2007 NEWS

2007 News > 12/19/07

By Deborah Kolodkin, Johns Creek Herald

In this day, all we hear about of our sports stars is what crimes they have committed, steroid use, illegal dog fighting and so on. Are there truly any role models left like the ones we looked up to in our youth?

Well, I am happy to say that man does exist and my son and his friends recently had the pleasure of meeting him at Ocee Park. Many of us remember him from his days on the Braves, pitching for the New York Mets [and now a Brave again]. Tom Glavine, future Hall of Famer, and in my kid's eyes, just super.

Two weeks ago while in the park, my son along with who knows how many other children went up to Mr. Glavine and asked for autographs. Each one he delivered with a smile.

That night, my son slept with that ball. Once I could free it from his possession, I encased it in a special ball holder and now it has a special place on his bookcase. What also made this so special is that my son came to me and said, "Mom, Mr. Glavine is such a nice man. He's the best."

I know to Mr. Glavine it was just another autograph, but to my son who dreams of being a major league player one day, it was something he will always treasure. I will always remember the impression that Mr. Glavine made on my son of what a true gentleman and role model should be.

I thought that act of kindness and a true love of baseball would never be topped until today. Onto the field in the second inning of our last game of the season, Mr. Glavine strolled onto the field and started pitching. Although it was machine-pitch, I know that each and every boy on those teams felt like they had hit the big time.

I have never seen so many smiles in one place and not only from the children but the parents and all the others watching. He pitched almost four entire innings to both teams so every boy had a chance to face him.

Mr. Glavine, thanks for keeping my son's dream and the dreams of all those that love the game of baseball alive.