On Wednesday, I got to make way to my first Braves game of the year. The home team won the game, but that isn’t even the best thing that happened that day…that was the people.
About a year ago, a Braves fan that I converse with on Twitter sent me a trade speculation DM. In a few hours, I got back to him and that started a back and forth that was more about his life, and less about sports.
I learned quickly that he was living with his stepdad, the only dad he ever knew. As the conversation continued over the next few days, I found out that this young gentlemen had went through a lot in life. Things were already rough for him before he was diagnosed with Autism, and after finding out, he became broken.
About a year passed, we’d had some small talk over DMs and then he wrote to me with these words: Pray for me. Promptly, I got back to him and he shared that he had been diagnosed with a disease similar to Parkinson’s and his hands constantly shake. It was just too much for one person to handle.
That was about 6 months ago.
On Monday, two days before the Braves game, a plan started and I went to my people for help. I wanted to build a care package for this kid (yes, he’s a kid to me, maybe not to others that are in their mid-40s). And people responded!
- Signed Braves baseball card
- Braves World Series Blu-Ray DVD narrated by Ludacris
- A Blu-Ray DVD player
- A pack of custom Braves Playing Cards
- Ronald Acuña Jr. Bobblehead
- A program from Game 3 Braves World Series Game
- An Austin Riley Rookie card
- A Vintage Braves hat
- A Braves magnet
- And over $100 in donated funds (Braves gift card)
However, the one thing that I could not get for him, and the sole reason I went to the game on Wednesday, was a Braves World Series Replica ring. I had already promised that I’d give my ring to my father who’s unable to attend in person due to health. On a whim, I sent a Twitter message asking if anyone had an extra ticket that they could forward me. 40 minutes before the game, a man named Blake reached out to me and said he had 2 unused tickets for the game. We made a deal. I go out of the stadium, enter with the first ticket, grab the ring, exit again, then enter with the second, get another ring, he gets one, I get one for my friend. However, right before I made the deal, a teenage kid sent me a message asking if he could have one of the tickets and he would give me the ring. I accepted.
With an extra ring in hand for my friend, I re-entered the gates, went directly to Terrapin Taproom, got a beer, and headed to the seats.
When the Braves were getting beat 2-0 and got runners on 1st and 2nd with 1 out, my brother-in-law asked me if he should take the Braves to win this game. If he were to bet $100 on the Braves, he’d win $300. I said “Hell yes”. They scored one that inning, 4 the next, then 1 and 7 in the following innings. He slapped my shoulder and told me thanks…but no tip for the tip.
During the game, I met up with Grant McAuley and 2 guys that I chat with regularly. It was my favorite game to attend since my dad and I saw Jason Heyward‘s 1st AB HR. There are a lot of things very Georgia-esque cliche about Truist Park, but it truly is a great place to go hang for 5-6 hours.
I hope one day, we can pull off the Braves Journalers game. It would be a highlight of my life for us to all get together.