Home baseball Linked by baseball, Houston and Atlanta love to be the cities everyone loves to hate

Linked by baseball, Houston and Atlanta love to be the cities everyone loves to hate

by archysport

ATLANTA – Whether they’re supporting the Astros or the Braves, Truist Park fans share an appreciation for the commotion.

Perhaps, as Ray Mikan suggested while sipping bottled beer outside of the Braves stadium, it’s a necessary byproduct of places where sweat is something that comes crossing the street. You have to go back to the air conditioning or else you’ll melt.

“We don’t have white sand beaches or snow-capped mountains,” said Mikan with a laugh, decked out in a Braves hat, shirt and sweatshirt. “What do we have? We have snakes.

Houston and Atlanta also have fractured politics, fatty foods, urban sprawl, Southern charm, and the only two teams left in baseball. It was the upstarts who shocked teams on their way, forging ahead despite opposing fans calling them cheaters or berating their tomahawk chop.

“We’re here and everyone’s home watching,” Braves fan Mark Overstreet said. “So yeah, I think we have something else in common.”

Both teams proudly carry the adversity they have faced. The Braves have limped throughout the season and haven’t had much luck against the Los Angeles Dodgers, who relied on pitchers to make their way to the playoffs with the second-best baseball record.

The Astros, meanwhile, excelled in the playoffs despite the lack of ace arms in the pitching rotation, passing Chicago and Boston in front of fans lambasting them for the cheating scandal in 2017.

Rather than retreating, the two pummeled by their opponents in a way that resonated with fans.

“We’re both playing with a huge chip on our shoulder,” Astros fan Nguyen Le said.

Stifling similarities

Houston and Atlanta, as regions, have had to face their own battles – to shed their image of sprawling, sultry Southern cities inferior to their coastal counterparts.

The two are also, in the eyes of visitors, very similar.

“Atlanta feels familiar,” said Jack Porter, 63, who, with the Astros, has reached three World Series in five years since Houston.

Two years ago, Washington felt rushed, he said, especially as he lost a lot of money to watch the Astros end up losing. Los Angeles International Airport took forever to find his luggage.

Atlanta, even though it was just a few days and one loss, was a lot nicer, said his wife, Whitney Porter, 63.

“Except for the rain,” she added.

Houston and Atlanta fans have said they know exactly who they are and what their cities are, and that they are okay with what they see.

“Houston is a city that loves its own identity and is proud of everything that comes from here,” said rapper and Astros booster Paul Wall. “When we have something that belongs to us, we protect it. When it comes out into the world, it feels like it’s no longer ours. I’m sure Atlanta is the same.

Wall said the similarities between Houston and Atlanta are easy to spot. Both are great sporting cities, often drawing fans from across the state. This is in part because the two cities have played a role of cultural centers where diversity and freedom are celebrated in all its forms.

Both also come from home bases in the midst of political upheaval. Houston and Atlanta zigzag into conservative zigzag states. Both, at least the cities themselves, are solidly liberal in Republican-led states. This political clash has put them in weird situations at times – like the recent NAACP call for professional athletes to avoid Texas teams or the loss of All Star Game Atlanta to MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred over Georgia voting laws.

“This is the show he didn’t want to happen,” said The Astros fan, 51.

The commissioner is hardly popular at either club, having cracked down on the Astros – who believe the team has been singled out among many rule-breaking clubs – and winning the Atlanta All Star Game.

“If I lived here I would be upset to lose the All Star Game,” Astros fan Brad Adcock said.

Beacons that shine

Residents of both towns know what it is like to live with people of different opinions, which Wall called an asset, even though there is a history of “segregation here and there between ideologies.”

“Although we are in these red states, we are unique and it is these cultural beacons that shine,” Wall said.

This glow can brighten even opposing fans. Marvin Goodson will die as an Astros fan, but his face woke up looking at Hank Aaron’s jersey on Friday night.

“Hammerin ‘Hank,” Goodson, 72, said with a little awe.

Like Aaron, Goodson was the third child in a large family. Their fathers ran a neighborhood bar. Both knew the complexity of being black men in progressive, but southern cities.

“The things he went through, I don’t think a lot of young people understand,” Goodson said, recalling accounts of Aaron receiving death threats or being thrown at him as he approached. break Babe Ruth’s home run record.

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