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Twenty years ago tonight …

Your Office proprietors were in attendance that night, but neither of us saw Otis’ miracle grab from our seats in right-center field. The roar of the crowd informed us that we had just missed the greatest catch in Atlanta Braves’ history.

You tend to forget The Catch came in the 9th inning of a 1-0 game. Charlie Leibrandt, whose contributions to those early 90s Braves teams are often overlooked, shut out the Pirates through 8. The Braves had only one hit — a homer by David Justice.

Big Al Pena gave up Van Slyke’s thwarted blast so, with Bonds due up, Bobby called on Kent Mercker to record the final out. His second pitch was grounded weakly to first and the Braves had their first 13-game winning streak in 10 years.

We stopped by Manuel’s on the way home just as the late local news started. The lead story was the catch, and after the replay the entire tavern was on its feet chanting, “Otis, Otis, Otis!” For a few years, Atlanta was a helluva baseball town. It didn’t last long.

I was back at Manuel’s the night the Braves won the World Series. After Grissom caught the final out I leaped on to my chair and high-fived an old-timer at the next table. I was told to get off the furniture. A tepid celebration followed.

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6 Comments on Twenty years ago tonight …

  1. PepeFreeUs // July 25, 2012 at 10:20 pm //

    Skip’s call is just perfect. I love the reactions from David J and Hunter and I especially love that it was that dittohead tool Van Slyke that he robbed.

    I can’t honestly say that I thought he had it all the way or anything but his track to the ball was so smooth and his body language was so confident and in control that I never really realized how far the ball was hit until he took off.

  2. charlesad // July 26, 2012 at 7:53 am //

    We couldn’t see the catch from our seats, but I believe I heard the thump of Otis crashing into the wall. Good times.

  3. Jack Straw // July 26, 2012 at 10:48 am //

    Nice camera work, too, capturing Van Slyke’s expression.

  4. Reblogged this on Secret Party Room and commented:

  5. charlesad // July 26, 2012 at 4:20 pm //

    And Noc-a-Homa is the best music video I’ve ever seen.

  6. I was at the game, on the first base side in the upper level. They must have shown the replay at least six times. And after each replay, the crowd noise got louder. I’m not sure if I ever heard a louder noise at Atlanta Stadium. And after, the final out, the team rushed to centerfield and carried Otis half way back to the infield. One helluva night.

2 Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. Twenty Years Ago Tonight « Secret Party Room
  2. Twenty Years Ago Tonight « Pittsburgh Talk

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