Atlanta Braves open spring-training season in Orlando

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Friday, Feb. 22 – Atlanta Braves vs. Detroit Tigers

1 p.m.

ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex

Walt Disney World Resort

Lake Buena Vista

407-939-4263

espnwwos.disney.go.com

$10-$49

For anyone watching, it was a hard-hitting moment: Not only did fabled switch-hitter Chipper Jones (set to retire after 20 years in major league baseball) step up to what was potentially his last at-bat ever, but he and the Atlanta Braves aimed for a National League Wild Card playoff berth. To fans’ dismay, Jones finished his career that night with a routine grounder for the easy out, and the Braves ended their season by losing a controversial game against the St. Louis Cardinals. But the game goes on, as it always does, and although Jones’ presence will most certainly be missed, this week we get the chance to watch a new era of Atlanta Braves baseball take to the spring-training field. And hopes are high for this season, with offseason additions of out-fielding brothers Justin and B.J. Upton, alongside reliable contributions by veterans such as second baseman Dan Uggla. So what if the Braves aren’t technically our hometown team? With the handful of players who hail from our own Central Florida diamonds, and the continual support and attendance of fans from the area, we say it comes with the territory. – Aimee Vitek

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