The Ending of an Era: part 2 March 29 2021
Life is all about learning. I’ve found out so much about myself during this whole covid pandemic which is just mind blowing when you sit back and think about. But where I really learned a great amount about something I had no clue about was during my time with the Braves Ground Crew.
I feel like the grounds crew era of my life was just like another 4 year degree. High School(4), Undergrad(6 lol), Masters(2), and Grounds Crew (1 semester at ATL United and 3+ with the Braves). I used to joke around about how your entire life you’re told to go to College so you won’t end up working with a shovel. Here I am with a Masters and there were days I’d feel like Bubba from Forrest Gump. “You got a spade shovel, scoop shovel, digging shovel, shovel stew, shovel scampi..” but I wouldn’t change a thing because I learned a lot about life out there.
Coming in that first day at then SunTrust Park, I was so excited. I was pretty nervous. I had no idea what I had gotten myself into. I had in the most literal sense of the word, NO idea what I was doing. But one thing I feel like I’ve always done well in my life is adapt, learn quickly, and just be a sponge. I went through 4 field replacement and installs. I can tell you what I learned the quickest is that sod installs take a good bit of time but once you know what you’re doing its not too bad. I learned that the clay renovation is one of the more miserable experiences I’ve encountered, I decided quickly that if I ever had a son I would absolutely never ever under any circumstance name him Clay. Those 3 seasons gave me so much perspective of life and taught me so many lessons. Many times people just take things a little too serious and we have to laugh stuff off or else we’ll all just be miserable. I learned 48 hours straight laying sod is something I’m glad I went through but would never want to do it again. A 25 hour day at the tail end of a 10 gamer wasn’t the best idea either (sorry Anthony and Matt). But man the friendships I’ve made with people in this organization and the relationships I’ve built. That to me is what its all about. When you’re stuck with someone for 15-16 hours a day and sometimes more you learn a lot about who people really are. Hell you learn a great bit about who you are. How people react when they’re tired speaks more about their character than most things in life. Tarp pulls suck just as bad as you can imagine and 4-5 in one day is the worst. But on the same foot there really isn’t an adrenaline rush like when its dumping rain in front of 30,000-40,000 fans and you have to get the tarp on and then try your best to get that baby ready to play on or even if it’s rained too much and you have to spread Turface around to help dry out areas and get it just right all while being on a clock to get it done as fast as possible but get it done as close to perfect as you can. I learned how to deal with so many different personalities and come in common ground with them because we all have the same goal at the end of the day, to make it. What I learned the most from those 3+ years was this, no matter how much life sucks sometimes, trust God, be friendly to everyone, stick to what you’re doing, keep your head down, and stay in your fucking lane.
Today is the day that I part ways with that journey of my life. Hanging up the rakes and shovels for good (I hope). I am starting a new adventure and I couldn’t be more excited. I’ll leave it at that for now, some of you know and some can ask. A lot of you will end up just figuring it out. I’m still with the same team, just wearing a different cap!
Cheers and Go Braves!