This is a big week for the Braves and Atlanta… We start a three game series against the Yankees tonight and then host another three game series against the Red Sox, followed by a three game series against the defending World Series champions, the Phillies. And to add to all of that, there’s a chance I could be hitting against former teammate and friend John Smoltz, who as most of you know was with the Braves for 21 years and is now pitching for the Boston Red Sox! If “Smoltzy” ends up throwing against the Braves at Turner Field in a Red Sox uniform, that’ll be a pretty weird sight to see for everyone in Atlanta. Exciting week!
But I did want to take a minute to give a shout out to all the dads for Father’s Day this past Sunday. We played in Boston on Sunday afternoon, but I was able to make it back Sunday night when we landed to stop by and see my dad for a little bit. My dad has definitely been a huge part of my life. He’s put more time and effort into my game (all sports) than any coach ever will…because he’s been doing it since Little League! He’s definitely my biggest fan and one of my biggest critics, aside from myself. I used to take BP with my dad on the field a few hours before my high school teammates even got to the park, and by no means did he ever take it easy on me! But all the hard work we put in together, and all the Sundays after church where we’d load up the truck with buckets of balls to go hit, definitely got me to where I am today.
Father’s Day, a lot like Mother’s Day, is really cool around the MLB. If you watched any of the ball games on Sunday, I’m sure you saw the players, coaches, umpires, trainers and groundskeepers wearing blue wristbands and blue ribbon uniform decals. We also used special “Baseball Blue Ribbon Father’s Day” lineup cards. A lot of those items (wristbands, decals and cards) were auctioned off soon to raise money for the Prostate Cancer Foundation. In 2008, the Father’s Day promotions raised nearly $2.5 million for the Foundation. The whole day is great. For Mother’s Day they taped a bunch of us sending a Happy Mother’s Day message to our moms, which was nice because we were out of town in Philadelphia. They did the same for Father’s Day so we all got to send our best on TV to our dads.
Unfortunately I was not able to do a Father’s Day trip, but I know a lot of people do that. If I was home and had an off-day, I’d probably take my dad to play golf and then we’d meet the whole family for dinner somewhere like Stoney River. Anyone take a special father/daughter or father/son trip somewhere? I do have a big trip planned with my dad and a bunch of the guys in our family for this offseason though. We’ll hop on a flight and head off, just the boys, for a long golf trip. It’ll be a delayed Father’s Day celebration I guess.
Happy belated Father’s Day to all the dads out there. Hope everyone had a great day and I hope to see a lot of you out for Delta Day at Turner Field tomorrow, June 24th vs. the Yankees.