A Wonderful Two Days in April 1966

i don’t know, but i suspect i covered my tracks with an alibi to my parents. Maybe not. It did not matter. i was not going to miss this momentous occasion.

Jim Hicks and Billy “the Alligator” Parsons picked me up mid-morning at Middle Tennessee State University in Jim’s hump-backed Volvo. As we neared Atlanta, we stopped for gas and Billy needed to shave. He used the service station’s restroom, which only had cold water. When he emerged he looked like some bird had been pecking at his face. “Cold water,” he explained.

We parked and walked to the brand new Fulton County Stadium. It was the first game for the Braves in Atlanta. They had moved from Milwaukee. .It was the first major league ball park i had seen. i was stunned with the vastness. Awed. We found our seats with several other Kappa Sigma fraternity brothers, including Jim’s brother Alan and Kenny Gibbs. Alan, in his senior year at Vanderbilt had attended the Master’s the previous weekend and stayed over through Monday to watch Jack Nicklaus win in a playoff. i was impressed with Alan as well.

Sitting behind us were a group of Kappa Theta sorority sisters including my lifelong friend, Susan Butterfield. It was a fun group altogether.

The game was special for me in that the Braves in their opening game in Atlanta were playing my Pittsburgh Pirates. i began rooting for the Bucs in the early 1950’s and my enthusiasm had not waned. Willie Stargell was their star right fielder.

Being college boys and having no sense whatsoever, we decided to drink a beer an inning. We did. Nine beers is rather a lot for one sitting. But this was a bit more challenging. Through nine innings, the score was tied at 2-2. Tony Cloninger, the Braves starting pitcher continued on the mound. We continued to drink a beer an inning. Blessedly, my Willie Stargell his a home run for a Pirate’s 3-2 win, and i didn’t have to drink another beer.

We said goodbye to the ladies and most of us crashed in Kenny Gibbs’s hotel room. Obviously, i don’t remember much, but i do remember sleeping the floor with a seat cushion for a pillow and a curtain for a blanket.

Now that is some way to begin my watching live major league baseball:

5 thoughts on “A Wonderful Two Days in April 1966

  1. I haven’t thought about my college days for decades but reading your baseball trips opened up a cornucopia of similar high jinks. Don’t EVEN open that door. Thanks for sharing ☺️

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