Gridlock Guy: Last games at Turner Field end of an era

I said goodbye to Turner Field this weekend. It wasn’t an easy thing to do. I love Turner Field. I will always love Turner Field. By my calculations I’ve attended over 800 Braves games in the 20 year history of the ballpark. Whether working promotions, part of the broadcast team or just going to the game as a fan. I was 23 years old when I went to the first ever game at Turner Field. I was 42 years old when I attended the last game at Turner Field. I became an adult watching Braves games at that park.

I was asked to come up with my favorite memories of Turner Field. Here are some things that I will never forget about the grand ole park.

I will never forget sitting next to former President Jimmy Carter and First Lady Rosalynn Carter during a game.

I will never forget smoking a cigar with Bobby Cox in his office.

I will never forget going on the field after the game to interview the star of the game.

I will never forget the friendships I made with police officers, ushers, face painters, security guards and fellow fans at the games.

I will never forget the playoffs, the All-Star game and every random Tuesday game against the Milwaukee Brewers.

I will never forget my time in the broadcast booth with Skip Caray, Pete Van Wieren, Joe Simpson and Don Sutton. I learned so much from these legends about broadcasting and life.

I will never forget former Braves catcher Johnny Estrada who would always call me “weather man.”

I will never forget the gorgeous Atlanta skyline overlooking the outfield wall.

I will never forget the smell of the park on Opening Day.

I will never forget the sweltering July day games or the chilly October playoff games.

I will never forget the bobbleheads. Oh the bobbleheads.

I will never forget watching Hall-Of-Famers Maddux, Glavine and Smoltz.

I will never forget watching future Hall-Of-Famer Chipper Jones.

I will never forget the luxury suites and the upper-deck Clark Howard seats.

I will never forget taking batting practice on the field against former Braves pitchers Pete Smith and Greg McMichael.

It wasn’t all good times at Turner Field.

I will never forget getting stuck in bumper-to-bumper traffic trying to get to the game.

I will never forget scrambling to find a parking spot near the park.

I will never forget the nightmare trying to get out of the Blue Lot when the game was over.

Yes, traffic and parking were a big issue at Turner Field. There is no question about that. The neighborhoods around the stadium didn’t always feel safe. I get that. I am truly hopeful that we won’t have these issues at new SunTrust Park. I plan on attending many games as I can at the new park. I will continue to cheer on the Braves and hope they win many World Series titles while in Cobb County.

To me however, the home of the Braves will always be Turner Field. It is where I became a Braves fan and it will always have a special place in my heart.

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