Today is the 17th anniversary of the first Major League Baseball game I attended, an epic battle between the bottom-feeding Pittsburgh Pirates and the bottom-feeding Atlanta Braves. I was excited at the time because I finally saw Dale Murphy play in a game that counted. I’d seen him play in exhibition games in Richmond, but that wasn’t the real thing. So I was excited.
I was also excited to see Tom Glavine pitch that day. He’d made his major league debut on August 17th, a game he lost to Houston in the Astrodome. When the game started, I thought maybe, just maybe, he could win his first major league game, the very game I was attending. Nine innings later, Jim Acker threw the last pitch to finish off Glavine’s first win. That was cool.
With 258 additional wins since August 22, 1987, Tom Glavine is still pitching, putting the final touches on his Hall of Fame resumé. On the day he is inducted, I’ll tell the nearest snot-nosed, unappreciative kid who lacks a sense of history that I saw Glavine’s first win. That kid won’t care, but I’ll enjoy being the grumpy curmudgeon. I may even mumble. If I were that guy today, I’d probably mumble that I can’t believe it was 17 years ago.