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Saturday July 4th, 2015 6:32PM

Possibilities abound for G-Braves

By Judson Hickinbotham
To say the least, I'm pretty excited.

Remember when you were a kid, and it was about three days before Christmas? That's about how excited I am about the upcoming Gwinnett Braves season.

If you didn't know, Tony Schiavone and I will broadcast all of the G-Braves games on WDUN Newstalk 550 for this season.

We will both handle play-by-play duties for home games, and Tony will hit the road with the team while I stay back and cook hot dogs and hamburgers for the next homestand. (Just kidding, although it could be a good way for me to pick up some extra money)

I've never broadcast minor league baseball before, but I'm ready for it. And I'm even more ready after seeing the ballpark last week.

G-Braves officials were nice enough to give us a sneak peek at the ballpark, which is on Buford Drive, about a mile from the Mall of Georgia.

The ballpark is about 75 percent completed, with most of the cement having been poured. And even though many parts of the ballpark are still being constructed, I could see the future of the area in my mind.

They were like unopened presents under the tree.

We toured the press box where we'll be calling the games. There weren't any walls up in the box yet, but I could definitely picture how it would look.

The sod hadn't been laid on the field, but in my mind, the outfield was already green and plush.

Concessions had yet to be added to the lower level, and some seats had yet to be installed, but I could already smell the popcorn and hear the crowds.

It's amazing what a little imagination can do for one's excitement level.

Anyone that says Christmas is 11 months away is crazy... For baseball fans in our area, it's right around the corner.

NOTE: The Gwinnett Braves are a Class AAA affiliate of the Atlanta Braves. The G-Braves open their inaugural season in Gwinnett at 7 p.m., April 17 against the Norfolk Tides. The team relocated from Richmond, Va., after last season.

-- Judd Hickinbotham works for WDUN AM-550/Jacobs Media and is a contributor for Access North Georgia sports.
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