SunTrust Park shines brightly


Our review of Atlanta’s fantastic new SunTrust Park is now ready. It’s the longest one we’ve ever done (9,000 words), and it includes more photos (60).

The background story of the ballpark is quite interesting. Spurned by the City of Atlanta in their attempts to purchase land around Turner Field to build a mixed-use development, the Braves took the concept to Cobb County, just northwest of Atlanta. The result is a $672 million state-of-the-art ballpark with a gorgeous retail/residential area adjacent to it.

Whether you’re a Braves fan or not, you’ll find the review interesting. And please post a comment at the bottom of the second page of the article to let us know what you think of SunTrust Park and our review of it.

Click here to go to the review.


Turning the page on Turner Field — Part 3


In part 3 of our series on Turner Field, we hear from Chipper Jones, the star of the Braves teams that won so many NL East Championships. He took time from a hunting trip to answer my questions about the Braves’ ballpark for the past 20 seasons. I used some of his comments in an article on Turner Field that is in the current issue of USA TODAY Sports Weekly, available on newsstands from Coast to Coast … but I thought you’d like to read the entire interview.

You can find Part 1 of our series (featuring a transcript of my lengthy interview with the fascinating John Schuerholz) here and Part 2 (with live-wire Braves fan T.W. Lord, who is 89 years old) here.

JOE MOCK:  Can you sum up your feelings about Turner Field?

CHIPPER JONES:  It was just home.  During those 16 years, I spent as much time there as I did anywhere, including my own house.  And, that home away from home, if you will, was filled with all of my brothers over 16 years.  Bobby Cox was our manager and father figure, and he made managing an art form by keeping the peace and protecting us every night on and off the field.  It is 16 memorable years that I continue to treasure and will never forget.

JOE:  What are some specific moments there that stand out in your mind? Read More


Turning the page on Turner Field — Part 2


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).

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