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Opinion: Braves abandon Atlanta, I abandon Braves

NEED TO KNOW
  • The Atlanta Braves are moving to a new stadium in the city suburbs
  • Josh Jackson, an Atlanta writer and editor, isn't happy about it
  • So much so, he's giving up baseball altogether
Opinion: Braves abandon Atlanta, I abandon Braves
Josh Jackson Paste

Editor’s note: Josh Jackson is editor-in-chief of Paste Magazine and an Atlanta native. He is on Twitter.

Today, I'm officially no longer a baseball fan.

True, it's not just about the insane decision announced this week by the Atlanta Braves to abandon their beautiful, 20-year-old stadium downtown to move next to a mall in Cobb County about 10 miles away.

I grew up on baseball. The game was usually on the radio or TV in my house. Before I could walk, I was at the game when Hank Aaron broke the homerun record. I went to scores of games as a kid, when the stadium was virtually empty and you could sit pretty much wherever you wanted.

I was at the last game at Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium and the first game at Turner Field. I still get chills when I see a replay of Sid Bream sliding safely into home to win the 1992 National League Championship Series.

But baseball and I have been growing apart for a while.

I'm not proud of the fact that I've lost patience for the game. It happened when I bought my first DVR (TiVo!) and started to record games. I'd fast-forward the commercials. And then fast-forward between pitches. And then zip through the game and realize this was no way to watch baseball. But then I realized I could spend three hours watching a game live (with commercials) or watch two great TV dramas in half that time.

Then, about five years ago, I became completely infatuated with soccer. No commercials. Constant action. It wasn't hard to get past the low scoring (like I said, I grew up on National League baseball -- I knew to appreciate the beauty of a 1-0 pitcher's duel).

So I became a Braves fan who went to about one game each year and watched innings here and there on TV, yet still kept up with the results.

I took my middle child to the last game of the season this year -- the only one of my kids I could persuade to join me.

But I'm done.

Braves President John Schuerholz's announcement that the club is moving to Marietta because the 20-year-old stadium is apparently crumbling is the final nail.

If the Braves abandon Atlanta for the suburbs, I feel no compelling reason to follow.

Four decades of fandom was enough.

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