I decided to wait and run this cover of my first book on the Braves until they could clinch the title because if they win Game 5 tonight it would truly be a “Miracle Season,” much like 1991, when they went from worst to first and lost in Game 7 of the World Series in Minnesota.
As the Braves beat writer for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, I covered four different World Series and three potential title-winning games. There was Games 6 and 7 in 1991 and, of course, when they won in 1995 against Cleveland.
In that Game 6 in Atlanta, one of the cool parts for me was I sat in the same seat in the Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium press box, right behind home plate where I sat the last five seasons. Below me in the stands was my father, a native Atlantan and huge sports fan who had taken me to a lot of games when I was young including the Braves, Falcons, Hawks and Flames.
When the Braves beat the Indians that day, a tight 1-0 victory when Tom Glavine pitched eight scoreless innings and David Justice, one of the most clutch players in the game, provided the only run of the game on a homer, my father, Charles Rosenberg, was sitting below me at the stadium on the 14th row. I did walk down to see me father at his seat around the fifth inning but didn’t get a chance to see him after the game because I was busy writing.
I had just turned 32 and was father was 57. Today, thanks to good friend and rep from the Atlanta Braves, I will be able to take my 83-year-old dad in a wheelchair to Game 5. My father has been having a tough time with his health and can’t walk, but some 26 years later I will now get the chance to watch a potential world title-winning game with my father. We all have bucket lists, but this is different. Tonight is sort of like the first time your father took you out in the backyard and tossed the baseball with you. You drop the first throw that comes to you and you pick the ball up and short hop it to your father, but the next catch and throw are perfect.
Almost a quarter-century later, I’ll get another first throw-and-catch of sorts with my father, except this time we just may get the chance to watch the last out of a Braves world title together. No stories to write but the one in my mind — perhaps the best one I have ever written.
I.J. Rosenberg, 58, spent 13 years at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and six of them (1991-96) covering the Atlanta Braves including the world title club in 1996. Today, he is the president of sports marketing company Score Atlanta.
NOTE: As of Nov. 1 the Braves have won three of the first five games in the 2021 MLB World Series. They are on their way to Houston to play game six and hopefully clench their victory.
Come back for Play Ball with I.J. Rosenberg soon.