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Take me out to the ball game…a year later!

While hundreds of people went to the game, SRP Park is operating at 50% capacity, according to Tom Denlinger, vice president of the Greenjackets. (Photo by Josh Heath)

The Greenjackets lost to the Columbia Fireflies on May 7 with a final score of 12-2.

While the Augusta Greenjackets didn’t win, it was still a great night to take myself out to the ball game.

On Friday, May 7, I did something that was impossible just one year ago. I went to SRP Park in North Augusta to watch the Greenjackets – the Low-A East League affiliate of the Atlanta Braves – take on the Columbia Fireflies. It was the fourth game of the 2021 season, which was scheduled to begin on May 4, but the weather had other plans. The season officially began on the 5th – the first game the team played at the stadium since September 2019.

Like most other sporting events, the 2020 season was canceled due to COVID concerns. Now that life is slowly getting back to normal, some are getting more comfortable being close to other people. At the game, many, including myself, still wore masks. But there are other safety precautions designed to protect patrons at SRP Park, according to Tom Denlinger, vice president of the Greenjackets. “We’re operating at 50% capacity,” says Denlinger. “We just want to give fans a safe, enjoyable experience like we always do.”

I arrived right before the game began, and the lines to get into the park moved very quickly. It was a different story for people in the beer line. The weather was perfect with a slight chill in the air after the sun went down. Watching the game was fun, but I got the chance to do something I really love: I watched other people. I love to observe how people act and interact with one another. Sometimes I wonder what stories they could tell.

The Augusta Greenjackets, the Low-A East League affiliate of the Atlanta Braves, started the 2021 season on May 5. All games were canceled in 2020. (Photo by Josh Heath)

To me, watching the game live was much more interesting than watching it on TV – something I’ve never particularly enjoyed. For as long as I can remember, my dad has been an Atlanta Braves fan and watches the games faithfully. To me, there’s no way for TV cameras to capture all the sights, sounds, and even smells of a live game.

I understand the basic rules of baseball and know the final score was 12-2, but I certainly can’t provide a play-by-play analysis of the game I’m a business reporter, not a sports reporter – an important distinction to make.

At the game, I enjoyed hearing the crowd yell, especially when the referees made a bad call.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Josh, ABD loves your spirit and intent and business writing skills– but you are correct sports reporting is not your game.  It is the “umpires” who make good and bad calls!

As a former freelance writer, I tried my hand at sports reporting years ago because, at the time, I would accept any assignment that came my way. I quickly discovered, and I’m sure the publisher would’ve agreed, I wasn’t cut out to be a sports reporter – a profession I admire to this day. I had the writing skills, but my sports knowledge was minimal at best.

One thing that surprised me at the game was how many people left before it was over. Many were gone well before the seventh-inning stretch. There’s no crying in baseball, but there’s also no time clock. Baseball is one of those sports in which the games take as long as they take. This one lasted about three and a half hours, which is a long time to sit, especially for those with young children. If the game went into extra innings, I wondered if I would’ve been there by myself. I had a great time, and I plan to attend more games this season.



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