Wednesday, July 19, 2006


I've been a bad Braves fan.

I did a lot of my growing up in Northwest Georgia, specifically Roswell, Acworth and Cassville (Bartow Co). Basically, this was age 4-12. It's also when I became a baseball fan. For a few years, I followed a horrible team as much as my young mind would allow. But I became obsessed in 1991. I mean, what baseball fan living in Georgia didn't become obsessed that year? My birthday is September 14th. That year my birthday party was going to be at the stadium, but they were booked until October 5th, the second to last day of the season. Of course this was a most fortunate occurence, as that was the day the Braves beat the Houston Astros to clinch a tie for the NL West championship, and as the team, with 50,000 of their closest friends, and watched the big screen as the San Francisco Giants beat the Los Angeles Dodgers, giving the Braves the division championship. Of course, the Braves went on to barely lose the best World Series ever.

I was nine then. Now I'm 23. Since then, I moved from Georgia to New Jersey and now Virginia for nearly a decade. I've attended seven schools between now and then. There has been a staggering amount of change in the world and in my own life between 1991 and now. But one thing has never changed and will remain the same until October at least... the Atlanta Braves being the champions of their division. Even their division changed, but they've always won it.

But I've been a bad fan.

I've been involved in school and then in politics. I had a fling with another team, the Boston Red Sox, my second favorite team and whose World Series win in 2004 was even sweeter than the Braves' in 1995. It makes me feel guilty to type that, but it's true.

But I am still a Braves fan first and foremost, and recently I have finally gotten back into the swing of things after being out of touch for a couple of years. Fortunately, a lot of the old guard is still around. John Smoltz, Chipper Jones, Andruw Jones, and the immortal Bobby Cox. Even Mike Remlinger is back! But so much has changed. There are guys on the starting roster that I knew as prospects in the rookie leagues, and even some guys I've never heard of. But, I've been watching the games, and getting to know the new guys. It's nice to get some new heroes.

When I started checking in again, the Braves were down in a big way. In fourth place, blowing lead after lead, and simply not able to put things together. That seems to have changed. They've won seven straight, nine of their last ten, and currently lead in their game tonight. They're way back in the NL East and trail in the wildcard. It will be an incredible fight to make the postseason, but they have a chance. I will be cheering them on and I'm sure I'll be living and dying with the team during the last games of the season, when it's impossible to sit down past the seventh inning. And if they make it, it will be sweet. From the depths of the league through a second-half surge to the postseason. Just like 1991.

From the way they've been playing lately, they've missed me.


Blogger C. Beck said...

Just came across your blog while browsing. I remember that year so well. We live in Arkansas, but have been Braves fans since my son, who is also 23, got hooked on them when he was about 7. I even have the video they put out at the end of the season! Enjoyed reading your blog. Cheers!

7/25/2006 12:40 AM  

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