I’m taking this opportunity to blog about something a little on the lighter side. Today is opening day for the 2007 Major League Baseball season. I am a baseball fan from way back. Growing up in Ohio I was a big fan of “the Big Red Machine”. If you aren’t a baseball fan then I’ll tell you that this was the name given to the Cincinnati Reds during the 1970’s. They won four national league pennants and and two World Series. They produced many great players such as Johnny Bench, Joe Morgan, Pete Rose, Ken Griffey, and Tony Perez. The Reds were my dad’s favorite and they were my favorite team for quite a few years.
After I moved south to Tennessee I started to follow the Atlanta Braves. The Braves were always playing on television, airing on the Turner Broadcasting Network which is owned by Ted Turner who also owned the Braves. I remember going to many of the Atlanta Braves games. Traveling the two hours to Atlanta from Chattanooga, Tennessee. My friends and I would have our choice of seats during the 1980’s when the Braves were losing more than they were winning. I did get to see Dale Murphy play which was a great thrill. Then came the 1990’s and the unlikely 1991 season for the Braves. They went from worst the previous season to first by winning the national league pennant. They lost to the Minnesota Twins in the World Series in seven games in one of the best World Series in several years.
The next year the Braves dominated their division with dominating pitching with future stars like Tom Glavine, John Smoltz, Steve Avery and reliever Mike Stanton. They won the pennant against the Pittsburgh Pirates in a game that will be forever remembered with one of the most exciting finishes. In the bottom of the ninth inning the Braves were behind 2-1 with two runners on bases, David Justice was on third and Sid Bream on second. The Braves brought in Francisco Cabrera to pinch hit. Cabrera lined a single to left easily scoring Justice and then came Bream with less than mediocre speed rounding third and heading for home. Barry Bonds, playing left field for the Pirates, fielded the ball and threw it home. The ball and Bream got to home plate at the same time but Sid Bream’s foot slid under the would be tag scoring the winning run. Home plate became a mound of Braves players as the Braves announcer proclaimed, Braves win!! Braves win!! Braves win!! It was an exciting game to watch and one especially thrilling for Braves fans such as I.
For many baseball fans the season of 1994 really turned fans sour toward the game as it did for me. I have never been much of a baseball since then as my interest in baseball waned more and more as the years have gone by. I have become more of a fan of college baseball so I still love the sport but a lot more at the college level. With the controversy of pro players using steroids and earning huge mega millions baseball fans have been left behind. Hopefully someone can turn the game around. It is a great game.