January 2015
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Altlanta Braves Solutions

Those sirens. My God, those sirens just would not stop. Sissy and I are crying. Where is everybody? Can't those sirens just stop. Red all over the exterior of the house. What is it, and why will not those sirens stop.

We moved when I was six to an area called East Lake, about four miles away, just inside Chattanooga. But the terror there was not outside the house, it was inside. My dad was an extremely violent drunk. He would do things like throwing one of my sisters on the ground and stomping her. He would beat me so hard, I would lose my breath. I remember, at about 7 years old, hiding my little sister, Sissy, in the forest, or during the basement to attempt to protect her. In case you want other answers associated with this topic, visit view the full article.

With a major injury to Chipper Jones, the franchise's biggest star, it's been a few unlikely players who've stepped in to produce for the Braves this season. One of the most unlikely has to be right-fielder Jason Heyward, who was made the opening day starter at the tender age of just 20 years old. But Cox's faith in Heyward proved to become more than warranted as he got off to a blazing hot start and ended up putting together a very solid rookie campaign. Though he will probably lose the Rookie of the Year to Buster Posey, Heyward has still been an inseparable part of their starting lineup through most of the regular season. Not to be discounted also needs to be second baseman Martin Prado, who was a spark plug in their lineup for the greater part of the season before going down with injury. And as always, Brian McCann has been the Braves' best overall player, putting together another great year and finishing among the leadership in production for catchers.

Moving Forward With This

I remember my mother would sometimes baby-sit up to 10 or 12 kids, plus do ironing for people for extra income. I remember one time, late at night, her begging my dad not to shoot her. I remember several times, as she was battered, I would sneak into the kitchen to grab an empty beer bottle to hit dad, but never got the courage. Agencies for battered women weren't an option in those days. You've got to see this:

I remember the first time I heard of the Atlanta Braves. I was at the 6th grade at East Lake Elementary School, in Mr. Bowlins class. He let the class watch the Braves play the Mets in the National League playoff game.

That summer, in one of my rare good memories of my father, he took my brother and I to a place called Nik-A-Jack for fishing. A man close to us was listening to a ball game on a radio. He told me the Atlanta Braves were playing the Reds. I remember the Braves lost. I do not remember what possessed me, but the next night, I listened to them over the radio.

I was getting beat up almost everyday at school. I think dad beating on mom and us turned me into a coward. It just hurt so bad when he would hit. I remember lying in the chamber, with the big white radio set low, listening to the Braves, as dad was beating mom as she wanted to cook supper. She just kept getting back up, trying to make sure we were fed. I would close my eyes, and pretend it was not happening. I convinced myself that the Braves were the reality: my pretend reality.

I absolutely loved baseball. My mom would break off old mop or broom handles, and when dad would come home, I would go up to the rear alley. This was filled with gravel, and hit rocks. I would always pretend I was the Braves. Funny, I do not recall them ever losing.

I remember it seemed every time Hank Aaron came up to bat, in my fantasy games, he would always hit a home run. Just maybe I caught on to something before steroids! As the rock would clear the fence at the conclusion of the alley, I would pretend I was Ernie Johnson or Milo Hamilton, the radio announcers: There's a drive, way back, that ball is going, going, gone! The hammer has just hit another one! In reality, the Braves were 76-86 that year.

I would spend hours in the front yard playing catch with a few of the neighbors, John Stuff and Archie Layne. Sometimes, they could hear my mother screaming. I was always Phil Niekro, of course. Seems he never lost, just as Aaron always homered. The sounds from the house weren't reality: Aaron was. He was my pretend reality.

I have to this day only been to two Braves games. The first was probably in 1973. The Braves beat the Reds, 11 to 7. I believe there were 5 home runs hit, three by the Braves. I got to see Johnny Bench hit one, but my biggest dream came true: the Hammer hit I believe number 687, though I'm not sure exactly. I will always be so obliged to the boy scouts for that trip.

But Henry Aaron was THE sports hero. Not only to the African-American community, but to one skinny white kid, of whom he became the pretend reality in a house that was a torture chamber.

The last check my dad ever wrote was for his church tithe. He loved God, his church, his family, but he learned to love, irrespective of race. If he changed, is not there someway we all can? We just elected our first African-American president.

My biggest dream is to someday meet Hank Aaron. It would probably be silly to see a 50 year old man cry, but if this one skinny white kid could ever explain to him how important he was, perhaps it would make it all worth it for all the HELL Aaron went through.

08 Jan 2015
clancybrighter · 454 views · Leave a comment