take me out to the ball…park

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This past Tuesday, the boys and I were treated to a behind-the-scenes tour of Turner Field, home of the Atlanta Braves. My baseball loving littles were thrilled about the entire afternoon, from lunch with our old teammates to sitting inside the Braves dugout, though I suspect a great deal of that excitement for Jack had to do with the fact that he got to hang out with his old Red Sox teammate, Lucy, who happens to be the daughter of the coordinator of the whole event. Jack and Lucy are buddies. Big time.

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The tour began with some good old-fashioned hurry-up-and-wait, and half of our group (the male half, of course) irritated the good workers in the Braves office and so we were relegated to the outside until our tour actually began. Can’t say I blame them. You get a gaggle of 6-9 year old baseball lovers who are about to go in a Major League team’s locker room and it gets a little squirrelly.

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Thankfully, the outside of the stadium has lots of cool stuff to look at and climb on; when one is here for an actual game, getting up close to these sorts of things is next to impossible.

The tour was pretty darn impressive. Let me suggest that if you are ever in need of a sure-thing for sports trivia night, our tour guide Erin is the one to call. Sister rattled off stats like nobody’s business. Impressive. I think Lucy took her picture 15 times.

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We started at the tip-top of the stadium and spent a bit of time hearing about the tear down of the old Fulton County stadium to make way for The Ted. Jack found it hard to believe I’d actually gone to games at the old stadium; it’s a giant parking lot now.

Then we hit the broadcasting booths.

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A sense of humor is mandatory if you work in this field. I’m certain of it.

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Yes, that says “manscaping” and “hot line to Rick Flare,” written on a paper cup hanging in the booth. Sadly, Erin had no background on this. I’m sure it would be a great story.

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She didn’t have any dirt on the line of decorated cookies taped to the wall, either. Loving this one of the San Diego Chicken holding some champagne. You know that’s a good story, too.

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We made our way back down through some suites to the locker room. It’s a good thing we were able to see the suites on the tour because unless we win the lottery, we won’t be seeing the inside of them ever again. Serious cash required.

The closer we got to the locker room, the more excited the group got. Here’s our trio, holding hands and running down the hall together. This went on for the entire length of the tunnel to the locker room.

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We made it to the locker room which the security folks guarded like Fort Knox. We weren’t allowed to go in, of course. We got to peek in the door. Better than nothing, I suppose.

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Out to the dugout. Erin the Tour Guide made it very, very clear that under no circumstances were we to touch the grass. This was her mantra which she chanted as we walked out to the field. “Don’t touch the grass! Don’t touch the grass!” Here Jack contemplates the many ways he could, in fact, touch the grass.

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The photo below is a little blurry, but I love the look on Jack’s face as he takes in the sight of the field with his arm draped over his best pal.

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Russ said the caption on the photo below should read, “Theo, ticked off that he left his gold chain at home.” And the adorable girl to the left of Jack and Tucker, whom we didn’t know, endured my boys calling her Princess Buttercup the entire tour, which I think is a compliment and which Buttercup took very good-naturedly. Clearly, the art of flirting is still in the developmental stage at our house. Thank goodness.

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All that thinking in the dugout paid off; here Jack’s shadow touches the grass. Not sure if I should applaud the creative thinking or take issue with the premeditated insubordination.

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(Nope, not twins. We get asked that about twice a day now.)

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On to the Braves Museum. Jack loves him a good museum of any type and this one dedicated to baseball made his heart skip a beat.

This certainly brought out some heavy questions. I want to shake Red Moore’s hand and apologize to him for having to play for such a poorly nicknamed team.

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And, of course, what museum would be complete without a train? Theo spent well over half an hour going in and out of this train car.

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The tour was terrific; thanks so much, Laura Preston (and Lucy-bug!) for arranging it and for including us!!

We have a big weekend on deck; someone is turning 4! Sprinklers, sparklers and snowcones for all!

Go Bravos!

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