Sunday, August 27, 2017

Tony Schiavone Night

Saturday was Tony Schiavone Day at the Gwinnett Braves game. Schiavone is a name I've been hearing for years,
but I had to stop and consider exactly who he is. More on that below.
Broke out my obscure Greenville Braves cap for the occasion. 
Johnny Tallant and Old Hugh secured front row seats in the right field corner. I had glued up my old Huarache cross trainers,
but they had a blow out before I could leave.
Before first pitch I was able to get Schiavone to autograph a bobblehead.
Nice, regular guy about my age.
I tried to take a selfie of us, but hit the wrong button. He laughed.
Before leaving the field Schiavone's dog Bug peed in front of the Charlotte dugout, much to the delight of the crowd.
I sat next to the ballboy, with Johnny and Hugh on my left. Hung out with LJ, and ran into several friends: Paul Smiley, Jeff Richards, Joe Shirley, Ginger and her husband, Albert Sender, Kristen, and Bobby Myers.
Ilse posted that she was at the game,
and when I turned around I saw her practically sitting behind me.
The game was a battle of the phenoms:
the Braves Ronald Acuna against the Knights' flamethrower Brian Clark.
In his first two at bats Acuna struck out and grounded out weakly to third.
Clark had a no-hitter going through four innings. I hated to leave.
The night's prize: a good likeness. I bought four tickets, and Ilse generously gave me her bobble. I'd already sold one and traded two. I got the other two bobbles autographed, so hopefully they'll fetch a higher price.
With Bug looking on, Schiavone took time to make each autograph legible.
In addition to his Gwinnett gig,
Tony hosts the postgame Bulldog Hotline after UGA football games.
But Schiavone is most famous for his earlier gig as the host of professional wrestling on TBS: WWE, WWF, WCW, NWA. Many of the fans in line to get his autograph were wrestling fans.
I just had time to kill before the game started. 
After visiting with friends I had to head out to drive to Macon. On my way to the exit I noticed Schiavone was back signing more autographs,
so I had him sign my extra. Was also able to snap that elusive selfie.
After packing up my bobble I looked up to see Chuck Dowdle standing next to me. Tony was introducing someone to the guy in the red Players Weekend Braves cap: former Brave / current Fox Sports South host Nick Green, who occasionally calls Gwinnett games with Schiavone.
Nice of Chuck to pose for me.
An autograph.
After I left, for some reason the stadium had to be evacuated.
Not sure why. Eventually the gates were reopened.
Before the game while people-watching I traded glances with a guy about my age. Later while looking around I noticed a decent looking pair of Nikes. I looked up to see who was wearing them, and it was the guy from before. I nodded to him. he walked over and complimented me on my Hauraches - years ago he had a pair just like them. We had us a little chat about sneakers. Nice to know I'm not the only old guy who wears nice shoes.

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