Monday, April 8, 2013



“Baseball, it is said, is only a game. True. And the Grand Canyon is only a hole in Arizona.”
                                           George Will

By Doc Lawrence

ATLANTA-The day was made for tourism officials. 100,000 in town for basketball’s “Final Four” and the Braves playing the Cubs under a clear blue sky at Turner Field before a sellout crowd. After the game Sting and Dave Mathews were performing live and free in Centennial Olympic Park. Few stayed home on this lovely spring day in Dixie.

Enjoying the game with me were folks from Michigan, Kentucky, Kansas and Florida, here for baseball and basketball. Baseball fans are a gentler lot, minus most of the bluster and bravado and all too often vulgarity of college and NFL football games. I take small children to Braves games and would never think of taking them to any football games other than high school contests. Baseball enriches our higher instincts.

With young families doing the Tomahawk Chop and Chant (a Braves tradition began in the early 1990’s by Dieon Sanders during his tenure as a Braves outfielder), veteran pitcher Tim Hudson was in near perfect form. Braves newcomers the Upton brothers continued to shine and struggling second baseman Dan Uggla showed signs of new life with a towering homer.

I always arrive early on game day because tailgaters-the Braves are as much a part of tailgating in these parts as Saturday college football-and photo ops are priceless. As always, some outdoor tables were beautifully set with wine glasses waiting for pours of quality vino and grills sizzled with chicken, catfish and steak. This crisp and dry day begged for a tasty Bloody Mary.

The Clydesdale horses and wagon from Anheuser Busch were outside the stadium complete with a Dalmatian atop the wagon. What a wonderful greeting as fans entered the game confines.

The chanting and chopping paid off. As Skip Carey, the late voice of the Braves proclaimed: “Braves Win! Braves Win!”

Baseball fits life’s rhythms. There will be victories and losses. Tomorrow is always a clean slate. There are surprises and disappointments. But until that final day in October when the last out is called in the 9th inning, there’s hope.

Hope is a dream, Elvis said, powered by a V-8 engine.

Going to The Masters? Meet me in Aiken, SC:

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