Braves Country Caravan Coming to a Close

Sorry there was no blog last night, but we didn’t have access to wireless on our trip.  Soooo, here’s a little re-cap of our last outer market caravan stops!

Thursday’s caravan included two buses – one going to Clemson and Greenville, South Carolina that had Brian McCann, Mike Dunn, Lee Hyde, Craig Kimbrel, Zane Smith, Brian Snitker and director of player development, Kurt Kemp on board.

The second bus, was headed for Anderson and Spartanburg, South Carolina and had Yunel Escobar, Tommy Hanson, Matt Diaz, Todd Redmond and Eddie Perez as passengers.

Bus one had an incredible stop at Clemson Elementary School.  Players went from classroom to classroom for special question and answer sessions.  Most popular questions:  “How many homeruns have you hit”, “How many games do you play” and “What’s your best pitch”.  Very informative crowd!

At the end of the visit every classroom emptied out and lined the hallway, while the players (and Homer!) walked down and high fived the kids.  Fantastic for both the Braves and the kids!

Shriners Hospital for Children in Greenville was next on the day’s agenda as kids flocked to the activities area to play air hockey, ping pong and billards with the players.  We won’t mention names, but the competition was fierce and some kids took down the players!

Some kids who weren’t able to make it to the activities area, got some special visitors as players made their way in and out of the rooms and leaving behind some autographed hats and smiles.

Academy Sports and Outdoors was the final stop for bus one and the crowd that was waiting there was just incredible.  The Braves had a great time meeting those that came out and hopefully vice versa!

I know that bus two stop at Centerville Elementary in Anderson and then went on to Wild Wings Cafe and then to Academy Sports and Outdoors in Spartanburg, but since I wasn’t on that one, I can’t give you any stories!

One more stop tomorrow for Gwinnett Play Day at the Gwinnett Braves Stadium and then the caravan will be over for 2010.  Thank you to everyone who came out, asked a question, got an autograph or just observed.  We know that the Atlanta Braves have the best fans in the world!

Looking forward to 2010 and hoping to see you all at Turner Field in what will be a very special season!

Braves Caravan Day 10 – Knoxville and Chattanooga are BRAVES COUNTRY!

We want to send a huge thank you to Braves fans in Knoxville and Chattanooga who braved some cold and wet weather to come out in huge numbers today to meet Mike Minor, Jo-Jo Reyes, James Parr, Jordan Schafer, Bruce Manno, Dave Brundage, and Otis Nixon, on day 10 of the Braves Caravan. 

Our first stop of the day took us to the East Tennessee Children’s Hospital in Knoxville, where we met some really incredible kids and a wonderful staff.  Check out this awesome video of the Braves and Homer having fun with one young patient at the hospital. 

 

Next we headed to the Wild Wing Cafe, where a huge crowd of fans filled the entire restaurant… there wasn’t an empty seat in the house. We had a great Q & A with the fans, followed by an autograph signing. One of the best questions of the day went to Otis Nixon, when he was asked to talk about 1991 and his memories of that magical year. Check out some of his respone in the video below:

 

On the road again, the Braves Caravan headed to Chattanooga, to do an autograph signing at Hamilton Place Mall. We were overwhelmed by the love that Tennessee showed us today! We know your time is valuable, and for you to share some of it with us on this cold, rainy day really meant so much! Thank you again Tennessee!

 

 

Tomorrow, the Braves Caravan with Troy Glaus, Matt Diaz, Clint Sammons, Eric O’Flaherty, Frank Wren, and Glenn Hubbard on board, heads to Athens for an autograph signing at Academy Sports + Outdoors on Atlanta Highway from 4:00-5:30. Other stops earlier in the day including a season ticket holder luncheon and a school visit! Check out the entire schedule at braves.com/caravan!

Day Nine is in the Books

Metro Atlanta was once again the setting for Braves Country Caravan.

Our first stop was at Wildfire restaurant for a luncheon and Q&A with some of our season ticket holders and was emceed by Braves broadcaster Don Sutton.  The panel included John Schuerholz, Bobby Cox, Brian McCann, Brian Jordan, Jordan Schafer, Jo Jo Reyes and Mike Dunn.  The food was delicious, the questions were plentiful and everyone had a good time.

From the restaurant just outside of the Perimeter Mall, the bus headed towards Decatur for our next stop at the Atlanta Veterans Administration Hospital.  The group split in two and visited several floors of rooms to say hi and thank the veterans for their service.

Many in the Braves group were moved by the stories that were told and many of the veterans were glad to listen to some of the stories told by the Braves.

The final destination was Publix in Suwanee.  A huge crowd came out to see their favorite Braves as they signed for a little over two hours.  Thank you Braves fans for standing on line on this cold Monday! 

Tomorrow the Braves Country Caravan is headed to Knoxville and Chattanooga, so check out braves.com/caravan to see where you can see them.

A Hall of Famer, a Habitat Home, and a HUGE turnout highlight Braves Caravan Day 8

Hall of Famer and Braves broadcaster Don Sutton joined Braves catcher Clint Sammons, and young pitching prospects Craig Kimbrel and Steve Marek in Birmingham for Day 8 of the Braves Caravan.  It has been one week since the Braves Country Caravan began, and we’ve travelled all over the southeast… From Fort Benning, GA to Columbia, SC, to Nashville, TN, and Dalton, GA, Auburn, AL, and Stockbridge, GA – and so many more stops in between… what a great week we have had!

Day 8 started with a really rewarding stop at in Birmingham, where the Braves helped paint a Habitat for Humanity home.  Painting along side us was Latoya, the homeowner who will move in to the house in just about a month.  Her 5 year old son Novein enjoyed some McNuggets in the kitchen, while Latoya and the Braves painted two rooms nearby. Latoya, who was a Lab Tech for the US Navy, and her family were stationed in Sisonella, Italy from 2001-2006.  While in Italy Latoya was a very active Red Cross volunteer and received awards from the Navy and the Red Cross for completing more than 2000 service hours.  “I would like to say thank you for this opportunity. This is truly a blessing,” Latoya said. “Having our own house will change our lives, and we will be in a stable environment.”  What amazing work Habitat for Humanity does, and we were so honored to take part in the build today for such a great family!

Here Latoya paints alongside Braves pitcher Craig Kimbrel and catcher Clint Sammons.

 

Next we headed to Academy Sports + Outdoors where a huge crowd waited! More than 800 fans came out today to meet the Braves, and we can’t thank them enough!! One fan brought a newspaper that he has had since 1986 – the year Hall of Famer Don Sutton won his 300th baseball game!! Check out his exchange with Don in the video below.

Day 8 is in the books, but we’re back out on the road on Monday! Braves manager Bobby Cox and All Star catcher Brian McCann and several other Braves will have lunch with season ticket holders, visit patients at the VA Hospital in Decatur and sign autographs at Publix in Suwanee. We recommend fans arrive at Publix early for this very popular lineup! The complete schedule is online at braves.com/caravan. Thank you again to everyone who has come out so far, and to everyone else, we hope to see you at a Caravan stop one day soon!

First Week of Braves Country Caravan Comes to a Close

The first week of Braves Country Caravan has come to a close and what an incredible week we had.  Thank you Braves fans for welcoming us into your communities – we had a blast.

We’re still ready for more though, so we’re headed to Birmingham, metro Atlanta, Knoxville, Chattanooga, Athens, Greenville and Spartenburg in the coming days.

Today we had a great time with some of our loyal season ticket holders in the SunTrust Club for a Q & A session.  Questions were asked and answered by John Schuerholz, Frank Wren, Chipper Jones, Tommy Hanson, Zane Smith, James Parr and Lee Hyde.  Our Hall of Fame member, Don Sutton played the role of emcee as well as he played on the mound.  A casual meet and greet took place afterwards and we were off to a great start to the day.

The bus was loaded up and headed to College Park to visit the Draper Boys and Girls Club.  The kids were having a great time playing with the guys and asking Homer a ton of questions.

Stockbridge, GA and Publix were stop #3 and the fans were out in full force and we stayed for two hours.

Thank you all so much for week #1…see you around the Southeast for week #2!

A great day in Charlotte, North Carolina

Day 5 of the Braves Caravan has come to a close!  Braves players Peter Moylan, Eric O’Flaherty, and Brooks Conrad, Hitting Coach Terry Pendleton, General Manager Frank Wren, and alumni Zane Smith and Otis Nixon spent some time with fans at the Wild Wing Cafe, doing a Q & A and autograph session, and then we headed over to the Marsh Boys and Girls Club, where the team played a little ping pong, pool, and foosball.  T.P.’s game of choice was pool, and he was great showing the kids how to aim and shoot.  Peter Moylan and Otis Nixon engaged in a pretty competitive and very entertaining game of Ping Pong, which we have video evidence of below. A really fun time was had by all, and after some pizza was delivered for the bus ride, we boarded back up on the Braves Caravan to head back to Atlanta.  DVDs on the way back included The Hangover, Old School, and a little of Will Ferrell’s greatest SNL hits.  Tomorrow the Braves Caravan heads to Nashville – check out the schedule at www.braves.com/caravan!  To our fans in the Nashville/Madison area, we hope to see you tomorrow!  And to our fans in Charlotte – THANK YOU for a great day!

 

Jason Heyward Returns to Hometown

Day four of the Braves Country Caravan featured a trip to Jason Heyward’s former high school, a children’s hospital and an autograph session at the Macon Academy Sports and Outdoor.

Heyward, the number one baseball prospect in all of minor league baseball made a triumphant return to Henry County High School in McDonough, GA to talk to the senior class about the importance of an education.  Joining Jason was Tim Hudson, Davis Ross, Todd Redmond, Brad Clontz, Glenn Hubbard, Bruce Manno and Jim Powell.

Following the assembly, the school’s baseball team got some expert advice in a special question and answer session.

After leaving the school, the bus made its way to the Children’s Hospital in Macon.  The players and Homer made their way from room to room visiting with the kids and handing out some Braves goodies.

The final stop was a huge autograph session at the Academy Sports and Outdoors in Macon and the fans were fantastic. 

Caravan Runs Through the ATL

Wow!  What a great day in Atlanta.  Where do we start?


The Braves hosted a special Q&A session for some of our season ticket holders hosted by Braves radio announcer Jim Powell.  Some great questions were asked (umpires, state of the team for 2010, etc.) while the folks chowed down on some classic food.

The rest of the crew stayed back and signed autographs for the season ticket holders.


The next stopped was spectacular!  The entire caravan crew plus approximately 25 members of the Braves front office made their way to Decatur, GA to help out the folks at MedShare International.  MedShare takes donations of medical supplies that are headed for landfills and turns around and sends the supplies to countries all over the world who are in dire need for the supplies.

The caravan then made it’s way to Publix on Sandy Plains Road in Marietta.  The turnout was nothing short of AMAZING!  Wow – thank you to everyone who braved the cold to get an autograph.  The fellas were there for two hours and that still wasn’t enough time to get to all the people who came out to support us. 

When the players boarded the bus to head back to Turner Field, Peter Moylan and David Ross saw a young fan crying outside the bus.  Seeing her upset they asked if we could bring her aboard.  It seems she was upset she didn’t get to go through the line for autographs.  Well, she had her own personal autograph session with everyone on the bus and as she got off, the crowd cheered!

An incredible day!  Now off to McDonough and Macon tomorrow.  We’re visiting Jason Heyward’s former high school, a children’s hospital and the Academy Sports and Outdoors in Macon.  Hope to see you there!

 

 

Day Two Come to a Close

Another great day on the Braves Country Caravan!  Part two of Day Two was spent at the amazing Academy Sports in Evans, Georgia – just outside of Augusta.  If you’ve never been in an Academy Sports, it’s like a Home Depot for sports enthusiasts…HUGE store and the best staff!

A large, dedicated group of fans waited to get autographs from Jim Powell, Zane Smith, Paul Assenmacher and Freddie Freeman.  The media was in full force with the Augusta Chronicle, CBS News 12 and ABC6 coming out to the event.

Heading home now on I-20 and looking forward to tomorrow’s stops in metro Atlanta.  Fans can go to the Publix on Sandy Plains Road in Marietta to see Chipper Jones, Tim Hudson, Kris Medlen, Peter Moylan, David Ross, Brian Jordan and Brad Clontz!!! 

Hope to see you there or at any of the other Braves Country Caravan stops!

Thank you Columbia, SC!

Our first stop today was at Wild Wings in Columbia, SC. A huge crowd came out to ask questions and get some good food.

The Q&A was conducted by Braves radio broadcaster Jim Powell.  Participants were alumni Paul Assenmacher and Zane Smith and #2 Braves prospect Freddie Freeman.

Good stories about why players love Bobby so much, and how Freddie is progressing through the Braves system. Freddie spoke highly of his teammate and best friend, Jason Heyward and said he can live up to the hype. 

Fantastic questions were asked by the knowledgable fans, prizes were handed out as were autographs from all the participants.

Will you be joing the Caravan on any of the stops???

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