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Atlanta Braves Museum and Hall of Fame is free today

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A snapshot from inside the Atlanta Braves Museum and Hall of Fame. You can visit it free Nov. 14. AJC/Jamie Gumbrecht

The Ivan Allen Jr. Braves Museum and Hall of Fame opens today with no ball in play, but free admission and free tours for all the off-season stats ‘n’ history geeks having baseball withdrawal.

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Carpeting designed for major league ball clubs and 7-year-old's dream rooms.

I took the tour earlier this week with guide Dave Barrett, known henceforth as Dave. He gamely led me around the park despite the cold, rain and me being the only one there to visit.

Here are a few tidbits that others may know, but seemed like grand trivia to me.

  • The Turner Field gates are connected by columns. They made up the edge of the track and field facility for the 1996 Olympics, before it was converted to a baseball stadium.
  • The hybrid Bermuda stays green all year and gets cut once a day. “Grows by the inch, killed by the foot,” so they say. Good thing there’s an empty section in the 400s. That’s the sod farm.
  • At every home game, there are 186 seats that cost only $1. They’re available 2-and-a-half hours before the game. Once you buy your $1 ticket at the window, you must come inside immediately.
  • The Hall of Fame portraits are by Bart Forbes.
  • The suites cost a minimum of $275,000 per year, and they must sign on for three years. Enjoy that burger when it’s brought to you. That row of  SunTrust Club seats right behind home plate costs $25,000 per seat per season, and you must sign on for three seasons. I’m glad I walked down there, because I’ll never again have that lovely view.
  • There used to be a four-hole putting course attached to the clubhouse, but it became the SunTrust Club restaurant. No matter, Dave told me. This group of guys isn’t into golf like some of the older fellows were.

If you don’t want to join the crowd at the ballpark on this beautiful and free day, Dave had a few pointers: come while the team is in play and you’re more likely to see a coach or ballplayer wandering around. Just don’t come too close to game time — you’ll have less access to the clubhouse. You really don’t want to miss the view of the lockers.

Fun fact: there are 44 of them. They’re maple.

It’s all Dave! He knows his stuff.

Want to go? Free tours and admission at the Braves Museum and Hall of Fame. 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Nov. 14. Free. Turner Field, 755 Hank Aaron Dr. S.W., Atlanta. 404-614-2311, http://mlb.mlb.com/atl/ballpark/museum.jsp.

  • Admission is usually $2 (one token) on game days, or $5 on non-game days. Walk-up tour tickets are $12 for adults, $7 for children.

3 comments Add your comment

[...] It would be easy to miss among all the red and blue, but even easier to miss some of the story behind it. There’s only so much room on an information card. (Here’s a short piece from when I went on the Turner Field tour.) [...]

Dave Barrett

November 18th, 2009
9:22 am

Jamie,
Thanks for the Great article!! Would like to invite you to do more tours here at Turner Field and a personal invitation to be my guest at a game this next season to get a real look at actual behind the scenes action here at Turner Field!! Thanks again.
Dave Barrett

Braves Fan Chad

November 18th, 2009
9:05 am

The Turner Field tour is great, but tour guide Dave is over-rated. I had a different tour guide and got the same information and customer service. The museum is the real attraction, the perfect place to pass the days until Spring Training. I highly recommend it.