, March 31st. The Atlanta Braves and the Savannah Sand Gnats opened up their seasons last week on the road. The Atlanta Braves started the season in Milwaukee against the Brewers and then in Washington D.C. against the Nationals. The Savannah Sand Gnats opened up their season against the Lakewood Blue Claws. Both teams have their home openers on Tuesday, April 8th. Spring is a great time to get reacquainted with baseball and to check out the teams as well as help build excitement for the new season.
Savannah Sand Gnats
The Savannah Sand Gnats play in the South Atlantic League in the Southern Division. The Sand Gnats were the 2013 Southern Atlantic League Champions with a record of 77-61. The team is coached again this year by Luis Rojas. The Sand Gnats opened up the season away against the Lakewood Blue Claws. This season, Savannah has an extra reason to cheer on the team as local pitcher, John Michael Gant is playing for the team. In fact, he pitched the team to a 10-1 win over the Blue Claws on April 4th. As of April 6th, the Sand Gnats have a 1-2 record. Their home opener is actually a double header (to make up for at least one postponed game) yesterday, Tuesday, April 8th against the August Green Jackets. The first game starts at 5:35 with the second game immediately following.
The Atlanta Braves
The major league baseball team in Georgia is The Atlanta Braves have started off the season with a 4-1 record. Yesterday, Tuesday, April 8th was the team’s home opener against the New York Mets at Turner Field. Aaron Harang will be the home opener starting pitcher. The Braves had a great 2013 season! They finished first in the National League East with a 96-66 record under manager Fredi Gonzalez. They made it to the Division playoffs in 2013, but lost the series to the Los Angeles Dodgers. The Braves have won the World Series in 1957 and 1995 and have been to the playoffs multiple times in the past 20 years. This year’s Brave’s team is very similar to last year’s team. There haven’t been many changes to the line-up. Key players, Justin Upton, B.J. Upton, Alex Wood, Jason Heyward and Freddie Freeman will be key components to the Braves coming back and winning the National League Eastern Division this year. The Braves having been playing at Turner Field built for the 1996 Atlanta Olympics since 1997. However, they will be moving to a new stadium in Cobb County, outside of Atlanta in 2017.
Good Luck to both teams in the 2014. Get out and support the teams and enjoy some peanut, popcorn and cracker jacks!