Goodbye No. 6.
Almost everything that can be said about Bobby Cox has been, and by folks more articulate than me.
My first date with my wife was a Braves game in 1991 on a sweltering Friday night in July. We were married in December of ’91. Almost 19 years later, the skipper of that first date team is finally retiring.
We’re not huge sports people. We don’t have season tickets to, well, anything. Still, Bobby Cox was an unlikely constant for us. Unlikely, because we’d never consider ourselves baseball fanatics. Even more unlikely because how many managers are successful enough to stay with one team for more than two decades?
Her father might have been the biggest Braves fan I ever knew. He saw every game or listened to it on the radio. He was at the game for Hank Aaron’s 715th homerun. Tie games drove my mother-in-law nuts. Every time the two of them went to a game, there would always be extra innings.
Even when his light began to fade, and he had a hard time following the roster, he still watched and listened. He still knew Chipper and McCann. If I was at his house during baseball season, I watched or listened with him.
When he passed away, I took up the torch of watching and listening. Not quite as religiously, but as much as I could and with just as much passion.
Folks will make what they want of Bobby Cox’s legacy. For me, I’ll choose gratitude. Thank you, No. 6.