Those of you who grew up during the 1990s in the southeastern United States, and Pickens County in Particular, grew up with TBS and the Atlanta Braves.
The voices of Skip Caray, Pete Van Wieren, and Ernie Johnson Sr. were just as familiar to young boys and Braves’ fans as their own fathers.
It was a summer evening, and the first pitch was at 7:35pm. It was TBS Superstation, circa 1990s.
Wasn’t this the sequence? Was this not the routine?
Now, many may scoff at my misty eyed and reverent remembrances of a 1990s Atlanta Braves team seemingly known as much for their playoff failures as they were for their lone World Series Title, but it was the best they could give us.
Were they as successful as Mantle’s Yankees? Not even close.
Were they as successful as the “Big Red Machine”? No.
In fact, the 1990s Toronto Blue Jays were more successful, at least in terms of World Series Titles.
But they were all we had, our glory years, and it is hard to imagine that 20 years have come and gone since the Atlanta Braves first began, what would turn out to be, the most successful run that the Atlanta team would enjoy to date.
Gone are the days of Maddux, Glavine, and Smoltz, and a fuming Bobby Cox.
Gone are the days of a rocking Leo Mazzone, and the Penguin-like vocalizations of Skip Caray.
And what are we left with? Well, whatever it is, it isn’t the same.
The only remnant of those better days is the occasional “chopper to Chipper”, but even that is only half of what it once was.
You see, that was Skip’s call. And Chipper, much like Maddux, Gant, and Jordan, will soon take off the uniform, severing for good and all what is left of those teams.
Back then, there was always a next year, and no one will ever take away our 1995 and that one elusive title.
Now, everything seems a little less exciting, every player, a little less engaging, and as I type these words, I raise my eyes above the computer screen from time to time to catch a play or two.
The Braves are playing out west tonight, and as mad and as hurt as those teams from the 1990s may have left us from time to time, I wish it were them out there.
As it stands right now, I would give anything to hear the voice of Skip Caray and see Maddux on the hill.
Chances are, we’d win.