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Baseball Talk CHEERING FOR THE BRAVES AND HOARDING MY CARD COLLECTION
W ith the late-winter outbreak of COVID-19, the baseball world has been a little unusual. Like many sporting leagues, the MLB has postponed its games while the pandemic makes its way across the U.S. But that doesn’t have to stop us from talking about baseball! Growing up, I was always more of a fan than I was an athlete. If you are an avid reader of my newsletter, then you know that I made some great memories out on the ball diamond. But I couldn’t get enough of the pros. I’m not sure where my fixation came from, but like many little kids, I dreamt about someday becoming a professional baseball player. When I wasn’t daydreaming about being on the field, I was probably either playing baseball or watching my favorite athletes. I can still remember seeing the Atlanta Braves take on the Minnesota Twins in the 1991 World Series when I was 10 years old. The city was electric as the Braves took the field and rolled over the Twins, heading into Minnesota with a winning streak. I felt lucky to get to see them play in person, and everyone was in high spirits as the Braves finished the series. Sadly, they didn’t win the World Series that year. They kept it close, taking the series to the very last game, where the Twins won that elusive seventh game to take the World Series championship. The Braves would go on to win a World Series in my lifetime, defeating the Cleveland Indians in 1995. (However, at that time, I think I was more into my motorcycles.) Like many kids in that era, I had piles of baseball cards. Today, these cards are essentially worthless since they were mass- produced, but back in the day, it was exciting to crack open a new pack and sort through my loot. I have a few valuable cards, like Ken Griffey Jr. and Greg Maddux, but the others are just worth some change. Nevertheless, I can’t seem to give them up. Not yet, anyway.
I’ll admit that watching baseball on TV isn’t as exciting as it used to be. Nothing can compare to a day at the ballpark. We used to have a minor league team here in Albany. The Albany Polecats were a farm team under the Baltimore Orioles and found some success in our city in the early 1990s. As a kid, I always found their skunk mascot so strange, but the games were always fun! I hope to take my fiancée, Priscila, to the ballpark soon! Baseball is pretty foreign to her since she is from Brazil. I can’t wait to share this piece of myself with her. Baseball has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember, and while my professional slugger dreams never came true, it’s still something I cherish today.
So regardless of how this season turns out, go, Braves!
-William F. “Trey” Underwood, III
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