Braves fans disappointed with Pelicans change
Fri, 17 Sep 2010 21:57:08 GMT —
For longtime Braves fans, the news that the Pelicans will no longer be affiliated with the Atlanta team is devastating.
At least one season ticket holder says she is giving up being a Pelicans fan. Jenny Batchelder is heartbroken. For the past eleven years, she's been a fan, friend and den mother to countless Pelicans players, many of whom have gone on to play in the major leagues.
Batchelder says her loyalty is to the players, not the team owners. "We know these kids and we love these kids and I would feel totally disloyal if I went with Texas," Batchelder said.
This is Braves country, she says, and she will no longer sponsor Pelicans players in her home. Needless to say, she'll also be giving up her season tickets.
"And I've talked to a lot of other booster members and they're not going to renew either."
Batchelder says she may still go to a few Pelicans games, but only when the Lynchburg, Virginia team - the new Braves affiliate - is in town.
Pelican players who spent this season living in Batchelder's home say they loved Myrtle Beach. "It was a great experience having all those fans and the great place that we have right now," said Angelo Paulino, a Pelicans pitcher.
"Myrtle Beach fans love the Braves and it would be so hard for them," added outfielder Jerry Rodriguez.
At the Pelicans pro shop, the Braves memorabilia is gone, replaced by Rangers caps and T-shirts.
Batchelder says those items, including game tickets, might get attention from visitors to Myrtle Beach. "But before tourist season, I don't think they're going to find local people interested."
Batchelder says she knows the team's new owners have every right to do what they want with the team, and she has the right to quit being a fan.
"I wish everybody good luck over there. No hard feelings, but I'm done."