Baseball in Georgia

digitalcollections.library.gsu.eduThe crack of the bat means it’s officially the season to buy your game tickets and get your peanuts and Cracker Jacks at baseball stadiums across Georgia.

The state’s rich baseball history stretches all the way back to the early 1900s when professional teams like the Albany Babies, Savannah Indians, Atlanta Black Crackers and Macon Peaches attracted crowds.

007 - Atlanta - Fulton County - sports - Atlanta Braves - 04.03.06Some of Major League Baseball’s most productive and best loved (and reviled) players were born in Georgia, including Moises Alou (Atlanta), Bill Buckner (Decatur), Ty Cobb (Narrows), J. D. Drew (Valdosta), Buster Posey (Leesburg) and Jackie Robinson (Cairo). To see a full list of all Major League Baseball players born in Georgia visit baseball-almanac.com.

Current Atlanta Braves players raised in Georgia include Tim Hudson (born in Columbus), Jason Heyward (attended Henry County High School in McDonough) and Brian McCann (born in Athens, graduate of Duluth High School).

Georgia is currently home to six minor and major league professional baseball teams: Atlanta Braves, Augusta GreenJackets, Columbus Catfish, Gwinnett Braves, Rome Braves and Savannah Sand Gnats.

No matter what baseball team you root for in any division or at any level, you’re probably cheering for someone from Georgia. From managers to players, Major League Baseball and its farm system is rich with Georgia history.

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Fun Fact: Ty Cobb, nicknamed “The Georgia Peach,” was one of the first five players elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1936. He received just over 98% of the votes.

Eileen Falkenberg-Hull

Eileen Falkenberg-Hull is a digital marketing professional based in Atlanta who first visited Georgia in 1994 and decided that when she graduated from college she would make Georgia her home. Since 2007 that dream has been a reality. She is the founder and executive director of Occupy My Family.

Fan Photo Friday

Submit your Georgia photos for the chance to be featured:

Watson Mill Covered Bridge in Carlton, Georgia. Photo by Sussman Imaging. Submitted via Facebook.

Watson Mill Covered Bridge in Carlton, Georgia. Photo by Sussman Imaging. Submitted via Facebook.

The Masters Tournament in Augusta, Georgia. Photo by @luckycharmsandbeer. Submitted via Instagram.

The Masters Tournament in Augusta, Georgia. Photo by @luckycharmsandbeer. Submitted via Instagram.

Mica, Georgia. Photo by Franks Photos. Submitted via Flickr.

Mica, Georgia. Photo by Franks Photos. Submitted via Flickr.

A Guide to Georgia’s Homestyle Restaurants

The Dillard House

The Dillard House

For Breakfast

Not all homestyle restaurants in Georgia serve breakfast, but when you’re looking for the combination of the two, you’ll need to visit the Dillard House in Dillard. The Dillard House serves up a bountiful breakfast of meats, eggs, potato hash, fresh fruits, homemade preserves, freshly baked pastries and so much more. My favorites are the proteins, and I always have to have seconds of the pork tenderloin. The Dillard House is one of those “food for the soul” kinds of places, and besides breakfast is the most important meal of the day, so start your day right by feeding your soul well here. Go with high expectations because you’re sure not to be disappointed.

Buckner's

Buckner’s Family Restaurant

For Fried Chicken and Dessert

One common menu item at all homestyle restaurants in the South is fried chicken. I doubt it’s written law that they have to have fried chicken (and lots of it) on the table, but I’m pretty sure it’s understood. Believe me, I’ve eaten a lot of fried chicken at a lot of great restaurants, but the best fried chicken I’ve eaten in Georgia to date is at Buckner’s in Jackson. Buckner’s is just off I-75 exit 201, and they serve up some of the most delicious Southern classics you can find. While normally I’d go for a leg or thigh, you’ll only find breast on the table at Buckner’s. Breast meat tends to be dry, but Buckner’s keeps its white meat juicy, tender and perfectly crispy. There’s a slight sweetness to it that I’ve not found duplicated anywhere else in Georgia. To top it all off, their dessert is fantastic, too. They only serve one dessert, but they do it right. Buckner’s Georgia peach cobbler is the perfect finish to one tasty meal.

Mrs. Wilkes Dining Room

Mrs. Wilkes Dining Room

For Sides

You can expect a wide array of incredible veggies and carbs at the homestyle table, but no one cooks sides as well as Mrs. Wilkes’ Dining Room in Savannah. Mrs. Wilkes’ showcases all sorts of fresh veggies like green beans, rutabagas, butter beans, peas and more. They’re even getting cornbread dressing right; it’s incredibly moist and super delicious. Mrs. Wilkes’ cabbage was some of the finest I’ve ever eaten. This homestyle restaurant is one of those places where you could definitely fill up on sides alone. Expect to wait in line for up to a couple of hours, but you and your taste buds will be glad you did.

For Extras

Once you’ve had the best breakfast, the best chicken and dessert, and the best sides, what’s left on the table? Well, the Smith House in Dahlonega is taking the table extras to a whole new level. You’re going to consistently get great chicken, great sides and dessert, but you’re also going to get some great extras. One of my favorite accompaniments to Southern fare is relishes and pickles. The Smith house makes and serves up the best pickled squash you’ll find. It perfectly pairs with the savory veggies and offers a slightly tangy, sweet crunch that you just can’t find elsewhere. You’ll want to take some home, too. Look in the gift shop before you leave to make sure you can have this “secret” treasure at your home table.

Head shotLori Hennesy is a self-proclaimed foodie and author of delisghga.com, a Georgia only food blog.  Lori is on a constant search for unique eats, great Georgia products, delicious restaurants and anything food related.  For Lori it’s all about the bottom line, “what’s the next meal going to be?”