My Baseball Origin Story – Nathan Adkins-Swanney on the Braves

When I was choosing what team to follow, I thought that I probably didn’t want to be a fan of one of the big market teams, like the Red Sox or Yankees, and I thought that choosing the current champions was an easy way out – so I set about trying to form a genuine connection to a team, and I eventually ended up with the Atlanta Braves. 

Finding a team

Back in 2023 when I first started watching baseball highlights there were two players who I was fascinated by, Chipper Jones and Andruw Jones. Strange how arguably two of the best players in Atlanta’s history share the same surname! I was absolutely blown away by how much they lit up the league back in the 90’s. 

The second reason I chose the Braves is down to Morgan Wallen, my favourite country singer. Last year he released a song titled ’98 Braves’, and this track instantly stuck with me. Throughout the song he relates the Atlanta Braves’ 98 season to a past relationship he had with a partner. Lyrics such as “Had a good run to end up with nothing” and “But just like that season, Girl you and me didn’t end with a ring on a hand” hit me hard. Being a huge country music fan I love listening to the comparisons that artists make between love and sports teams – I think this is because a lot of people view sport as ‘just a game’ but to some of us it’s so much more than that. 

Learning to love baseball

Since I started watching the MLB regularly I’ve learned so much about the history of the game, how the draft works and even which stadiums have the best hotdogs! This year me and my fiancé are heading down to London to watch the Mets take on the Phillies which is bound to be a cracking matchup. While this will be the first ever MLB game we’ve attended, hopefully one day we’ll be sat in the outfield seats at Truist Park watching Ronald Acuña Jr. and Matt Olson hammering home run balls. 

Another thing that I have learned to love about baseball are the stadiums – the architecture of those venues are absolutely unreal. For starters, the view of the Pittsburgh skyline from PNC Park is stunning, I highly doubt you’ll find a better view of any city than at a Pirates game. The Rockies are definitely a close second, Coors Field is one of my favourite stadiums in the whole league. Being situated in Downtown Denver it’s possible to sit in this stadium and see some of the magnificent sights Denver has to offer.

Anyway, that’s my story and what I love about baseball. One of the greatest sports in the world is right there staring you in the face. Give it a try, you won’t regret it!

Featured image of Andruw and Chipper Jones by @MLB and @SABRBioProject on X.

Nathan Adkins-Swanney is a guest contributor for Bat Flips and Nerds. You can find him on X here.

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