Tagged: Stadiums

The Art of The Scorecard

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Braves_field_907

Reyes takes the hill tomorrow night to try
and improve his stock for a roster spot. And we’ll get to that. We’ll
talk about Reyes, his performance, and his campaign for Atlanta 2008
after we see how he fares against the Astros (who have had the Braves’
number this Spring).

In the meantime, I’d like to talk about
something we here at BravesBlog.net are proud to showcase as one of our
great baseball passions.

The Scorecard.

Ask most baseball fans and they’ll tell
you they haven’t even touched a scorecard. (Nor have they ever known
you can grab your last minute cards at the program stand for $1 w/ a
complimentary pencil).

So many fans have passed attendances at
exciting home openers in April, do-or-die playoff victories in October,
or even
“middle-of-August-seemingly-meaningless-Wednesday-night-playing-the-last-place-Nationals”
games… all without documenting a single play. What a travesty.

For me, JB, scorekeeping is a joy.

It’s a way to enjoy the game on a more
intimate yet transcendent level. Whether I’m seated just behind the
Braves dugout or up in the 405 bleachers with the skyscrapers, jotting
in each play and noting each detail of the game is an experience that
is on a level only other scorekeepers could understand.  But allow me
to try and convey.

My scorecards are my journals that
document games, lineups, players past and current, attendance numbers,
statistics, amazing plays, and all the myriad of captured experiences
that are somehow better for me than the bombardment of digital pictures
by which we now relive days at the ballpark. Somehow, I’m taken back in
time; perhaps because the art has come so close to extinction that many
see it as archaic. I’m taken to an era where I can enjoy the finer
aspects of the game and try to tune out all the loud and obnoxious
“jumbotron” prize winning games between innings.

My scorecards have been filled out in
Philadephia, Houston, Los Angeles, Boston, Rome (GA), and of course
time and again at Turner Field.

My scorecards have mustard stains, beer
stains, rain drop stains, creases, eraser marks, pencil scratches to
cover errors (on my part), doodles, commentary, folds, smudges, and my
various attempts to duplicate each visiting teams’ logos. 

My scorecards have recorded blowouts (both
by the Braves and upon the Braves), come from behind wins, home
openers, wins during tight pennant races, three game sweeps, extra
inning marathons, double headers (another lost art), pitching duels,
almost no-no’s, heartbreaking losses, and games that I used my card
more as a fan to cool myself in the hot Atlanta sun rather than a
document I will cherish.

My scorecards each have their own
characteristics and my fingerprints all over them. They are a tangible
objects with my handwriting (and sometimes my wife’s) and my drawings
and notes by which I can relive each game play by play.

There’s something entirely different for
me about looking at one of my old score cards as opposed to a photo I
snapped. Not that photos don’t mean something. But a scorecard is my
own imprint on the game. It’s something I create as I watch. While a
photo is something that everyone who visits that same game can
effortlessly snap in a second, my scorecards are my memories that I
actively played a part in designing. They are labors of love as I try
to get each detail correct and tenderly take them home with me, as mint
conditioned as possible, to place in my Braves’ shoebox.

As you can tell, scorekeeping is so much
more than filling in boxes so I’ll know whether Chipper’s 0-4 or 3-5 as
of the eighth inning. It’s about one of the many things that makes
baseball so beautiful to me.

So if you catch me at a game and my head
is down after a brilliant double play, it’s only because I’m scripting
“4-6-3 !!” on my scorecard.

Keep Choppin’

JB in ATL

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Week in LA; Pics and More

Dsc04109Our trip to LA ended too soon but not before my wife and I got to experience a memorable night in Dodger Stadium.

So here’s some highlights worth mentioning.

  • Beautiful stadium. The landscape is surrounded by palm trees and mountains that are a constant west coast reminder. I love looking out into the city scape of Atlanta while at Turner Field but the view from Dodger Stadium is to be envied.
  • Dodger Fans. They were not too bad to us. I walked in with apprehension that the heated rivalry of ’91 would be revived as we came to support our Braves. Yet, a few "boos" notwithstanding, we were met with a level of hospitality and even respect when other fans found out how far we had traversed to see our Bravos. We had some good conversations with fellow fans and even saw a strong Braves presence in LA. The greatest thing I appreciate about Dodger fans is their enthusiasm for their team. They got excited, chanted throughout the game and showed a lot of support for the boys in Blue. I’d like to see more of that in ATL as well.
  • Hot Dogs. Not all that bad but not all that great. You gotta have a dog at the ballpark and it didn’t dissappoint.
  • Atmosphere Pretty nice. We got to wander around the stadium without any problems and were impressed with the casual, quiet ambiance around the field before the game. We made our way right up to the bullpen to see Hudson warm up and were right next to the Braves pitchers. The atmosphere got pretty electric as the fans cheered on their team during rally moments. I love their passion for their team.
  • The Game Hudson didn’t do too hot and had a shaky defense behind him. Penny also didn’t dominate as both starters gave up 6 runs. However, Chipper tied and passed Dale Murphy for the all time Atlanta homeruns leader so we had the chance to witness history. Those two dingers turned out to be the game winners and we saw a strong outing from the Atlanta bullpen. Moyland, Ledezma, Soriano and Wickman shut out the Dodgers to split the series. Great game!

LA Here I Come!

This Wednesday  my wife and I will be on the west coast and Thursday I will be in attendance at Dodger Stadium for the first time to see my Braves play there. This will be the fourth stadium we’ve visited and third one where we’ve seen the Braves. Needless to say, we’re very excited.

With that said, Andruw just struck out (again) to end the first and  waste Chipper’s base hit.

So our little four game win streak was ended with Wickman blowing another save in Miami. This one hurts bad because we had rallied in the ninth and blew it. Still, I’m glad to see another series win and maybe it’s enough to get back on track.

Braves Talk: Let’s get your comments and feedback on the Braves two All Star selections. Anyone else feel that Edgar and Chipper or even Willie got slighted??? Also feel free to send in/post your vents and frustrations about the Braves or anything baseball.

Features and Feedback

I’m including a new feature on this blog where I respond to some of the many Braves emails I’ve received. I’m also planning on bringing back the Braves Hero of the Day but I would like to get some suggestions on that feature. Who are some of your favorite Braves heroes from all time???

Without further ado here’s the debut of

Tomahawk Town Mailbag:

DMoore9335 writes:

Can
you get this message to the Braves Officials…..Because the Braves team of
broadcasters Sunday agreed with Miami writer which stated getting 3000 hits is
more monumental than getting 500 hundred homeruns….The fact of the matter is
there are less 500 homerun hitters in major league history than there are 3000
hit hitters…That alone disputes there analysis……..Bring back the
Broadcasters of the past!


JB writes: Thanks DMoore, I will make sure next time I see any Braves broadcasters to bring up your concerns. I agree that 500 is a more exclusive club. In any case, wasn’t it great to see two new members of both clubs? Frank Thomas and Craig Biggio are both class acts. Congrats, guys!

Elise writes:
From your blog, you appear to be a huge braves fan. I
was wondering if you knew the name of the song that
they play at turner field when Escobar comes up to bat?
Silly question I know but it is driving me and several
relatives crazy trying to figure it out.


JB writes: Elise, I’ve been to three games since your email and cannot place the song. However, I was fortunate enough to see Yunel play in Rome two years ago at Single A and it’s been exciting watching him play since his call up. Perhaps someone in the blogosphere can answer your question now that it’s posted.

And to close, here’s one from a Mets fan after our last series with NY

Phurrballe writes:

Your site is great. Thanks. I will keep posting….Braves played very well
this series. As always, the Braves are our nemisis but you guys have awesome
pitching. Hudson was unreal!!!
 
I will miss Shea when the new park opens in 2009. I have been going to Shea
for over 20 years now and it will seem very awkward when it closes. Hope you and
your wife do get there though before that happens.
 

Of course I am now watching the Yankee/Sox game. Any true blue Met fan is
not worth his/her salt if they did not despise the Yankees too.. Actually, I
rather like the Yankees themselves, it is Yankee fans that I despise.

JB writes: Well at least we can agree on one thing, Phurballe…we both hate the Yankees. In fact, it’s a guilty pleasure of mine to see the Mets beat them even though Mets losses help the Braves. I guess I love it because I know how much it burns Yankee Nation to loose to the boys from Flushing. Keep in touch Mets fans!

There you have it. Let’s get back to some late night baseball from the Pacific side of things. Stay tuned for pics from our trip to Chavez Ravine. See ya!