The year was 1992. It was Game Seven of the National Championship Series. Atlanta was playing Pittsburgh. Sid Bream slid into home like a Pontiac Trans Am piloted by Burt Reynolds.
Bream outran the throw from Barry Bonds, hit the dirt, and scored. The whole world exploded into confetti.
I was a chubby kid, watching the game at my aunt’s house. After the win, my cousin and I started dancing like James Brown, knocking furniture over, spilling my uncle’s beer on the sofa.
We cheered along with the broadcast voice of Skip Caray, who was shouting:
“BRAVES WIN! BRAVES WIN! BRAVES WIN! BRAVES WIN!”
“Braves win, Braves win...!” we cried, while the coffee table tumbled.
Then my aunt beheaded us with a dull spatula.
Fernando remembers that game, too. He’s 44 years old and a certified baseball lunatic.
This week, while Atlanta fights for a chance at the World Series, Fernando has been watching games from a hospital bed with his leg in a sling. He broke his femur recently from a bad fall.
His wife emailed
me. She told me that Fernando has been rooting so loudly in his room that hospital nurses have threatened to gag him with his own sock and sedate him with veterinary-grade tranquilizers.
And there’s Madison, a beautiful 15-year-old girl in Tennessee. Madison is Deaf. Baseball is one of the main things she shares with her father. She also plays third base.
Madison’s messaged me after the Braves victory. She is too young to remember Sid Bream, but we speak the same language.
“Braves win, Braves win, Braves win!” she wrote.
I’ve been getting a lot of emails like this recently. They are sent mostly from fellow enthusiasts who suffer from seasonal psychosis like I do. And now that America’s Team stands on the precipice of the 2020 World Series, people like us are extremely stressed out.
My friend Todd is the biggest Braves…