Do you know what tomorrow is? February 19th, sure. For me, it the long anticipated unified start date of college baseball. Yeah, baseball in February; I love it! Major league spring training is still a good ways away, yet you can see professional-caliber ball close by. There are some real good teams in metro Atlanta and several within a short drive. Makes for a great three day weekend. Here are some of the schools with decent programs. Escape the hustle and bustle of suburban life and relax at the ballpark this spring!
They’ve got a great program and make the NCAA tournament consistently. Tech also has an above average number of alums in the big leagues. Their ballpark is easy to get to, even from the northern burbs. Several years ago they upgraded the seats and concession areas. I wouldn’t say it is my favorite college park, but it is nice and comfortable. Parking can be a challenge, especially if you go to a midweek game. I also find that the fan base isn’t as intense as other schools. Most of the students at the ballgames have their noses in calculus textbooks. (Trust me, I’ve seen it!)
Another good program. The Bulldogs actually have a College World Series championship to brag about. I haven’t been to a game here in probably five or six years, but from what I remember it is decent. The stadium was upgraded in the 90′s. By today’s standards, I think it is a little lacking. They make up for it by offering a great college atmosphere. I’m not a Georgia fan, but you can’t beat the small college town experience in Athens.
Their program has sucked recently. Sorry, there is just no other way to put it. On the other hand, Plainsman Park is stunningly beautiful. The brickwork is impressive and the seats are close to the action. I’ve been to a lot of college ballparks in the ACC and SEC, and Auburn’s park is by far my favorite. And like Athens, this is a cool college town. Great destination for a three day weekend in the spring.
Alright, I have a bias here. This is my alma mater. Tiger Field was a sanctuary for me in the spring. I cut many an afternoon class on a beautiful day to be here. Like GA Tech, Clemson has a top-tier program. Unlike Tech, the fans are very much into the games. Attendance has picked up a LOT since I was a student. New outfield seating areas this year will make the numbers even greater.
Overall, I like the ballpark. Over the last several years they’ve added onto the park with brick facades and iron work. Underneath is is the same ballpark. In some ways, I wish Clemson had built a new park from scratch. Hate to say it, but it is true. Nevertheless, you’ll find some great ball here.
Closer to Home
Kennesaw State and Georgia State both have baseball programs but are not 1-A. I’ve never been to games here, but they may be a decent alternative if you don’t want to drive.