Fan Encounters > Erik

Tom Glavine has been my hero since I was 10 in 1991. Growing up in west Texas, it would have been difficult to follow the Braves and Tommy if it weren't for Ted Turner and his TBS Superstation, but I managed to follow his career for that last 12 years and he's been my idol since I can remember. 5 years ago I began working at The Ball Park in Arlington, where the Texas Rangers play, prior to my first year of college at Texas Christian University. Naturally, I made friends while I worked there for three years, and in June of 2002 the Braves played the Texas Rangers in an interleague game. I went to all 3 games, but my proudest moment was right before the 2nd game. I showed up early for bp and naturally, the Braves were crushing the ball over the fence. I ended up catching a homerun ball in the stands from BP and minutes after bp ended, Tom and Leo decided to hold a bullpen session. I was lucky enough to watch Glavine throw up close and personal.

I was maybe no more than 15 feet from him and I watched every motion. At that moment I thought life could not get any better. I was ready to go sit with my friends when I saw Tommy signing autographs for the Texas fans. I couldn't believe it! I rushed over to where Tom was signing and waited patiently until Tom took the ball I caught during bp and my pen to sign the ball. I just about died! Here I was watching my idol sign a ball for me! Caught up in the moment, I thanked Tom for signing my ball and told him how big of a fan I was. I remember the conversation like it was yesterday... "Thanks a lot, Tom! You're the greatest! I'm like you're biggest fan! I've been following your career since like 1991! You're like my hero! I love you!" Tom just kinda chuckled, handed me back my ball and said, "Thanks, bud." I'm sure he had a good laugh with Smoltz or one of the other pitchers in the bullpen when he finished signing autographs about the guy who professed his love to him. This is a moment I will never forget and to this day, I have that signed ball and the pen he used to sign it in my room with my various other Glavine gear. If Tom only knew what that meant to me, he would never know just how big of an impact it made on my life.