Hello, Old Friend

Today seems like just another normal Tuesday to most of us. But for several former Atlanta Braves, it’s the day that their dreams became realities. 17 years ago today, in 2002, Atlanta selected current catcher Brian McCann and former Atlanta Braves right fielder current Atlanta Braves broadcaster Jeff Franceour in the first round of the 2002 MLB Amateur Draft. What makes this day even more special for McCann and Franceour is that at one point they were college roommates as both of the played baseball collegiately at Clemson University. Franceour spent six years with the Braves (2005-2009, 2016), three years with the Kansas City Royals (2011-2013), two years with the New York Mets (2009-2010), one year with the San Francisco Giants (2013), one year with the Philadelphia Phillies (2015), one year with the Texas Rangers (2010), one year with the San Diego Padres (2014) and one year with the Miami Marlins (2016) all in his 12-year career. McCann has spent time with Atlanta (10 years), New York Yankees (three years) and the Houston Astros (two years). Also on this day, 29 years ago in 1990 MLB Amateur Draft, the Atlanta Braves selected the man who some including myself still refer to as the “poster child” of the Atlanta franchise for 19 years from 1993 to 2012. Chipper spent his entire career donning an Atlanta uniform. It may seem like just another day to us, but to them it’s the day their lives changed forever.

A Tribute to One of Baseball’s All-Time Greats

84 years ago today, the date was May 25, 1935, and the Boston Braves, now the Atlanta Braves, were in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, playing the Pittsburgh Pirates at Forbes Field, the former home of the Pirates. In 1935, the Braves had a player who is still referred to as one of the game’s most elite sluggers, Babe Ruth. Ruth had three hits in the contest at Forbes Field. Included in those three hits was the 714th career home run of The Great Bambino, as Ruth was known. Ruth’s 7th-inning solo shot was hit off of Gary Bush, a blast that would carry over the roof of Forbes Field. Although the Braves lost that game 11-7, this game still stands the test of time, as that would be George Herman “Babe” Ruth’s final home run of his career. Ruth had an illustrious 22-year career with Boston Red Sox (1914-1919), New York Yankees (1920-1934) and Boston Braves (1935). He died in 1948 in New York, New York. Recently his oldest daughter, Dorothy Helen Ruth Pirone, passed away. Ruth was a 1936 inductee into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York. He now rests at Gate of Heaven Cemetery in Hawthorne, New York. His record of 714 home runs would stand until April 8, 1974, when Hank Aaron passed him by hitting his 715th homer. If you get the chance to visit the grave of Babe Ruth, do so, and while you’re there, tell him I asked about him.