So since there isn't a game tonight, I'm bored. There has been some discussion lately of the geographic diversity of the Braves' fanbase, so I thought it might be cool/interesting to share the reasons that we all became Braves fans. Born in Atlanta/somewhere nearby? Grow up without an MLB team nearby and latch onto the Braves via TBS? Root for the Braves as a secondary team because of a love for one Paul Ryan Janish? Tell us (me) your stories.
To get things going, here's how I ended up a Braves fan. My story definitely leans toward the arbitrary/complicated end of the spectrum, but here goes. I was born and raised in Cincinnati to a father who was born in the Bronx and raised on Long Island. By the time I was born, my dad was sick and tired of hearing about all Cincinnati sports teams, to the point of actively rooting against them. I didn't inherit that level of dislike, but I did acquire an apathy towards the professional sports teams in Cincinnati and have never rooted for them (although I do root for Cincinnati Bearcats basketball and football).
So what was a young tot without a team to do? Naturally, pick his new favorite team based on uniform colors. Hello, teal blue Marlins! And as a fan of the Marlins in the early-mid 90s, Gary Sheffield became my favorite player. I remained a Marlins fan as a young kid through 1998, but in many respects was really just a baseball fan generally and a Gary Sheffield fan in particular. Then, in '98, the unthinkable happened. Sheff was traded! So I became Dodgers fan. Then, before the '02 season, he was traded again to the Braves. I still remember my dad telling me during warmups for a middle school basketball game that he had been traded to Atlanta. And I still remember thinking to myself "Well, guess I'm a Braves fan now!"
With my shift to the Braves came greater ease of fandom (TBS, Eastern Timezone games), and I quickly became more invested in the team around Sheffield than I had previously. I also wasn't quite as young of a kid anymore. Alas, Sheff's tenure in Atlanta was short too. It took just two seasons before he left for the Yanks. My Yankee-loving father and brother excitedly questioned if this meant I was now a Yankees fan. Gross. I abandoned my traitorous childhood baseball hero and settled in as a Braves fan. So here I am, 12 years later.