Seriously. He has almost literally seen it all.
If it has happened on the field at SMS in the past 10 years, you can bet that Hall witnessed it. And chances are, he took a picture of it.
Fueled by his love for baseball and snapshots, Hall, who is a freelance photographer, has attended every game that the R-Braves have played at SMS since the team came to town in 2003.
In that time, he has attended more than 670 consecutive home games. And yet, his passion hasn’t decreased by one kilobyte.
“For me, it’s always interesting to be at the ballpark,” said Hall, 37, who makes his living by running an online computer-repair service. “Every day is a new mystery. Who’s going to be the hero tonight?”
Hall was at SMS on Friday night and was stationed in his customary spot — the camera well located on the homeplate end of the Rome dugout — during the Braves’ 11-9 come-from-behind victory over Kannapolis.
It was just one of the countless comebacks that Hall has seen during the past decade, and he has enjoyed every one of them.
He was particularly thrilled in the fall of 2003, when the team capped its inaugural season in Rome by winning the South Atlantic League title.
Of course, he’s endured his share of losses, too, especially during the first few months of this season, when the Braves owned the worst record in minor league baseball. (They posted an 18-52 record prior to the All-Star break).
But through all the highs and lows, Hall has not wavered.
He has maintained his “happy-to-be-at-the-ballpark” mentality, pitch after pitch, inning after inning, game after game.
“(Going to every game) is a unique thing to be able to do,” said Hall, while sitting on the terrace level at the stadium and looking down at the field.
A die-hard Rome fan to the fullest, Hall can often be spotted at the stadium with his Rome Braves hat turned inside out, which is considered good luck for a team that’s in need of a rally.
Hall’s loyalty to the Rome Braves extends well beyond the city limits.
When the team made the playoffs in 2003, Hall traveled to Hickory, N.C., for the first-round series, and then followed the team to Lake County, Ohio, for the first games of the championship series.
He also annually attends the All-Star game at places all over the map. But he feels most at home, of course, at SMS.
During Friday’s game, Hall stayed busy, snapping his usual high volume of photos.
Ignoring the 104-degree heat, he added another notch to his streak of longevity and loyalty — which is a badge he wears proudly.
“When we went through the first few months of the first season (in Rome), and I hadn’t missed a game, that was pretty cool,” said Hall. “Then, when you make through a season or two, and you still don’t miss any, it becomes (a bigger deal). And when it’s been 10 years, and you’ve never missed one, you really don’t want to miss one and see that end.”
Hall is, beyond all doubt, the iron man of State Mutual Stadium; he’s the Cal Ripken Jr. of Rome.
“I’ve never been one to walk away from a challenge,” said Hall.
He’s had some close calls through the years, but has always made it to the stadium.
Bad weather, car failure, visits from relatives, heavy workload — none of it has ever prevented Hall from coming to SMS for Braves baseball.
“I’ve had things that have kept me from getting here quite as early as I wanted to,” said Hall, “but I’ve always gotten here.”
Occasionally wearing a hat that has a motorized fan on the bill, he has kept his streak intact through all kinds of circumstances, including flu-like symptoms.
“Oh yeah, there have been some times when someone has seen me and said, ‘hey, you don’t look so good. You need to go home’,” said Hall. “But I always say, ‘I can sleep when I’m dead.” ... I just don’t want to miss a baseball game.”
And so far, he hasn’t.