September 6, 2012
The bright sun gleamed down on the golden dome of the capitol building as I stared out the window at the approaching city of Atlanta. On our return from visiting grandparents, my parents had decided to try to catch a midday Atlanta Braves baseball game–something I had been anticipating for many years. Because of this, my excitement for the event soared above all other things at the time as my mind was jammed with endless amounts of thoughts regarding what I was about to experience.
Upon our arrival the monstrous stadium towered above while the cacophony of the crowd could be heard from the parking lot in which we had parked— which was much louder than I had suspected. At the ticket box, a cashier cheerfully greeted us and gave us a brightly colored seating chart asking which seats appeared most appealing. Unfortunately, the general area along each side of the field was already jammed full of fans; the only seats left were either only affordable for a millionaire or a mile high in the upper decks in the un-shaded outfield. The cashier quickly scanned her computer for four remaining seats in the section of our choice and gave us a deal on the last four seats on that side of the stadium–what fantastic luck! Upon entering and gazing in amazement and awe of the incredible size of the stadium, I stared out from the back of the center field stands onto the radiantly colored field mowed into a pattern of light and dark greens. A curt, sudden crack caught my attention as I glanced up to see a baseball lined into leftfield–a base hit. Two figures in pale grey uniforms with bright red inscriptions on them raced around the bases in the light brown infield towards home plate. The throw rocketed in from leftfield, and the homeplate umpire waved his arms in a very animated fashion to signify both runners were safe. I squinted and peered across the field trying to read the jerseys of the players to identify the scoring team as high-fives erupted in the dugout when the players descended into it. Suddenly, it hit me that the megatron-scoreboard was standing adjacent to me; so, I checked the score. Unfortunately, the St. Louis Cardinals, the opposing team, had scored and taken a 2-0 lead. After this we ambled along the walkways marveling at the enormity of the stadium and finally found our seats. The seats seemed to be perfect as they resided directly under the second deck so that it provided shade. The distance behind home plate was not too far and, because our seats were in the back of the stadium located closely to the main walkway around the field, a cool, refreshing breeze funneled around the stadium to provide a pleasant environment, helping to make more of an enjoyable experience
As the game progressed, in the seventh inning, as a remembrance of Memorial Day, a family came onto the foul ground in rightfield and, as it turned out, the father was away in the Middle East in the military. Then, a video was shown on the megatron out in centerfield of the father giving his family a message. After he had told of how he missed them and how he wished he could be at the game with them, he paused, and then with a great, broad smile stated, “I hope that y’all can see me soon–in fact look to your right.” Saying this, he disappeared from the screen. Naturally, the family turned to their right. To their most utter surprise, there, swiftly running down the rightfield line, was none other but their father. With gaping mouths they all ran, streaming tears of joy and yelling in sheer delight, to embrace their father for the first time in a seemingly long time. He heaved up two of the children in each arm kissing them and demonstrating his deep, paternal love for them, while applause erupted from the crowd. After this brief yet emotional moment, the group cheerfully exited the field to take their seats, now, a complete family. Eventually, the Game ended (the Braves lost), but I regardlessly had enjoyed the experience that I had a looked forward to so greatly, which has given me something that I will always be able to recall with a smile.