Braves Win! Braves Win!

1992 NLCS. Game 7. Bottom of the 9th. Braves are down 2-0. Where were you?

Me? I was “asleep” because it was a school night and I was only 13. Dad and I had watched a portion of the game earlier in the night, but since the game didn’t start until 8:30 pm, I wasn’t allowed to finish it…

Little did my parents know that I wasn’t actually asleep. No, I had an alarm clock radio that was turned to the local am radio station where I was listening to the likes of Don Sutton, Skip Caray, Joe Simpson, and Pete Van Weren…

I had the radio volume so low there were entire plays I missed, but I was deftly afraid of being caught – and hearing 80% of the game was better than hearing none of it…

As the 9th inning rolled around, I was ready for bed, but not quite ready to give up on the Braves. Then after they scored their first run and loaded the bases, you had the feeling that something magical could happen…

2 outs, bottom of the ninth, bases loaded, down by 1. It all came down to Francisco Cabrera – he of 10 previous at-bats all season. He gets on base, game continues. He gets out, game over…

In his 11th at bat of the season, Cabrera singles to left. Justice scores as does Sid Bream, the slowest man to ever play the game…

The result – Braves Win! Braves Win!

As I’m listening to this, in bed, with the radio barely audible, I’m having to bury my head deep in my pillow to muffle the celebration. Any hint of noise could alert the parents to my not being asleep…

Then I hear footsteps – running through the house. I snap out of the euphoria to realize it’s Dad, and he’s coming for me – quickly. I turn off the radio and pretend to be asleep. I’m afraid I’ve been found out and trouble is coming my way…

Instead, Dad comes in all smiles and ushers me out of my “deep sleep” to let me come relive the ending on tv. I never let on that I listened to the whole thing and just enjoyed the victory with Dad…

All these things combined to cement one of my fondest memories on childhood. To this day I get chill bumps when I hear the radio call…

Maybe my girls and I can have one of these types of memories. Maybe we already have…

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