A trip to see the Atlanta Braves, the Masters, and the Final Four in a span of five days—it seemed too good to be true.
Being that I live in Kansas, the opportunities to see the Atlanta Braves are obviously few and far between.
They play the Royals in Kansas City once every three years (if I’m lucky), but other than that, a planned trip to some place farther has to be done months in advance.
So this was going to be the year. I was going to see Truist Park for the first time. I was going to be able to hang out in The Battery all day and get a tour of the park before a game.
Let me go back nine months to how this all got started.
Before I do, however, I want to be very clear that millions of people around this world are dealing with much worse when it comes to COVID-19 and the ramifications from it. I am not any way comparing my “problem” to them. There are varying levels of how this awful virus affects all of us.
Back to the story…
On the afternoon of July 5th, my wife, two kids and I were heading back from the pool when I got a notification on my phone. It was an email from Augusta National Golf Club.
I was anticipating yet another failed attempt at landing practice round tickets to The Masters so I flippantly asked my wife to confirm my fears.
“You’re never going to believe this,” she said. “You won practice round tickets!”
I about drove the car off the road in bewilderment and excitement.
After I came off the high of knowing I would be going to the hallowed grounds of Augusta National Golf Club, my next thought immediately went to when the Braves 2020 schedule would be announced.
I swear I was locked in on Mark Bowman and David O’Brien’s Twitter every few minutes in August until the schedule was finally announced later in the month.
The Braves were to be at home against the Marlins this weekend and then home to the Padres next week.
A few months passed and I failed to put together the third piece to the puzzle: the NCAA Final Four was also in Atlanta.
The Braves are the team I am most passionate about, but next in line is Kansas Jayhawk basketball and they were one of the best teams in the country this season, if not the best.
Being able to go to the Final Four or the National Championship game would have been gravy on an already incredible trip.
The plan was for my wife and parents to make the trip, too. My dad has long loved baseball and The Masters and was a high school basketball coach for a long time, so this would have been a dream trip for him too.
We were going to stay within walking distance of the Braves park We were going to walk over every day and hang out. It was going to be the whole experience.
I was so excited to get a behind-the-scenes tour of the park and then watch the Braves play twice.
It seemed like a dream.
Once Rudy Gobert of the Utah Jazz tested positive for COVID-19, I knew an avalanche of cancellations or postponements were coming.
First was the NCAA Tournament, and then came MLB, and finally, The Masters.
So that dream became a nightmare.
I have had time to put it all in perspective and understand that the health and well being of my family, the country, and the world is more important than any sporting event.
But it is still hard to not think about what could have been.
See you next time, Georgia.