The Atlanta Braves selected the Riverwood International Charter School’s varsity baseball team to play a Region 6AAAAA home game against Maynard Jackson High at SunTrust Park in Cobb County. The game will take place on Jackie Robinson Day, April 15, with the first pitch at 6 p.m. Admission is free and concessions will be available for purchase.
This is the first time that the Braves organization has invited two high school teams to play at their home park in honor of Jackie Robinson Day. This annual Major League Baseball event commemorates and honors the day Robinson, who broke the league’s color barrier in 1947, first made his major league debut. Courtesy of the Braves, both the Riverwood Raiders and the Jackson Jaguars will don No. 42 jerseys, as is the custom of all Major League teams on Jackie Robinson Day. Although the Braves have a scheduled day off April 15, they will pay tribute to Robinson during two other homestands.
The Riverwood Athletic Department has elected to forgo gate fees for the game, allowing the public to attend for free.
"We want as many students, teachers, staff and members of the community to be part of this extraordinary opportunity that the Braves organization is providing Riverwood,” Riverwood Athletic Director Mike Mezzio said in a news release.
Riverwood senior outfielder Syd Pargman is excited to play at SunTrust.
"It’s great that we can play on the same field that we see on TV all the time," he said.
Senior outfielder Allen Grier added, “What excites me the most about playing at SunTrust Park is the opportunity to play at a big-league facility on a special day for a special player who eventually changed the game for future generations.”
Junior pitcher Josh Peljovich said the experience is even more meaningful for the Raiders.
“Our team is a manifestation of Jackie Robinson’s dream of racial diversity for baseball and for everyday life," he said. "He opened the door for us to come together to form the bond we share as teammates and as brothers.”
The public is invited to attend the game. Four hours of free parking will be available in the Red Lot.