Hundreds attend 'Fan Fest,' a prelude to GBraves season

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LAWRENCEVILLE -- Robert Deschenes attends about 80 percent of Gwinnett Braves home games. He was the team's first registered season ticket holder, back three seasons ago. It'd take a sizable catastrophe to keep him from something like "Fan Fest."

Under pristine skies and the croon of Bruno Mars (from stadium speakers), hundreds of minor-league baseball enthusiasts overtook Coolray Field on Saturday, playing catch in the outfield, roaming the stadium from dugouts to the suites and trying their hands at batting cages.

The free, perennial festival serves as a prelude to Opening Day, and it whets the appetites of the Triple-A affiliate's diehards, like Deschenes, who lives a couple miles away. His daughter, Tegan, 7, discovered a latent baseball talent in the batting cages.

"She's loving it," Deschenes said.

G-Braves ticketing sales manager Ryan Moore said the team flings open its doors once a year to boost community involvement. Season ticket sales have been strong, as have packages for fundraising groups and youth leagues, Moore said.

"A lot of people are having a great time with their families," Moore said. "It's a beautiful day for it."

If the field looked supremely lush for March, there's good reason for it.

Moore said the organization recently hired a turf sports manager from the Myrtle Beach Pelicans who counts two national titles as the best in minor league baseball -- in addition to five consecutive Carolina League titles. His name's Chris Ball, but they call him "Butter."

Home stints for the G-Braves begin April 12, a night game versus the Durham Bulls. Lawn tickets are $6 in advance.


Gundoctor1 2 years, 9 months ago

I have a comment/question for some of you folks. Don't you think that there would be more attendees if a small discount was made for "Seniors and handicapped folks. I am in a wheel chair so I obviously cannot sit on the "lawn seating area. The handicap area under the cover is the best seating I've seen at a sports event, but it is $30 for my wife and I to attend. The only tickets handicapped people in a chair can use is the $15 per ticket.Now that may not be much to many of you, but it is to us. Last year they had a buy one ticket get one free through a promotion from the "Kraft Food" people, well, guess what, that's right, It's gone for this year. Oh yeah, there is a $3 deal this year, but it is not for tickets it is or hot dogs and drinks. ha ha ha. Get your thinking caps on folks a few more seats filled are better than all the empty ones now!!!


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