Randy Smith: My First Trip To "The Hank"

Tuesday, May 11, 2021 - by Randy Smith
Randy Smith
Randy Smith
Okay, I know the home of the Atlanta Braves is Truist Park but for me that's hard to say. So, I'll just call it the "Hank" after the greatest Brave ever. (It should bear the name of Hank Aaron somewhere rather than the name of a huge financial institution but that's another topic for another day.) With that said, I have now seen Braves' games in all three of their official homes. Fulton County Stadium, Turner Field and now the "Hank."

My first trip to the Braves' new home in Marietta was this past Friday night when Shelia and I were joined by our son, his wife and three children. It was the first game that was open for 100 percent capacity since the 2019 season and a lively crowd of more than 38,000 fans were in attendance.
Though it was a cool evening, it was a great night for baseball. The only problem was the visiting Philadelphia Phillies put six on the board in the first inning and the Braves were never able to catch up in a 12-2 loss. It was a reminder of the days of old when Atlanta was not good at all and I sat through many games just like this one when Biff Pocoroba was playing with a young Dale Murphy.

With the Braves'  dismal performance out of the way, I can truly say it was an enjoyable evening. We arrived around 3 p.m. and walked to the Battery,  an area that surrounds the stadium with shops, bars and other eateries. We chose to eat at a place called Fox Barbeque, though I usually don't like to eat barbeque unless it's at an old run down shack in the middle of nowhere.  The food can't be that good and will surely be overpriced. It was a bit overpriced but man was it good! I ate some of the best brisket and pulled pork I've ever had in my life and for those who know me well, I am a confirmed barbeque connoisseur. I know good smoked meat and this was very, very good. So were the sides and we all enjoyed a great pre-game meal.

We walked into the stadium and found our seats on the left field line in the middle section. Pretty good seats and the view from there was amazing. Whether you call it Truist Park or the "Hank" it is a beautiful facility, there is no question about that. And when you go to a Braves game, spend the extra money and get a parking spot in the Delta garage. We exited the stadium after a tremendous fireworks show and our car was just a few feet away. And even with exiting traffic we were on I-75 and on our way home in less than five minutes.

In all, it was so much fun I may go back several more times. By the way, the New York Yankees will be in Atlanta in August. That sounds like a definite trip. 

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Randy Smith can be reached at rsmithsports@epbfi.com


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