The Miami Marlins and Atlanta Braves will make history when they take the field at Fort Bragg on Sunday evening.
In what will be a nationally televised game, the two teams will square off in the first regular season professional sporting event ever held on a military base. The game comes as part of the Independence Day celebration and will be attended by thousands of servicemen and servicewomen. It counts as just a regular season game, but is certain to have a different and special feel to it.
The July 4th weekend features fireworks, barbecues and celebrations across America. One more thing that is annually a part of July 4th is baseball. In recent years, teams have donned special caps to commemorate the holiday. This year, all teams will again along with unique jerseys. Only the Marlins and Braves will play in a special location however.
The field at Fort Bragg was made possible by a donation from Major League Baseball. While the seating area would suggest this is a minor league complex, it will host a Major League game. Following the contest on Sunday, the field will be turned over to be used for recreational activities by the military. In a lot of ways, this game will be more of a thrill for the Marlins and Braves than the armed forces in attendance.
"We try to do as much as we can, for the military, for our veterans," Marlins outfielder Christian Yelich told MLB.com.
"I think the excitement level is off the charts," added Marlins reliever Mike Dunn. "Everyone is extremely excited to go."
"I obviously have a respect for people that do what they do, keep people safe, and to allow me to be doing what I do now. Obviously it’s going to be a cool experience, and I'm going to try to get the most out of it," Bour said to ESPN.com.
Spending time with the military is something Miami has taken an interest in for some time. Each off-season, the Marlins send representatives to visit the military around the globe. In addition, the team provides free tickets for military members and their families at every Monday home game.
Sunday's game will begin at 8:00 p.m. and can be seen nationwide on ESPN.