October 27, 1999.
That was the last time the Atlanta Braves played in a World Series game. They faced the New York Yankees and lost the series 4-0.
I was 2 years and 117 days old when that occurred.
Obviously, I didn’t know what my name was then, much less what a baseball game was.
Fast forward to the present day.
It was one day shy of being exactly 22 years since the Braves returned to World Series action on Tuesday for Game 1 in Houston.
Here I am, now 24 years old, and couldn’t help but get emotional when Dansby Swanson threw to Freddie Freeman to down the Dodgers in the National League Championship Series on Saturday. When the celebration took place at Truist Park, my mind flooded with all of the obstacles the Braves have had in the past 22 years. From an infield fly rule to blowing a 3-1 lead, almost everything has derailed the Braves’ quest for a World Series championship.
I vividly remember debris and trash being thrown onto Turner Field after the Braves lost to the St. Louis Cardinals in the 2012 Wild Card game.
Let’s not forget the rebuilding years that included BJ Upton, Bartolo Colon, Matt Kemp, Fredi Gonzales and others who didn’t pan out to have much success.
From 2013-2017 seemed to be the toughest stretch in recent memory to be a Braves fan.
Then, finally, Atlanta returned to the playoffs, but more bumps in the road popped up.
First, the formidable Los Angeles Dodgers eliminated the Braves 3-1 in the 2018 Division Series. Then, those pesky Cardinals showed up again to kick out the Braves in the 2019 Division Series 3-2.
Last year, the Braves seemed to be stamping their ticket to the World Series. That was until they blew a 3-1 lead to the Dodgers and were eliminated yet again.
Even this season, the Braves have been dealt a few bad hands.
It started with Marcell Ozuna being placed on administrative leave after being charged with family violence battery and simple assault.
Just before the All-Star Break, one of the key pieces on Atlanta’s roster sustained a season-ending injury.
Ronald Acuña Jr. exited July 11’s game vs. the Miami Marlins with a torn ACL.
When that transpired, the Braves were 44-44. As a matter of fact, Atlanta didn’t climb above .500 until Aug. 6.
But, through it all, Atlanta has persevered.
In this year’s playoffs, the Braves have beaten a 95-win Milwaukee Brewers and got their revenge by bouncing a 106-win Dodgers from the playoffs.
Now comes the biggest obstacle of all: winning the World Series.
Atlanta will face a 95-win Houston Astros in a best-of-7 series for all the marbles (or pearls). The Braves have a chance to win it all.
Do I think they’ll win it? Honestly, no. But they have a chance, because, while it is not the most talented team, it is arguably the most tenacious.
It’s been a long road to get here, though. That long road, however, did propel the Braves to finally reach the Promised Land of baseball. Maybe it’ll assist them in shocking the sports world. Who knows?
Anything is possible.
The World Series matchup began Tuesday, Oct. 26, at Houston, and Game 2 will be tonight. On Friday, Saturday and Sunday, the series comes to Atlanta at Truist Park.
I’ll be at home watching every second I can of all the action. Will you?
Phillip B. Hubbard is sports editor of The News. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.