08 Apr

the long goodbye

Trustmark Park in Pearl, which has seen a virtual parade of players roll through en route to the big leagues, formally opened on April 18, 2005, before a crowd announced at 7,062. Anthony Lerew, one of the ’05 Mississippi Braves who would reach The Show, struck out the first Montgomery batter that night. Alas, the Biscuits went on to spoil the home opener, 11-6. Not the start the club wanted, but there have been many, many memorable moments at the ballpark over the years. As the M-Braves’ long goodbye begins Tuesday tonight, here are just a few:
The first M-Braves hit: a Jon Schuerholz single
The Chipper Jones rehab games
Ronald Acuna’s first-pitch home run
The double-steal to win the ’08 pennant
Brian McCann’s no-hitter-breaking, walk-off home run
Drew Lugbauer’s 3-homer game
Jason Heyward-Freddie Freeman July 4 debut
Four no-hitters (won by Tommy Hanson, Julio Teheran, Ian Anderson and Bryce Elder)
Evan Gattis’ home run in the Atlanta Braves exhibition game
Justin Dean’s ninth-inning catch in the ’21 championship clincher
Jason Perry’s homer over the batter’s eye
Jose Peraza’s triple in his debut
AJ Smith-Shawver’s 7 K’s in 5 innings in his home debut
There will be a few more moments in the months to come as the latest crop of Atlanta prospects make their marks. But come September, all we’ll have are memories.

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