When I was in seventh grade, I became obsessed with baseball. And New Kids On The Block but that’s another story. But baseball…ah, baseball. I loved it. Not playing it…heavens no. I have no athletic ability whatsoever. But I can watch baseball like no other. And I did. Night after night, my best friend, Wendy and I stayed on the phone for hours examining our team, the Atlanta Braves. I knew stats. I knew the players. I read the sports section of the paper. I collected baseball cards. Yep. Obsessed.
This all started when the Braves were the worst team in baseball, so don’t think I only liked them as a winning team in the 90s. Nope. They were terrible! I went to a lot of the games because they gave away tickets to students who made good grades. Seriously, they could not fill the stadium even by giving tickets away. Wendy and I would beg our parents to take us early so we could watch the players drive in to their parking lot. This was also when the players parked outside and talked to the fans before going into the stadium. My how times have changed. I met a lot of the players, including John Smoltz, Steve Avery, and the real reason for my baseball obsession…Tom Glavine. My Tommy.
As an awkward, big haired (as in really tall bangs) thirteen year old with braces, I was sure that someday my Tommy would see me from afar and instantly fall in love. Who wouldn’t, right? I mean, it was definitely between him or Donnie Walhberg. Alas, my dreams didn’t come true. When I did meet Tommy, he didn’t seem to notice me…but did sign his baseball card.
I continued to support my Braves for several years but my obsession weakened as I grew older. I still love a good baseball game but I am no longer the stats-knowing, baseball card collecting, brace-faced girl. (Awkward still applies.)
But during this recent trip, I relived some of these great baseball memories with a tour of Turner Field, where the Braves play. It’s not the stadium I knew during my baseball days as they tore down Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium years ago but it has an excellent museum, full of pictures of my team and my Tommy.
It was a quiet tour day so it was just me, my dad, and our guide. We walked the stadium, visiting the press box, the dugout, and the really expensive seats that I will never sit in. Unfortunately, it was a home game that day so we weren’t allowed in the clubhouse. And then there was the museum. It had the bench from the old stadium…the one where my players sat. They had video footage of games past, including several from the early 90s. Immediately, I was back on the floor of my living room, talking to Wendy, squealing every time we got a glimpse of our favorite guys, doing the Tomahawk chop certain that it would bring the team luck, and cheering with delight when they won a game…and a championship.
It was an awesome trip down memory lane.
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