The stands remain full at Turner Field, even with the game waning. Normally, people begin streaming toward the exits in a game’s latter innings, hoping to get a hop ahead of the traffic that follows a game. But not today.
Instead, people who have registered to walk the field after the game are forming a remarkably long line. They’re waiting for that last pitch, that last chance to walk the same turf where their favorites walked.
“I can’t miss this chance” to walk on the field, said Joe Ramsey, of Atlanta. “When will I get a shot at this?”
At the top of the 9th inning Atlanta held a 1-0 lead over the Detroit Tigers.
As the game kicked off Sunday afternoon, people were still streaming in, when an amplified voice boomed: Announcing the all-time Braves all stars!
In they came – Chipper Jones, who so commanded third base that no one in the Braves organization will ever wear his number, 10; and Andruw Jones, a bounding force of nature in center field; a trio of retired players who bedeviled batters in both leagues — Glavine, Smoltz, Maddux. The crowd howled.
Rounding it out: Bobby Cox, the former manager – welcomed back to the field where he had so often been ejected. And a loud crowd managed to find a few more decibels.
The game - the last the Braves will play at Turner Field - started a couple of minutes late, but no matter. People kept coming in, eager to be a small part of a big moment in Atlanta history.
Stay tuned for full coverage of the Braves final game at Turner field