A photo of a young Chipper Jones I took at Richmond in 1993 that was published in the July issue of the Atlanta Braves team magazine, Chop Talk, caused me to remininisce about the fun I had that season taking pictures of the Richmond Braves players.
One July afternoon, kneeling in front of Chipper and Javy Lopez at home plate while Pedro Borbon lobbed balls over my shoulder, I tried endlessly to capture the ball meeting their bats and duplicate my Manny Ramirez shot of an earlier year with my primitive camera.
Driving to and from that miserable 120 mile stretch of I-95 from Washington to Richmond in one day, I went to a record number of Braves games that season and enjoyed every moment.
Later at a Braves game in Philadelphia, Chipper, Javy, and Pedro reminded me of our special moments together that hot summer and made me feel special with their friendly gestures.
Last season, I witnessed another special moment when the Richmond Braves won the International League championship over Durham. Governor Kaine and other celebrities were there, the players were celebrating on the field and champagne flowing, especially over the head of Braves GM Bruce Baldwin when he was accepting the championship trophy. There are photos of the celebration in the Photo Galleries on this web page.
Although led by Dave Brundage, who I think is one of the best managers in the minor leagues, and maybe heir apparent to the parent Braves manager’s job when current incumbent Bobby Cox retires, Richmond have been plagued by call ups, injuries and trail Durham by 7 games at the half way mark.
I swallow hard when I realize after this season, there won’t be any more Triple A thrills in Richmond as the Atlanta Braves are moving their AAA team back to Georgia, but just the same, I have to admit it would be difficult to match the thrills I had back in 1993.