Saturday, April 07, 2018

Pic(k) of the Week: Oldest (continuously operating) franchise in baseball!

Oldest (continuously operating) franchise on baseball!

At the outset of the 2018 baseball season, the light poles at SunTrust Park displayed the championship and pennant flags for the Atlanta Braves.

Formed as the Boston Red Stockings/Red Caps in 1871, the team won its first championship in 1872. It is the longest continuously operating franchise in all of American professional sports. (The Chicago Cubs also were founded in 1871 but did not play for the two years following the Great Chicago Fire of 1871.) According to Wikipedia, the team adopted the nickname "Braves" in 1912. James Gaffney, owner of the team, was a member of New York City's political machine, Tammany Hall, which used an Indian chief as their symbol.

The Braves and the Chicago Cubs are the National League's two remaining charter franchises, debuting in the National League in 1876. The Red Stockings/Braves have won seventeen divisional titles, seventeen National League pennants, and three World Series championships —in 1914 as the Boston Braves, in 1957 as the Milwaukee Braves, and in 1995, in Atlanta— the only Major League Baseball franchise to have won the World Series in three different home cities.


That was then. Now...

Where much of American professional sports is moving back to American cities' inner cores, embracing local, that's not the direction of the (Atlanta) Braves. After the conclusion of the 2016 season, the Braves moved from Turner Field, their downtown Atlanta ballpark, to SunTrust Park, in suburban Cobb County, a dozen miles northeast of the city. The new facility, unlike Turner Field, lacks serious public transportation; woe be to you if you lack a traffic app on your cell phone! It reeks of unfinished roads and interstate highway infrastructure. It excludes any street merchant presence. The whole thing has an anemic, un-baseball feel.

And, the concessions serve no 'craft' beer.

Now, maybe that's a bit harsh, because it means that I'm adopting the [U.S.] Brewers Association's fungible definition of what craft is and, thus, excluding the good-tasting beer from Terrapin, a brewery in Athens, Georgia, but now majority-owned by Miller Coors. Terrapin beers indeed can be found at SunTrust, but in limited locations, in cans and at a few stands (and the Coors ChopHouse) on draught. But that's it (or all I saw). The majority of Georgia's bustling small-business beer appears to have been ignored.

And, then, on the day I visited, there was this.

Pay no attention to our menu!

Me: "May I have that pizza slice with mushrooms and olives?"
Concessionaire: Blank stare.
Me: "Mushrooms and olives like it says on the sign right above."
Concessionaire: "Oh, that's just marketing."


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