The Braves have a lot of great things in store for the upcoming season, and Spring Training is officially underway.
Pitchers and catchers reported Feb. 15, while the rest of the position players arrived at ESPN’s Wide World of Sports by Feb. 20, if not earlier. Starting Feb. 23, the first week of games holds some exciting rivals including the Mets, Astros, Nationals, and Cardinals. The young Braves fanbase at UWG is extremely hopeful and enthusiastic for what the season may bring.
Aaron Gann, a freshman at UWG, is one of many fans on campus who sees the Braves potential going into the new season.
“I think the big acquisitions in Josh Donaldson and bringing back Brian McCann is huge and will pay off,” Gann said. “The Braves have the potential to not only reach the postseason again but to win it all.”
Brian McCann is definitely an old fan favorite, and many are happy that he is back. Moreover, Josh Donaldson, third baseman for the Braves, does prove to be a promising addition. Donaldson arrived early to training and received great reviews on his batting from reporters there, one of whom being sportscaster Zach Klein of WSB-TV. Klein has tweeted multiple rave reviews of Donaldson with pictures and videos that are proof of Donaldson’s amazing potential.
“I think Josh Donaldson is going to hit 100 HR’s this season,” tweeted Klein.
Fans are also excited to see Ronald Acuna Jr. in action as he was the 2018 National League Rookie of the Year. Acuna may lead off the Braves this season as he did last year. At just 21, Acuna hit 26 home runs, had 64 runs batted in (RBIs) and scored 78 runs total for last baseball season.
But, for Braves fans on the UWG campus, it is not just about the new acquisitions to the team or the statistics. Cason Greathouse, UWG baseball player, says that watching the Braves while growing up inspired him.
“Watching professionals where they are and where I want to play one day has really impacted me,” said Greathouse. “Their love for the game and the work they put in to get that far pushes me to work harder every day on and off the field.”
To the fans, Braves baseball is about dedication, inspiration, family and lifelong memories.
“The Braves have given me something to talk about with other people, something I can relate to with almost anyone,” Gann said. “The Braves gave me an amazing hometown team that is all about family. It is always a blast to see them play.”
They do not call it Braves Country for no reason. Braves baseball is a large, diverse community of people, people who adopt Braves baseball as a home away from home. Cassie Farmer, a freshman at UWG and a longtime Braves fan, loves rooting for Atlanta teams.
“I have a lot of amazing memories with family because we would watch Braves games together. Because the team is based in Atlanta, it just feels like home. I am really hopeful for the upcoming season,” said Farmer.
Farmer is not alone. Many fans bond with their family members over the shared love of their hometown team. Extraordinary memories are being made every baseball season, memories that could even make other fans jealous.
“My favorite memory is when I went to the Braves game and got to see Chipper Jones hit his 500th home run,” said Greathouse.
It is not just baseball to the fanbase at UWG. Braves baseball is a place where a player turns into a role model, a play turns into a memory, an atmosphere turns into a community, and Spring Training turns into an amazing season.