Friday, June 15, 2012

Atlanta Braves Alumni Weekend

Each year the Atlanta Braves host past players for an Alumi Weekend that includes autograph signings a softball game and some fundraising opportunities.  This year, the Friday night of the weekend was when the team retired former Atlanta Braves pitcher, John Smoltz's, number and inducted him to the Braves Hall of Fame.

This was special for me because I remember watching John pitch as a kid and I got to watch him my first few years here in Atlanta.  He was also a great player to watch and I always heard of the good that he did in the community, especially with kids.  It's rare that a team gets a player like Smoltz that is so well liked by teammates and loved by the fans.

Bobby Cox was there to talk about Smoltz, too.  It's always nice to see the old coach!  We had some great seats for the ceremony, too.

When the Braves retire a number it goes up on the wall of the stadium.  Number 29 was revealed that night.

That's some great company he's in.  John also gave a speech which he said would be short and consise, but it was neither.  He had a lot to say and said it well.  You can tell her really loved his time with the Braves.

The night was gorgeous, look at that sky!

Before the ceremony and the game, the past Braves were set up around the stadium in seven locations to sign autographs.  I got to the stadium around 5:00 and went right to the table with Sid Bream, Francisco Cabrera, Jay Howell, Mark Lemke, Andy Ashby and Curtis Pride so they could sign a 1991 pennant that Stephen has.  He went to the table with Ryan Kiesko, Kevin Gyrboski, Dwight Smith, Mike Bielecki, Mark Wohlers and Brad Clontz.  All the guys were very friendly even thought they had to sign over 200 autographs in just two hours.  After I got my autographs I went to a few other tables to meet some of the other player to get as many signatures as possible.  Definitely the way to do it, having two people in two different lines.  It's impossible to get to all of the tables if you're only one person.

Saturday before the game was an Alumni softball game: the 1992 team vs. all of the other alumni.  It was fun to see that some of the guys could still hit the ball.  Others, not so much.

The Braves took the series against the Blue Jays that weekend, losing the Sunday game.

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