During the off-season, author Paul Kocak contacted me. He was putting together a book about the last night of 2011, and he asked if I would be willing to share my experience of the game that eliminated us from postgame contention.
This was a night that no one could forget.
Of course I sent my story over, and you can read my version (as well as 19 other fans from all around MLB) in the book. If you click the image above, you can purchase it from Amazon -- it is also available for Kindle. A few excerpts from my pages are below.
“My first MLB memory would be sitting in the super-nosebleed right-center seats in Atlanta Fulton-County Stadium. Those were the only tickets my dad could afford, but the place was so empty we were often able to sneak down behind home plate. When I took a pretty bad spill on my bike when I was 7 or 8, my dad told me if I'd stop crying (read: hyperventilating) he'd take me to see Tommy Glavine pitch. I dried up immediately! Glavine was always my favorite of the big 3.”
“There is definitely a core group of fans who want to be there for EVERYTHING. Every big game, every Friday Night Fireworks, every autograph signing. Their desks at work are covered in bobbleheads and their bulletin boards covered in ticket stubs. They wear their Braves shirts as regular clothing, not just gameday wear. The team — as much as it changes on an annual basis — becomes more than a hobby. It's like family. I'm pretty sure I saw my favorite parking lot guy, ticket taker, security guard, and usher more than I saw my parents last summer.
“But when the last game was played I didn't have overwhelming feelings of heartbreak, sorrow, or anger. I'm a spectator. I can't change the situation, and I don't feel like the Braves ‘owe’ me as a fan.”
“I had trouble sleeping after the game not because the game was lost, but because I just wanted to hug all my Braves and tell them it's okay, everyone's tired, it's not entirely your fault, the season wasn't lost on the final day, and because I always have a crash of depression when the season ends. I love my team — what am I going to do for the next five months?”
Let me know if you pick up the book, and what you think...