Braves win! Braves win! Braves win!
I never get tired of hearing those words. I have been a Braves fan my whole life. I have cheered them on at Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium, Turner Field, and Truist Park. Dale Murphy and Bob Horner are my childhood favorites. I remember watching games on TBS. I remember the team of the ‘90s taking us all by complete surprise. Glavine, Smoltz, and Maddux were forces to be reckoned with. I remember when Sid slid. I remember when they finally won it all in 1995. Now, 26 years later, they have done it again!
The excitement of this 2021 season has been reminiscent of 30 years ago when the Braves stunned everyone with their worst-to-first season. In 1991, no one but die-hard fans thought much of Atlanta’s team. Then something amazing happened. The Braves had a shot at making it to the World Series. I was a sophomore in high school, and I remember the excitement over the Braves was almost palpable. Suddenly, Braves t-shirts were for sale everywhere. We had Braves spirit days at school. Everyone was tuned in to follow the Braves’ journey. Atlanta had never had a World Series team before, and we were riveted.
Ultimately, the Braves did not win the World Series in 1991, but it didn’t matter to the fans. Atlanta gave the team a parade like they were the champions. Going to the parade was an excused absence from school. One of my friend’s moms loaded up her minivan with a group of us and off we went to celebrate that amazing Braves team. Atlanta was crazy and chaotic, but everyone was happy. We were all thrilled to celebrate our Braves.
I was in college when they were finally able to capture the title in 1995. My husband and I had just started dating, and we were watching the World Series with a big group in the lobby of one of the dorms. We were all watching and hoping. Would this be the year? The team had been so close to a championship the past few years, everyone was on the edge of their seats hoping that 1995 would be the year.
The spectacular run came to a close in 1999 with a World Series loss. However, the dedicated fans stayed with the team through a slow decade. But then we started hearing some new names: Freddie Freeman, Dansby Swanson, Ozzie Albies, Ronald Acuna, Jr., Austin Riley. Things were beginning to spark again; it looked like this could be the team to bring glory to Atlanta. However, they kept coming close but were not able to bring a championship home.
The Braves did not start out 2021 as a favorite for the post-season. In fact, in July they had a less than 1-percent chance of making it to the World Series. Then we started hearing more new names: Joc Pederson, Jorge Soler, Eddie Rosario.
The Braves were starting to gain attention. It felt like the combination of these new guys with old favorites might just be the spark they needed.
We were able to attend NLCS game 2 at Truist Park against the Dodgers. The atmosphere was electric. Game 2 was won with Eddie Rosario’s walk-off base hit. We were all buzzing with the thought that this could be the year. Did we dare hope?
Then four stressful games later, they were going to the World Series!
I gladly endured serious sleep deprivation to watch my beloved team compete in the biggest series in baseball. I think everyone could tell that this team was special. They battled through much adversity this season to come out on top.
The Braves are World Series champions again. This team thoroughly deserves it. The fans are thrilled to celebrate with them. True Braves fans celebrate the Braves through thick and thin, but it is especially sweet to celebrate them as champions again.