So, Denis With One N and I head to the Arizona Diamondbacks at Atlanta Braves game. In advance of this, I have sent handwritten notes to all the official Braves broadcasters (to my knowledge) telling them I'd be at the game and asking if I could give them an autographed copy of Baseball's Starry Night and maybe even chat about the book on the air, with the full and sympathetic understanding that the book recalls a painful night for Braves fans. Tuesday morning I had received a Twitter DM from radio guy Kevin McAlpin (who had not received a note, unfortunately), but we never did end up meeting. Denis With One N and I conferred with Ticketmasterman Big Mike, holding court like a regal Buddha outside the Ted, but even Big Mike said check the box office if you insist on being out of the (for me, dreaded) sun. After buying three $40 seats (for Denis and his brother Jimmy and me), section 204L, behind the plate, third-base-ish, under the overhang out of the sun, I saw a guy with a Giants hat and -- bingo! -- animated conversation...with Tike and Dawn and Patrick, season ticket holders at AT&T, I believe, attending their 35th and 32 and 31st ballparks, something like that. Giants fans! Giants fans in Atlanta on baseball pilgrimage! I look for The Faithful all over, especially at ballparks, and it is always cool to chat it up with them. (This is ballpark number 20 for me, best I can tell.) Incidentally, the ticket window gal saw my Giants shirt and said she saw someone with a Giants hat, but I think it was someone different.
The game was a fairly sloppy and dull affair, starting off with Hudson v. Hudson, Daniel and Tim, that is, and ending with D.H. leaving early (turns out we learn today he tore an elbow ligament) and ending with a T.H. and Braves' win, 8-1. Chipper Jones three hits! Homer for Michael Bourn (and Jason Kubel. Mini fireworks, from the Gas South sign in right, for a Braves pitcher's strikeout; bigger fireworks, coming from the Coke bottle on the Skydeck in left, for a Braves HR. No such theatrics from the visitors' feats. During Bourn's homer, I was buying 10 bucks worth of 50-50 charity tix from a cute Braves volunteer or worker.
The high points were meeting and chatting with Craig P. and his son Sam, star players from Baseball's Starry Night. Craig asked me to autograph a book for Katiebravesfan, also in my book, which I did, and also, a book for Sam, which I did. It was just a very endearing moment, and they later joined us in our seats. In fact, warm moment is an understatement. It left me with the heartfelt conviction that it was totally right to drive from Syracuse to Cooperstown to Charlotte to Atlanta for this very moment, meeting these lovely people, these ardent Braves fans, this father-son duo of love (for each other and the game).
(Small World Department: Jim R. knew of Craig's wife and others in their mutual recent or current positions in the world of commerce.)
Denis With One N and I also toured the clean and friendly confines of Turner Field, getting views from left field, by the Coke bottle and the giant red Adirondack chairs, and walking all the over to the opposite side, by the right-field foul pole.
A splendid time was had by all, to paraphrase the Beatles in Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band.