I am posting this from my hotel room in downtown Atlanta, but I first entered a good deal of it into my legacy tablet 30,000 feet over the Colorado Rockies and the Mississippi basin. I am excited to be here, and excited for tomorrow’s game, and yet at the same time, I do go into this leg of my ballpark tour with a fair amount of trepidation. I’ve alluded to this in the past, but for a long time I took a very dim view of any team that chose a stereotypical team name, logo, or cheer. In Major League Baseball, the two biggest offenders are the Cleveland Indians and the Atlanta Braves.
So great was my indignant outrage in ’95, I didn’t even watch the World Series when those two franchises faced off. Since then, Atlanta has enjoyed much more success on the diamond, and have therefore recieved the brunt of my enmity. Even as recently as 2009, I distinctly remember declaring my “grand” tour to be halfway complete during those three days between the game in Miami and the one in Tampa Bay—in other words, after ballpark number 14, implying that I would consider the tour “finished” after #28. Obviously, my feelings have softened considerably since then. After all, I have been to Cleveland and am in Atlanta.
Still… I’m not completely comfortable about these two. As I’ve said before, I wanted to get to the Civil Rights Game, and it was convenient that it is being held in a city I need to cross off my list anyways, but also figuring in that decision was the thought that just maybe—in an event designed to celebrate victories (on the field and off) over bigotry, intolerance and other similar forms of ignorance—the Braves might just see fit to go light on their tomahawk chops.