04 October 2006

My Moment in the World Series Sun

My hometown team is out of the playoffs for the first time in fifteen years. But maybe that’s a good thing. We fans have taken winning for granted for a decade; we forgot the joy of winning. So let’s look back to that first great year.

The Atlanta Braves made it to the World Series in 1991 — a worst-to-first team that captivated the city. The Braves were young, cute, excited, ready to win. Many of them had come up together through the Braves’ farm system. So many come-from-behind victories that year. Baseball was damn fun that summer.

That October was one of the most thrilling times in Atlanta, even more exciting than during the 1996 Olympic Games. Whether you were pumping gas, or buying groceries, or watching the game at Manuel’s, everyone talked to everyone else about the Braves. It felt like a small town again.

The Braves didn’t win that series against Toronto (they won just once, in 1995) — but that didn’t crush the spirit of the hometown fans. And so we honored them with a parade. As an employee of the Atlanta Committee for the Olympic Games, I was selected as an escort for the players, assigned to David Justice and Mark Lemke. I got the cutest one … well, next to my beloved Tommy Glavine.

Mark Lemke, David Justice, and me
I was naughty; I put my hand on David’s inside thigh
while talking to him. Do you blame me?

David Justice was The Man that fall — young, beautiful, sassy, talented (and Rookie of the Year in 1990), not yet too full of himself. The ladies went wild as he drove by. All of the cars were mobbed — but ours had the biggest mob, thanks to all the women following Justice. I was getting knocked around by these desperate debs, so he pulled me into the car. I sat down between Justice and Lemke, waving like I was a proud wife. I was spotted by friends, who wondered what the hell I was doing in the Mustang with those two popular Braves. Renae even saw me on Peter Jennings!

After the parade, we got to hang out for a few minutes with the team. On a dare from an ACOG friend, I went over to Ron Gant and told him we’d voted him Best Ass in the NL East (oh, sweet Jesus, it was, too). He blushed, laughed hard ... then had me tell the rest of the team.

Go Braves.

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21 Comments:

At 10/04/2006 10:06:00 PM, Blogger Dale said...

Round round get around you get around.

 
At 10/04/2006 11:12:00 PM, Blogger Beth said...

I try, Passion Bee, I try.

 
At 10/04/2006 11:36:00 PM, Blogger schmeckman said...

be nice to me and i'll tell you about the day i spent at spring training interviewing various braves in their locker room. some were naked, i suppose.

 
At 10/04/2006 11:45:00 PM, Blogger Beth said...

Dear, sweet Schmeckman ... author of a brilliant blog ... please spill the beans. You say you have photos of that locker room? Note the e-mail address on the navigation bar, my friend.

 
At 10/05/2006 12:27:00 AM, Blogger lulu said...

Schmeckman did have a camera with him, although I don't know if he got any nudie pics.

 
At 10/05/2006 12:28:00 AM, Blogger lulu said...

And yeah, beth, you need your team to lose once in a while so that you truly appreciate winning. Did I mention that I am a Cubs fan?

 
At 10/05/2006 01:19:00 AM, Blogger Bubs said...

You were in a parade? Cool! With big-time ballplayers, no less! Sounds like a blast.

I almost got a free trip to Atlanta during the Olympics. We grabbed a guy who committed a particularly nasty murder there and he confessed to me and my partner. We got subpoena'd to go down there, and then the bad guy had the poor taste to hang himself in jail.

Jerk.

I got cousins in Woodstock, though, so at least I eventually got to visit the city. Just not on the gummint's dime.

 
At 10/05/2006 02:33:00 AM, Blogger mellowlee said...

Oh ya, David is FINE! *drools* He looks like trouble though, dontcha think? :)

 
At 10/05/2006 04:30:00 AM, Blogger barista brat said...

i notice you still have an affinity for ribbons in the hair - even as an adult!

 
At 10/05/2006 07:36:00 AM, Anonymous DJ Cayenne said...

You got to hang out with "The Lemer", Justice, and Gant? Holy smokes. It is sad that our season is over. I don't know what to do with myself.

 
At 10/05/2006 07:52:00 AM, Blogger Ben Heller said...

That Gant story is great. I bet you enjoyed telling the rest of the team. So you got up close and personal with Justice ? I've heard he was a real ladies man and a bit of a charmer.

oh and one more question...

Who was the longest in the shower ?

(maybe Schmeckman can help with this one)

 
At 10/05/2006 08:12:00 AM, Blogger Marni said...

That is so cool. That worst to first season was so much fun! Remember everyone with tomahawks on their read windshield wipers? People would turn the wipers on and the tomohawks would go! I loved it!

 
At 10/05/2006 09:33:00 AM, Blogger Keith Kennedy said...

Somtimes memories are the best thing we have.

Other times, our best things have batteries.

But ain't life always interesting?

 
At 10/05/2006 11:51:00 AM, Anonymous Little Lemmette said...

Ahhh... those were the days..., weren't they!??? Little Lemmette...

 
At 10/05/2006 11:54:00 AM, Blogger Beth said...

LULU: Until 1991, we lived on heartache. My dad expected them to break his heart again until the final inning, when they clinched in 1991. So I feel your pain.

BUBS: Stupid jerk. You would have had fun. If you visit the cuz, I'll have to take you to lunch at The Varsity.

MELLOWLEE: He was bee-yoo-tiful. I had a friend who lived in the house next to his and they were great buddies. She told me all sorts of sweet things he did when Halle Berry moved in. But I think the jerk came out later on.

BRAT: Actually, that's a hairband (and I wore that one a couple of weeks ago). This mop o'hair gets wild and crazy when it's long, so I have to use ribbons to tame it.

DJ CAYENNE: It is rather weird to have our October open, isn't it?

BEN: Justice was quite the ladies man at first ... then Halle tamed him. Sadly, I didn't get near the showers ... dammit.

MARNI: That fall was one of Atlanta's most fun moments ever.

KEITH: Thank the Lord for batteries! And, yes, life keeps getting more and more interesting.

LITTLE LEMMETTE: But do you still love him?

 
At 10/05/2006 12:57:00 PM, Blogger Marni said...

I was always an Otis Nixon and Terry Pendelton fan... miss one... see the other now as a coach...

 
At 10/05/2006 01:29:00 PM, Anonymous Little Lemmette said...

Lemmer? I don't know... last time I saw him he didn't have any teeth, I think.....

 
At 10/05/2006 05:04:00 PM, Blogger Grant Miller said...

I'm too depressed to think about baseball now that my beloved Sox are done.

 
At 10/05/2006 05:16:00 PM, Blogger Beth said...

MARNI: I love TP. Great team leader. Rumor has it that Otis Nixon was quite buff, with lots of surgery scars. That should appeal to you, wild Pug.

LITTLE LEMMETTEE: I thought he was cute on the pre-game and post-game shows. Of course, that was radio ...

GRANT MILLER: Time to start drinkin', my friend. Too bad you ended the Worst Things That Have Happened to Me series.

 
At 10/05/2006 05:58:00 PM, Anonymous Loy Bad Boy said...

Ooooooh Beth, my little pudding cake.... Love, Loy.

 
At 10/12/2006 05:40:00 PM, Blogger Will said...

You remind me of the heartbreak that was 1993 ... it's really a shame there was just the LCS then. A playoff between the two best teams in baseball (Giants and Braves) would really have been something. I guess we got our revenge in 2003 ... but i never got to have such a cool photo with the players. I'm sure both our teams will be back there real soon.

 

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