Thirty years ago this baseball season, my life changed forever.

Thirty years ago this baseball season, my life changed forever.

 

Fresh out of college, I had applied for many minor league baseball play-by-play jobs.  I got one response.  It was from Greensboro in the South Atlantic League.  The “Hornets,” as they were known at that time, were the Class A affiliate of the Yankees.  I was offered the job, and off I went to chase my dream.

 

I got more than I anticipated.  In Greensboro, I met my soon-to-be-wife, Lois.  We were married on Saturday June 6, 1981.  It was a small ceremony, the baseball team was there, and we had to rush out of the church so I could call the Hornets’ game that night.

 

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Lois threw out the first pitch of the game; and the team won.  I was a perfect night.  The next day we had a 1:00 p.m. Sunday game and then headed out on a road trip to Charleston and Florence, SC. 

 

Ah, a honeymoon with the baseball team.  We wouldn’t have it any other way.

 

It was a magical year.  Being in love and calling baseball games on the radio is quite a combo for a rabid baseball fan of 23. 

 

It also became a year of two rings.  The Hornets won an incredible 98 games that season and went on to sweep the Greenwood Pirates in the SAL Championship.  So along with my wedding band, I got my first championship ring.

 

Thirty years, five kids, and an experiment in pro wrestling later, Lois and I began this Gwinnett Braves season together again.  She traveled with me to the opening series in Durham, Norfolk and Charlotte.

 

Sometime this season, I will broadcast my 1,000th baseball game (three of which have been major league games).  Lois has been with me every step of the way.

 

Ten years ago, World Championship Wrestling folded, leaving me without a job.  Naturally, I panicked.  But Lois, true to form, picked up my spirits with some logical advice.

 

“You have always wanted to leave wrestling,” she said.  “But because of the money, were afraid to.  Now you are forced to leave, and you have your chance to go back to baseball.”

 

She was right.  Thanks to WSB, I was on the Atlanta Braves Radio Network for four years; and thanks to WDUN and the Braves, I am back behind the microphone doing what I enjoy more than anything else.

 

Thanks, Lois.