18
Apr
11

The first (and only) time I saw the Braves play

I’ve been a fan of the Braves for 20 years now, but I’ve only seen them play live once. It was way back in September 27, 2002.

I lived in New York that year, working as a consultant for Morgan Stanley. For months I eagerly awaited the day when the Braves will be visiting New York. The game almost got postponed because of Hurricane Isidore, but thankfully the storm dissipated earlier in the day.

It was a double-header. I was itching to leave the office because Maddux was pitching the first game. But I don’t think my boss would have accepted a baseball game as an excuse for leaving early. After the work day ended I was running to the Subway to get to Shea.

I was fortunate to catch the end of the first game to see Smoltzie blow away the Mets. He was a sight to see that night. His fastball consistently reached 97mph on the radar gun, striking out three en route to his NL-leading 54th save. The Braves won the second game as well — their 100th win of the season. Millwood pitched solidly, winning his 18th.

It was a great day for the Braves. They would end up winning 101 games in 2002 and ran away with the Division. But it was another heartbreaking post-season. After the Braves led the Division series 2-1, the Giants won the last 2 games and won the series 3-2. Damn it!

Two months later I was back in Manila, leaving baseball and New York behind.  I should mention that I got married in December that year. So I guess 2002 wasn’t a total waste.

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