Monday, June 21, 2010
It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year!
There are a lot of reasons why I love summer. While the temps are unbearable at times summer is my favorite time of the year because of three words: Major League Baseball. If you want to be specific try Atlanta Braves Baseball.
Some of my best memories are from the trips I would take with my dad to and from Texas. Along the way whenever the Braves were in Atlanta we stopped to catch a game. Now this was during the 80’s when the team was absolutely horrible. We never pre-ordered our tickets as we always knew that there were some available. I grew up watching the old guys like Dale Murphy and Bruce Benedict end their careers while Tom Glavine, Greg Maddux, John Smoltz and Chipper Jones grow into stars.
Baseball is also the only reason why I survived high school and college math. If it weren’t for realizing that all baseball stats can be figured out by basic math functions I would still be in middle school. My dad would make me do push ups for every missed question in math and seeing how I hated math I did a lot of push ups. His mantra was, “If you aren’t going to be smart you better be strong.” Fortunately he showed me how to figure one’s earned run average and batting average. Suddenly math became interesting. This logic even followed through into other course such as statistics, as I figured out statistically speaking when is the best time to call for a hit and run or sacrifice bunt.
Additionally our church youth group had a tradition of taking summer trips to see a Braves game and attend Six Flags the next day. While Six Flags was a lot of fun I would have been perfectly happy to attend another baseball game instead.
Here are some of my favorite memories that I watched. This doesn’t include the unbelievable historic moments such as winning the 1914 and 1957 World Series nor does it have Hank Aaron becoming the true Home Run King but these are the things that will always have me look forward to summer. Click for videos.
1. Sid’s Slide
2. The Catch by Otis Nixon
3. Glavine 1 hits the Indians in Game 6 winning the 1995 World Series
4. June 8, 1998 Braves get 6 runs in the bottom of the 9th to beat the Boston Red Sox. I was at that game, refusing to leave early even though we had the 4 hour drive back home. I can’t find video of the game but it was a blast. I had a chance at getting a foul ball but that would have involved pushing my mother off the ledge and down the tunnel. With only a split second allowed to make the decision I chose to not kill my mother. Let it be known that I made the right choice!
5. McCann’s triple on Chipper’s Birthday
And just for fun a little humor: “Chicks Dig the Long Ball”
Pictured is Jason Heyward, Atlanta's rookie sensation. I'm sure he will provide many more reason why I look forward to summer!
Quote from one of the greatest baseball movie of all times, Field of Dreams: ”The one constant through all the years, Ray, has been baseball. America has rolled by like an army of steamrollers. It has been erased like a blackboard, rebuilt and erased again. But baseball has marked the time. This field, this game: it's a part of our past, Ray. It reminds of us of all that once was good and it could be again.”