By Emily Brown, ABC News Atlanta (AU), and Alex Goodlett-Clarke, ABC South America correspondentThere are two things that make Atlanta Braves baseball so special.
First, it’s the only team in the United States that has the nickname “Braves”.
Secondly, they’re in the final year of a seven-year, $1.5 billion contract.
“It’s just a name that means everything to me,” said Braves second baseman Justin Upton, whose name is pronounced “Woo-zoo”.
“I love to be called ‘Braves’.
The fact that I’m still a part of the franchise is a big deal to me.”
That means Upton has a chance to become the first player since Ted Williams to reach 1,000 hits, 1,500 RBIs, 1.5 triples and a batting average over .400 in his first full season with the Atlanta team.
It also means the club is in the midst of a major rebuilding project.
Its newest ballpark is set to open in 2021, with plans to extend it to 2023.
The Braves are spending $1 billion to build the new ballpark and field a new stadium in 2020 and 2021.
They’re also building a $200 million outfield.
And they’re hoping to attract another superstar to the city: former Atlanta Braves pitcher Kris Medlen.
Medlen, now a minor league pitcher in Japan, is expected to pitch in the 2019 season.
He’s currently pitching for the Orix Buffaloes in Japan.
He was also a part-time player for the Arizona Diamondbacks from 2012-2016.
Medlin told reporters he would love to pitch for the Braves.
“I’m excited to be a part,” he said.
“I’ve been a Braves fan since I was a kid, and I’m excited about the team moving forward.”
The Braves have a plan to get the ballpark up and running.
The team is planning to build a $3 billion stadium in Cobb County, which includes a $400 million baseball stadium.
They also want to renovate a portion of the former Georgia Dome site to include a new ballpark.
The stadium will be a big step up from what the Braves were expecting.
They’ve previously estimated that the new stadium would be completed in 2021.
And when the stadium opens, it will be the largest stadium in the National League.
The Atlanta Braves will be one of the major sports teams in the world when it opens in 2021Source: The Atlanta BravesFacebook: Atlanta Braves