I’m honored to have spent the last 10 Summers at Turner Field serving as your In-Game Host. I’ve got hundreds of awesome memories and lucky to work with an amazing group of people (here and no longer with the team) who give 100% to provide a great in-game experience every single night. So, as we celebrate the final weekend at Turner Field, here are (in no particular order) my personal top 5 moments over the last 10 years at The Ted.
#5 – 06/08/07 – My first night on the Big Screen. 2007 was my first season with the team and at the time Jeff Dauler was the In-Game Host while I served as the Plaza Host. He went on vacation, so I was asked to fill in. It was a sold out Friday night game against the Cubs. Needless to say, I was nervous as hell. My boss, Scott Cunningham, offered up some advice to calm my fears: “Mark, Don’t Screw Up”
#4 – 06/19/11 – Watching The Fathers Day Post Game Concert featuring Montgomery Gentry with my Dad from the SunTrust Seats. I’ve seen a ton of great shows and big artists, but that hot Summer Sunday with pops drinking a beer listening to one of his favorite bands was awesome. (kudos to Brandon for booking a lot of the big shows you have seen)
#3 – 07/03/16 – Braves vs Miami at Ft. Bragg. The first MLB game held at an active Military Base. The Braves may have lost the game, but it was an honor to be part of it. We were able to take the service men and women away from their duties for a few hours and let them be fans. It was a tough logistical undertaking from Matt and the Braves Vision staff, but everyone was proud to be part of it.
#2 – 10/04/10 – Clinching the Wild Card and celebrating with the team on the field. I haven’t been able to see many post season runs, but this one was special because we were on the field to watch the team celebrate. Former Braves Utility Player Brooks Conrad may not have been a fan favorite, but he was a genuinely good guy and gave me a cigar then a beer bath.
#1 – 10/05/12 – Infield Fly Rule. The game will go down as one of the wildest and most controversial in Turner Field history. The angry, rabid and well-hydrated fans showed their frustration over a bad call by trashing the field. Mel tasked me with the job of calming them down. This is what nightmares are made of. My only direction was “tell the fans to stop throwing stuff” and had about :15 seconds to come up with something to say. The best I could do was: “Hey fans, this is why ya’ll are the most passionate in baseball! (fans: WOOO!!), however, you have to stop throwing stuff on the field! (FANS: BOOO!)”
Honorable Mentions: Opening Day 2009: I was still dating Gretchen and knowing she was in the stands, I may have turned on the cheese a little bit that night to try and impress her. August 2013: Carolines first Braves game. She was only 4 months old and slept through most of it, but it was our first game as a family. Helping Drew and Kyla get engaged on the Big Screen. Finally, ANY Game my mom comes to, she will tell everyone sitting around her “That’s my son!”
Thanks for reading and follow me on Twitter @marko6262.