My sweet great-great-uncle

My great-grandfather's little brother passed away this week at the age of 87. As they said at the funeral today, no one ever heard him speak poorly of anyone else, and no one had anything bad to say about him. He was incredibly generous -- sometimes giving more than he could afford -- and if you asked him how he was doing his answer was almost always, "mighty fine, mighty fine".

Uncle James was a great baseball fan. When my dad was a kid, Uncle James used to walk him over to the Georgia Tech and Atlanta Crackers games before the Braves came to Atlanta. One of his grandsons told a story today that made me realize how much my family has molded my view on the Braves...

They were sitting right behind the Braves dugout in Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium, and Dale Murphy was at bat. He struck out in a key situation and the entire stadium was yelling and booing as #3 walked back to the dugout, head hung low. Uncle James cheered, "You'll get 'em next time, Murph!"

I'm pretty sure I've done the same a few times. :)

Uncle James loved baseball cards, too. When he found out a few years ago exactly how much I love our team, he asked my dad who my favorite players were. My dad told him Dale Murphy was my first favorite, and that I used to really love Javy too. At the next family reunion, he handed me a three-ring binder with a huge picture of Murph in the front cover and Javy on the back cover. Many of the cards inside predate me (lots of 70s hair!) but he made sure there were some super-stars in there.

The next year he was too ill to come to the reunion, but he made sure another book got to me -- this one black, with even more cards. I've never been much of a collector, but I really appreciate the time he spent putting together these for me. He was one of the kindest men I've known, and I hope to be as generous with my life as he was.

Here are some more pics of the awesome albums. Click to enlarge and look at some of the random cards!

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