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Fort Bragg Game

From BR Bullpen

The Fort Bragg Game took place in Fort Bragg, NC on July 3, 2016. It was a regular season game in which the Atlanta Braves hosted the Miami Marlins on a specially-designed field located on the Fort Bragg United States Army Base. The game was the first major league game to be played on a military base, and also the first to be played in the state of North Carolina. The game was played in tribute to military personnel and their families, to honor their service and sacrifice to the country.

Fort Bragg Field was built for the use of base personnel, on a disused former golf field, and had its capacity increased to 12,500 by the addition of temporary stands. There were no tickets sold for the game: the crowd of 12,252 spectators was made up of service members and their family. After the game, the stands were dismantled but the field itself became part of the base's sports and recreation facilities.

The game ended with a 5-2 win by the Marlins. The starting pitchers were Matt Wisler for Atlanta and Adam Conley for the Marlins. Wisler took the loss by allowing 3 runs in 6 innings, while Conley pitched 6 scoreless innings for the win. The game was scoreless until the 5th, when Miami scored twice on a triple by Adeiny Hechevarria, and singles by J.T. Realmuto, Martin Prado and Christian Yelich. The Marlins then added a few insurance runs, and a solo homer by Realmuto off Tyrell Jenkins to lead off the top of the 9th made it 5-0 for Miami. The Braves finally scored a couple of runs off reliever A.J. Ramos in the bottom of the 9th, with a double by Erick Aybar and a sacrifice fly by A.J. Pierzynski driving in the two runs, but these did not change the outcome of the game.

The game was considered a rousing success, receiving significant positive media coverage; it served as inspiration for other games to be held in unusual locations around the United States, including what became the annual Little League Classic in Williamsport, PA starting in 2017, and games in Omaha, NE and Dyersville, IA, in conjunction respectively with the College World Series and to mark the anniversary of the classic movie Field of Dreams, which were originally scheduled to be played in 2020 but were pushed back by that year's coronavirus pandemic.

Further Reading[edit]

  • Joe Mock: "Marlins top Braves in unique Fort Bragg Game", USA Today Sports, July 4, 2016. [1]
  • John Schlegel: "Stars and Spikes: July 3 game at Fort Bragg! Game will celebrate nation's military; new facility will remain as legacy", mlb.com, March 9, 2016. [2]

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