July 20, 1993: When Atlanta’s stadium caught fire, and the Braves did too

  • 13 Jun, 2019

Atlanta caught fire in two ways on July 20, 1993.First, a couple ofhours before the Braves’ game against the Cardinals during batting practice, in fact part of the stadium’s pre s box burst into flames when a food-heating unit ruptured, leading to a scaryinferno of bangs and explosions that delayedthe game by two hours. MORE: Every MLB team’s worst regular-season memory, revisitedEntering the day’s play, the Braves, two-time defending NL West champions, were 53- https://www.marlinsedge.com/miami-marlins/wei-yin-chen-jersey 41 and in second place,nine games behind the Giants for the division lead. To try to chip away at the lead, the Braves traded for slugger Fred McGriff, who had been in a Braves uniform only a fewhours when the pre s box fire erupted.Given the timing of it all, everyone had jokes.As the smoke and flames bellowed out that evening, fans and media members cracked that the fire was symbolic of McGriff Jeff Locke Jersey ‘s arrival the spark the team needed to catch the Giants.Once the game started, though, a lot of people changed their minds. The Cardinals jumped out to a 5-0 lead, and the Braves looked flat hitle s into the fifth inning, and McGriff 0 for 2.Then came the sixth.Bill Pecotaand Deion Sanders singled with one out, then Jeff Blauser blasted a homer to narrow the score to 5-3. After another single from Ron Gant, McGriff stepped up. Then this happened … The Braves went on to win the game 8-5, and they won a lot more after that.From July 20 forward, theywent 51-17,erased the Giants’ big lead and won the division by https://www.marlinsedge.com/miami-marlins/jose-fernandez-jersey one game on the last day of the season with their 104th win.Nearly a quarter-century later, the pre s box fire is still revered as a positive, symbolic omen that portended both McGriff’s offensive spark and the surge thatsent the Atlanta ninetoward a third straight division title. (For a vintage report on the game and what it meant for the team, click here.)It’s hyperbolic to say, but it’s hard to argue against: The day their stadium caught fire in 1993, the Braves did, too.

Author @Bruce Brown

Bruce E. Brown has spent over 35 years as a teacher, coach, athletic administrator at the junior high, high school, junior college and collegiate level. He has coached football, basketball, baseball, and volleyball. Bruce and his team assists individuals, teams and organizations intentionally create, change or restore a culture of excellence and reach their full potential in both competence and character.
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