Today we will go back to the 2010 opening day for the Atlanta Braves. While sitting at work on a perfect sunny afternoon, I saw the Braves take on the Chicago Cubs but I witnessed more than just a game, Braves nation and myself viewed the future of the franchise.
In a game that would feature Braves starter Derek Lowe and the Cubs ace Carlos Zambrano, both teams offense were clicking early. The Cubs would put up five runs through the first three innings but the Braves would put 16 runs on the scoreboard to win the game 16-5.
Leading off the game, Lowe did not have the start to the season he wanted. In the top of the first inning, he gave up a single to the second batter of the game and followed that with a walk. Then, Marlon Byrd stepped to the plate and hit a ball to deep center field over the fence for a three run home run.
Already in the 3-0 hole, the Braves took on a pitcher who had 105 career wins all while playing with the Cubs. Melky Cabrera led off the bottom of the first with a walk, which followed a single by Marin Prado. With guys on first and third, the face of the organization would step to the plate, Chipper Jones would single to center driving in Cabrera. Brian McCann would follow with another single making the Braves have the bases loaded. After Troy Glaus struck out, Yunel Escobar would keep it going with another single to center field that scored Prado and Jones. What came next was the Atlanta Braves future.
The Braves and the entire MLB #1 prospect, Jason Heyward walked to the plate. Zambrano would throw two inside fastballs to Heyward that were both balls. On a 2-0 count, Heyward would take the bat off his shoulder for the first time in the big leagues. His swing, so miraculous to witness. The ball, would travel deep into the right field section. The crowd, screams for the new face of the future. In his first game, first at bat, first swing, Jason Heyward destroyed a fastball from Zambrano. Chip Caray with the call “And he hits a deep drive to right, way back! Welcome to the big leagues Jason Heyward!!!!”