The Atlanta Braves are enjoying a 20 percent increase in attendance at Turner Field, which comes as a surprise for the struggling squad.
Only the Minnesota Twins had a higher percentage increase, at 56 percent.
So, what’s drawing these fans in to the first 12 home games? Obviously Jason Heyward is bringing in a lot of new fans and he certainly appeals to the younger crowd. He, alone, very well could be the reason for the entire increase.
As the Braves prepare for seven games in a row at Turner Field, they could keep the fans coming if they somehow could sweep this homestand. Even as bad as the Braves have looked so far this year, they are not too far out of first place in the National League East. The Phillies remain the dominant team and won’t give up the top spot without a fight.
AJC’s David O’Brien also thought Bobby Cox’s final season with the Braves could be drawing in the old-faithful crowd. But he knows they never left. The increase is because the Braves might have a kid who will become baseball’s best player: Jason Heyward.
Heyward, who has a sore groin, is batting .301 with 8 home runs. Heyward is the talk of town and the buzz on the blogs.
SB Nation puts Heyward on the same plank with Stephen Strasburg, but there really isn’t anyone you can compare Heyward to. Don’t even try. Even SB Nation’s Jeff Sulivan ended up praising the 20-year-old outfielder:
It’s hard to say what’s been most impressive. The seamless jump from AA? The ability to hit for average? The ability to hit for power? The 18 walks in 111 trips to the plate? The flair for the dramatic? When you’re trying to isolate the most impressive aspect of Jason Heyward’s game, there’s a lot to choose from, and it’s only been a month and a half.