You have it, it’s in your hand. An overpriced hot dog and a large coke. You start walking back to your seat. You can hear every footstep you take reverberating off the gray, concrete walls. You hear a muffle over the loud speaker. You can’t make out exactly what was said. But, then you hear it. A slow, building yell. Or is it a yell? As you near the end of the tunnel, it hits you like a brick wall. The bright lights, the warm summer air, the smell of beer, and… the Tomahawk Chop. The sight of 30,000 fans chanting is overwhelming. But, then it hits you. That’s your team. The team you’ve been watching since you first fell in love with the game. It takes you back to the good ol’ days.
The Braves of the 90’s. Fourteen straight playoff runs. A World Championship. The slide by Sid Bream that no Braves fan will ever forget. Otis Nixon speeding around the base paths. The big three: Smoltz, Glavine, and Maddux. A young third baseman by the name of Larry Wayne “Chipper” Jones. A 19 year old CF from Curacao who became the youngest player to ever hit a homerun in the World Series, Andruw Jones. A strong-headed manager who normally took half an hour to walk to the mound, but never let his players fight alone.
You sigh as reality sets in. That team is gone. The best rotation in baseball? Gone. The red faced manager who led his team to 2,504 wins (Baseball Almanac)? Retired. The baby faced infielder who would become the face of the franchise? Retired. The power hitting CF who shocked us with his raw power and unbelievable defense? Just finished up his Japanese baseball career. Then you remember…
This is a new team, with new superstars. A new field set to open after the 2016 season. A young pitching staff with lots of potential. A first baseman who loves to give hugs almost as much as he loves to play ball. A veteran catcher known for his grit and leadership. A newly acquired middle infielder who is considered one of the top prospects in the MLB. A strong farm system that shows a very bright future. This may not be the team that we grew up watching. These may not be the players we grew up trying to be.
But they are the Atlanta Braves. They are, our hometown team.
Video is from Garrett Robards on Youtube.
Cover Photo Taken From justpict.com