COBB COUNTY, Ga. — Saturday’s World Series game will have a political taste when former president Donald Trump appears at Truist Park northwest of Atlanta.
Trump’s mere presence at the Braves ballpark will inflame his detractors and inspire his supporters. And it will contrast sharply with what Braves fans have grown accustomed to seeing.
In October 1995, former President Jimmy Carter threw out the first pitch at what became the deciding game in the Atlanta Braves' only World Series championship so far. That night, Tom Glavine threw a one-hitter through eight innings and beat the Cleveland Indians 1-0.
Carter was also present in a box seat with then-Braves owner Ted Turner and his then-wife Jane Fonda when the Braves won the National League Championship Series in 1992 against Pittsburgh, the "Sid's slide" game.
But Carter attended Braves games frequently. He was often so low-key that Braves fans wouldn’t know he was even there until Carter and his wife Rosalyn turned up on the big screen Kiss Cam.
Contrast that with a 2019 World Series appearance former President Donald Trump made in Washington D.C. alongside his wife Melania, and then-US Senator David Perdue (R-Georgia).
After a loud greeting of cheers mixed with boos, fans were seen chanting "lock him up" afterward.
"I don’t think he’s coming (to the Braves game) for the sports atmosphere. I think he’s coming for the political opportunity and just the attention," said Dr. Kerwin Swint, who leads the political science department at Kennesaw State University, a few exits north of Truist Park.
Swint believes Trump is appearing at the World Series to make a point about the Braves losing the All-Star game over a new voting law – which the Republican legislature passed in response to debunked claims that Trump won the 2020 election.
"For Donald Trump, it’s an opportunity too good to pass up," Swint said.
Carter spent his post-presidency building low income housing, fighting disease and monitoring elections in underdeveloped countries. Trump’s ex-presidency is marked by his fixation on elections, politics and his apparent desire to run for president again.
"I don’t think he recognizes at all the Jimmy Carter style of being an ex- president," Swint said.
Trump is not expected to sit in the box seats near home plate as Carter typically did. A Braves official told USA Today Trump would get his own suite.
Carter turned 97 this month and has made few public appearances since he was injured in a fall in 2019. A family member told 11Alive he "definitely" has been watching this year's Braves-Astros series on TV at his home in Plains, Georgia.