Written by Neil Frawley
Attention Braves fans!
The Braves Caravan will be stopping at the Academy Sports + Outdoors on Norman Dr. between the hours of 1:00 and 2:30 PM.
For those unfamiliar, the Braves Caravan is an annual fan appreciation event that the Atlanta Braves put on before the start of Spring Training.
The caravan includes several Atlanta Braves’ both current and former players, as well as other members associated with the team.
The purpose is to give the fans the chance to meet some of their local heroes and for the players and other Braves’ members the chance to give back to the community that they represent.
“We look forward to our annual Braves Country Caravan as a time to provide our fans throughout the Southeast an opportunity to interact with our manager, coaches and players and to express our gratitude for their loyalty and support. This is one special way we can show our appreciation to some of the most passionate and dedicated baseball fans in the world,” John Schuerholz, Atlanta Braves President, said in an Atlanta Braves press release.
Atlanta Braves members will be attendance include: Hall of Famer Phil Niekro, former right-fielder and World Series champion Ryan Klesko (1992-99), former catcher and now bullpen coach Eddie Perez (player from 1995-2001, and a coach since 2007), current hitting coach Greg Walker (since 2012), and current Braves commentator Joe Simpson (since 1992).
The Braves Caravan began nine years ago as a single day event nine years ago, but was then expanded about five years ago into what it is today; a five state, two week-long tour leading up to Spring Training.
But the tour is about way more than just signing autographs.
“It’s the most important thing that we do in the offseason,” Gus Eurton, Atlanta Braves’ Vice President of Marketing and Sales, said.
“We enjoy it as much as the kids do,” Fredi Gonzalez, Braves manager said in a press release.
“The fans support us all year, for eight straight months. They come out to the field, so it’s the least we can do is give a couple of our days, and see the fans,” Freddie Freeman, Braves first baseman added in another press release.
Braves’ pitchers and catchers are scheduled to report to camp on Monday, February 11 which marks the start of spring training.