Opening Day at Turner Field
Atlanta Braves - Turner Field
Turner Field was originally constructed as the 85,000-seat Centennial Olympic Stadium and used for the Centennial 1996 Summer Olympics. The stadium was built across the street from the former home of the Braves, Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium, which was demolished in the summer of 1997. The stadium contains 59 luxury suites and three party suites.
Immediately after the 1996 Summer Paralympics, which followed the Olympics, much of the north end of stadium was removed in order to convert it to its permanent use as a 45,000-seat baseball park. Because of the need to fit a track within the stadium in its earlier incarnation, the field of play, particularly foul territory, while not large by historical standards, is still larger than most new MLB stadiums.
The stadium has hosted the Atlanta Braves since 1997, following a multimillion-dollar renovation to retrofit the stadium for baseball by removing the temporary stands that had made up nearly half the stadium and building the outfield stands and other attractions behind them. Rob Arra was there for the first pitch, captured in "First Pitch" - the Atlanta Braves at Turner Field.
The Braves Glavine, Avery, and Smoltz would be recognized as the best young pitchers in the league, winning 52 games between them. Meanwhile, behind position players Dave Justice, Ron Gant and unexpected league Most Valuable Player and batting champion Terry Pendleton, the Braves overcame a slow start to go 53-28 over the last three months of the season and win 8 of their last 9, edging the Los Angeles Dodgers by one game in one of baseball history's more memorable playoff races. They defeated the Pittsburgh Pirates in a tightly contested seven-game NLCS only to lose the World Series, also in seven games, to the Minnesota Twins. The Series, considered by many to be one of the greatest ever, was the first time a team that had finished last in its division one year went to the World Series the next; both the Twins and Braves accomplished the feat.
In 1993, the Braves signed Greg Maddux, the Cy Young Award winning pitcher from the Chicago Cubs, leading many baseball insiders to declare the team's pitching staff the best at that time.