Some Atlanta Braves fans started arriving in and around Cooper Riverside Park early Friday afternoon, some making sure they were in the area around noon. They wanted to be near the front of the line for the 3 p.m. start of the Braves’ World Series Trophy Tour at the park.
The Braves’ organization announced earlier this year the team’s 2021 World Series trophy would take a tour around the southeast, making 151 stops — symbolic of the number of years the franchise has existed — so fans could see the trophy up close and have their photo taken with the trophy.
Mobile, the hometown of Atlanta Braves’ great Hank Aaron, was always on the list of cities to be visited, though it wasn’t announced until recently. Friday, Braves fans started lining up for that opportunity early, meaning of them wearing Braves jerseys or Braves t-shirts, both young and old alike.
“We got here at about 2:30,” Patrick Byrne, accompanied by his son, MacGuire, both wearing Braves jerseys, said after having their photo taken with the trophy. “That’s not too bad. And we were maybe fifth or sixth in line. I grew up a Braves fan and my son loves to play baseball. We took him to a (Braves) game last year and we wanted to bring him out here and see the trophy.”
Byrne said seeing the trophy up close was much better than seeing photographs of it or viewing it on TV.
“It was very impressive,” he said, “especially when you’ve seen it on TV and you (get the chance to) get up close to it. It’s just something that you don’t get to see every day and it coming down here to Mobile is pretty cool.”
Mobile Mayor Sandy Stimpson stopped by and had his photo taken with the trophy, while also taking in the number of people who arrived for the trophy tour.
“It’s exciting,” Stimpson said. “You have to have events to get people to drive to the waterfront, but that aside it’s not about the waterfront, it’s about the Atlanta Braves and the Commissioner’s Trophy being here. I’m just grateful that they chose Mobile. I’m not sure they really understand our baseball history. They couldn’t have picked a better place to bring it.
“You can see from the (number of people in) line there are a lot of people interested in this,” Stimpson added.”Again, I’m just glad to see the turnout they have and for all these people to have an opportunity to have their picture made (with the trophy).”
Another Braves fan, Brent Pitre, posed for a photo with the World Series trophy along with members of his family.
“We actually made a plan to go to the (USS Alabama) battleship so we would be here on time,” he said. “We got here a little early so we wouldn’t have to stand in line for very long. It was very nice. I’ve been a Braves fan for a long time. I just realized that they had the tour going on and I made a lot of plans to make sure I was going to be here for it.”
The next Braves plan for the Pitre family will center around a trip to Truist Park, the Braves’ home field, for a game.
“I haven’t been to the new field,” Pitre said. “The last game I saw in Atlanta was at Turner Field. I haven’t been to the new stadium yet, but I can’t wait to go.”
The Braves World Series Trophy Tour was a three-hour event, which was expected to increase in terms of those visiting Cooper Riverside Park to take part once fans were able to get off work or get out of school.
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