In Part 1 of our series on Turner Field, Braves executive John Schuerholz provided his feelings about the team’s home stadium. Here we gain the insight of a long-time season-ticket holder. By the way, you can find my article on Turner Field in this week’s USA TODAY Sports Weekly, on sale at newsstands across the country!
When T.W. Lord expresses his opinions about the Braves, they should carry some weight. After all, the 89 year old has been attending their games as long as there have been Atlanta Braves, as he was in Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium on April 12, 1966 when the team played its first game in Georgia after moving from Milwaukee.
And when you’ve been a season-ticket-holder for a team for over four-and-a-half decades, you know something about them and their ballparks.
I asked him for his thoughts on Turner Field and the team’s move to the northern suburbs of Atlanta in 2017.
JOE MOCK: Do you recall the first Braves game you ever attended?
T.W. LORD: Actually, I went to the first game in 1966 in the old Fulton County Stadium. I didn’t start buying season tickets until 1969, and I’ve been a season-ticket holder since then.
I have some memories (of the games in the ‘60s). I remember one game where we pitched a pitcher and let him stay in too long and it ruined his arm. Back then, they let pitchers pitch 11, 12 innings. I believe that pitcher’s name was Tony Cloninger (note: he pitched for the Braves in Milwaukee then Atlanta, 1961-68).