by Mark Jent
An adventure is defined by Merriam Webster as “an exciting or remarkable experience.” I used to refer to them as trips, and still do on occasion, but the past couple of years there is something about calling them adventures that seemed more appropriate. Whether it is supporting our local professional teams the Sounds, Nashville SC, Predators, the Titans (coming fall 2023!) or a six day adventure to the All-Star Game events and festivities, my hope is that they are more than just attending games or going on a trip, but that what the fans experience will be an exciting and memorable adventure.
On April 6th we took a group of 46 to our 4th Braves Opening Day (2018, 2019, 2022). Add in two Opening Day adventures in 2019 to Cincinnati and St. Louis and it was our 6th MLB Opener since 2018. Our group of fans was over twice as large as any previous Opening Day group! We had a solid mixture of families, fathers and sons, friends, couples, three generations, brothers and more. We were mostly from Middle Tennessee, but had some join us from South Carolina and Atlanta too.
And we had rookie first timers galore! We had an array of adults and kids both who were experiencing one, two or all three of the following:
• their first game at Truist Park
• their first Opening Day
• and believe it or not, for some it was their first MLB game!
For Tyler and his granddad who are both lifelong Braves fans attending their first Opening Day together.
For brothers Theron and Richard who were attending their first game at Truist Park.
For Bill who surprised his two boys ages 10 and 12 and just jumped aboard 48 hours before the trip.
For Lee, her two girls and friends, who fit in all the rookie categories above! Lee lost her husband Adam last year after a lengthy battle with cancer. As she reflected on the adventure she said, “I’ve always wanted to go to an Opening Day game and one thing this year has taught me after Adam passed away last fall is that life is short. Don’t wait. Even though some moments are really hard, since we were supposed to do them together, I’m going to do things that bring me joy as a way to honor him.”
For the Holmes family who called me Thursday afternoon wanting to bring their kids at the VERY last minute and drove 2 hours from Greenville, SC arriving just in time for first pitch.
For Scott who contacted me the day before and got six tickets with our group to bring his family to their first Opening Day.
For Jennifer who connected with me via Facebook to bring her best friend and their kids and then made small world connections.
For Sean who I met five years ago after Simply A Fan launched, was on his first adventure and brought others with him.
For Conor and Greshem, Padres fans who were SO EXCITED to their team play, and Gresh as he caught a BP ball! Afterwards Greshem, age 12, said, “It was amazing to spend that whole day with my dad, get to see our Padres play and to watch a great game together despite the loss.”
For Bob who went with us to the 2019 Braves-Cardinals N.L. Division Series and later wrote his baseball story for the website; he brought his wife Ann as their family are huge long-time Braves fans.
For Brian who I am forever grateful for his support, encouragement and help behind the scenes with Simply A Fan the past 5 years.
And I’ll even say for our two oldest kids who I enjoyed the day with as they skipped school to experience their first Opening Day.
This is why Simply A Fan exists – to provide memorable adventures like yesterday when we met Dale Murphy at his restaurant, enjoyed the pomp and circumstance of an Opening Day and were to be there in person for a 9th inning walk-off! We definitely cannot promise or guarantee the epic unexpected moments, but when you simply go, our hope is that it will be an adventure you soon won’t forget.
Thank you to all who entrusted Simply A Fan with their choice to attend this Opening Day!
To check out other stories on the website click here: Stories From The Stands.
To check out upcoming adventures click here: Upcoming Adventures.
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Mark Jent is the chief trip planner and designated storyteller for Simply A Fan. He lives in Nashville with his wife Beth, and their three kids, Brooklyn, Harrison and Zach. He enjoys cheering on his Dodgers, reading baseball history, hiking at Radnor Lake and chasing waterfalls throughout Tennessee with his family. He launched Simply A Fan in July 2018 with the two-fold purpose of taking people on adventures to ballparks across the country and providing fans a platform to share their baseball stories. He is currently on a quest to meet as many of the living Brooklyn Dodgers as possible.