COBB COUNTY, Ga. — The sun is shining down, there's a buzz in the air, and everybody in Atlanta knows the day has finally come -- it's time to welcome back the 2021 World Series champs to Truist Park.
“Well we haven't done this in 26 years where we're celebrating a World Championship so that's a little rusty,” Atlanta Braves President and CEO Derek Schiller said.
For a party 26 years in the making, it's go big or go home. The weekend’s schedule includes a pennant unveiling on Thursday night, the World Series ring ceremony on Saturday, and special gold trimmed uniforms worn throughout opening weekend.
They’re just a few ways of how they plan to honor the champs -- but that's long before even talking about the guys on the field.
“If we were honest, we'd probably say we reached the pinnacle, the world championship, probably a year or two before we even thought we were going to,” Schiller said. “On paper, you could argue that we're even a better team this year than we were last year. I think there's just unbelievable excitement heading into the 2022 season.”
At The Battery on Thursday, the excitement has never been higher.
First pitch against the Cincinnati Reds does not come until after 8:00 p.m., but for many fans in The Battery, that party started very early this afternoon.
“It felt really nice and I just felt like our state was one of the best states in the country after winning the World Series,” one fan said.
“It was an unbelievable feeling being able to hug everybody, especially after the pandemic things were back to normal,” said another. “Baseball brought everybody back together.”
And it's that kind of fan support, that has allowed the team to re-invest, bolstering the roster on the field this offseason, but also the fan experience -- improving luxury seating options and adding a wide array of new menu items.
They’re all steps on the path to what hopes to be another winning year in every way.
“I think that's only given us more fuel to go out into this year and let's do it again,” Schiller said. “Once you feel that, once you get to that and taste it, you want it again. Believe me, I think every fan will feel the same way.”