We look back at my top six moments from the Atlanta Braves 2019 season as we get ready for the New Year and look forward to the 2020 season.
This will be my personal list of the best moments from the past season for the Atlanta Braves. These will be the moments that meant the most to me and stuck out the most to me.
There may be some bigger moments than the ones that I’m about to mention, but when I think back on the 2019 season, these are the ones that stick out to me the most.
1. Opening Day: This is an easy one for me as Opening Day is always my favorite day of the year. There is nothing quite like the joy and excitement of Opening Day in baseball. But 2019 was even more special for me as it was the first Braves game that I took my son to. That’s a memory I will never forget.
2. Josh Donaldson coming-out party: It was a struggle for Josh Donaldson to start the 2019 season, but you can look to one game for when things started to turn around, and you all know what game I’m talking about.
The Braves had lost four straight including the first game of a double-header on April 20 against the Cleveland Indians. Donaldson put the team on his back in the second game hitting 2 home runs and driving in four.
3. McCann’s walk-off against the Phillies: Who doesn’t love Brian McCann? I didn’t remember this game being that early in the season (June), but at the time I remember it feeling like a huge game with the Phillies.
Atlanta trailed 7-2 going into the bottom of the 7th and scored 7 runs in the last three innings, capped off by a Brian McCann bloop in the gap to win the game. I lost my mind when that ball dropped.
4. Charlie’s throw: This was by far my favorite moment of the 2019 season. I remember where I was and what I was doing when Charlie Culberson saved the day with one of the greatest throws I’ve ever seen.
5. Ortega’s grand slam: Rafael Ortega didn’t do much in the big leagues in 2019 for the Braves, but he did have one huge hit that lit a spark under the Braves.
Early in the season Atlanta was embarrassed by the Dodgers in LA. In their trip to Atlanta we were hoping to flip the script and prove we belonged among the best in the NL. I was at the Friday night game of that series, which was a devastating loss after the bullpen gave up 6 runs in the last three innings.
After evening up the series with a 1-run win on Saturday, it looked like the Braves were going to drop another series to LA as they fell behind 3-1 on Sunday. But then Ortega came up with one of the biggest hits of the season with a grand slam in the sixth inning that led to a 5-3 win and a series win, giving this team a huge confidence boost the rest of the season.
6. Duvall’s big home run: I’ll admit that I was one of the fans in the crowd booing when Brian Snitker took down Mike Foltynewicz — who was dominating on the mound in Game 2 of the NLDS — for pinch-hitter Adam Duvall.
But when Duvall blasted that 2-run homer to essentially put that game away the stadium went crazy and it was one of the best moments of the playoffs for the Braves.
Just thinking back on these moments gets me even more excited for the 2020 season. Let us know your favorite moments from the 2019 season in the comments below.