My son never misses school, unless there is a very good reason for it.
In life, often times, there are good reasons to do things a little outside of the norm, when a special opportunity presents itself.
Last night my son and I went to NLDS Game 4, at Turner Field. We had hoped to see the Braves win the game and force a fifth game in San Francisco. Given the Braves team injury situation, it was simply too much to ask.
What we did see last night, however, was a memorable moment in baseball history.
After serving 29 years as a manager in the Major Leagues (25 with the Atlanta Braves), Bobby Cox managed his last game.
After managing his teams to 2,504 victories and receiving a record number 161 ejections in his career, a glorious career was over.
After treating Atlanta Braves fans to a long winning tradition, including 14 straight Division Titles, Bobby Cox left the field for the last time.
Baseball is a game of statistics. True baseball fans can recite statistics for just about every situation, just about every day / night split, just about every lefty / righty situation.
However, the retirement of Bobby Cox goes way beyond the statistics.
Baseball is also a game like no other, because it becomes entwined into our daily lives. We not only remember baseball games years later, but we also remember what was going on in our lives during the time that memorable baseball games were taking place.
Braves games on the radio have often served as a sort of soundtrack in many a Braves fan’s lives – including my own.
So, as Bobby Cox stepped off the field for the last time last night, it was important for me to share the moment with my son – also a big Braves fan.
When we joined the more than 44,500 fans chanting his name, the moment served as our way to pay tribute to a man who did so much for Atlanta Braves fans and the sport of Baseball.
Our ride home was filled with sharing Braves baseball memories – both from that night and many past games in the past.
A career ended last night in a way that was symbolic of so many games in the past. The Braves fought hard and came up short (often times they were on the winning side). The fans in attendance showed passion for the team until the very end. Bobby Cox saluted the victors with class. The winning team took time out from their celebration to acknowledge Bobby Cox and all that he meant to the game.
And, a father and son, like so many others, talked about the shared passion they have for the Atlanta Braves on the way home and into the night.
Thank you, Bobby Cox, for all of the wonderful memories you provided to a couple of Braves fans.