Back to the future

Published 7:17 pm Wednesday, July 14, 2010

The last time it happened, I was 11-years-old.

The Democrats were in the White House, Phish was touring the country and the Atlanta Hawks had a pretty decent basketball team.

While not all that much has changed since 1996, on Tuesday night, something that hadn’t happened since then finally took place.

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Thanks to Brian McCann’s late-inning heroics, the National League was able to break its 14-year All-Star winless drought against the American League.

Can I get a Johnny Drama “Victory!” cheer, please?

There is however, more than meets the eye to this “important” exhibition game.

Whether its coincidence or not, the last MVP to come out of an NL victory was, like McCann, a catcher, when Mike “Pepperoni” Piazza won the award in 1996.

But, and this where things become interesting for Braves fans, the last time the NL won, the Braves had the best record in their league at the break, as they do currently, and advanced to the World Series.

Sure, am I jumping way ahead of myself?


But after the past couple of years the rest of the Braves’ nation and myself have had to endure, I don’t see a problem with it.

(Having said that, Cubs and Pirates fans may shake their heads at me whenever they pass by.)

There is no denying that this season has resembled more of a throwback year for the Bravos.

The pitching is as strong as it’s ever been and we are actually getting some offensive productivity from the outfield and first base for the first time since Fred McGriff and David Justice patrolled Fulton County Stadium.

There is still a lot of season left, and yes, the Braves could tank in August or September again.

Sure it could have been a coincidence in 1996, but for whatever reason, this season feels right, and how touching would it be to see one of the greatest managers in the game’s long history go out, Dick Vermeil-style.

Maybe, just maybe, Bobby Cox will ride off into the sunset like we all want him too.

Maybe, we are witnessing a storyline that only happens in Hollywood take place before our very eyes.

Or maybe we are all watching a real life version of “Star Wars: Episode I: The Phantom Menace” which, as many of you know, starts out with a bang, but ends with a thud.

Either way, I am along for the ride.

Hopefully, the Braves experience more of a “Rudy” type ending than one that has Jar-Jar Binks in it.

Greg Rossino the sports editor for The Messenger, and he can be reached at or on Twitter at Messenger_greg.