For the weekend and2 c1 3 b15 when i came to middle georgia as the sports director of "anothe station" in town, i covered th macon braves you know, that team the previous mayor of macon didn't care about and allowed to leave for rome.
The second year i was here the macon team had a manager named brian snitker.
He had a great team that season, with 12 players who would go on to play in the major leagues.
Snitker was along his long journey at that point, one that would see him back in atlanta a decade later as bobby cox's third base coach.
Snitker had a couple of stints in atlanta as a coach in the 1980s.
He had gone back and forth, between atlanta and the minor leagues, but he was always a brave.
He never left.
He never wanted to go anywhere.
The young man from macon, illinois by the way, who signed with the braves as a catcher in 1977 had found his home as a coach, a manager, an instructor.
There were hundreds of players who he had helped make better had made an impact in their lives.
He had also become one of the best third base coaches in baseball.
Then, after the 2013 season, when the braves won the national league east, snitker was demoted to triple-a.
For some reason, former general manager frank wren made the change with no explanation and snitker was back down in the minors.
He did his job because.
He was a brave.
No one approaching 60 years old wants to go back down to the minor leagues, especially after living a major league life for seven years.
Snitker did it and did not complain.
Then, in may of 2016, when the braves fired manager fredi gonzalez, they turned to snitker to manage the atlanta braves.
It was the ultimate promotion for a minor leaguer.
Snitker took over a rebuilding team that was horrible.
But the braves played hard and finished the season strong, which got snitker another shot.
In 2017, after the braves got to 72 wins, the team was in turmoil as an international scouting scandal got the general manager fired.
But thankfully, the team kept brian snitker.
He might have been fired if john coppolella had not gotten canned first, but snitker survived.
And then this season, the braves went from 72 wins to 90 wins.
They won the national league east.
And to a man, the players would tell you a main reason was brian snitker.
It's not easy holding a clubhouse full of egos and personalities together.
It's not easy nursing young players through their first pitfalls of being a big leaguer.
It's not easy to not panic when there is trouble like a losing streak or a bad game.
Snitker never panicked, and the braves never panicked and for those young players to see that stability, that even- keeled approach was very valuable.
The talent got better, sure, but they were led by the right man for the job.
-- there is a lesson of perseverance with brian snitker's story that we can all learn from.
He has gone back and forth from the majors to the minors like a 12th man on a pitching staff his entire career, but snit survived.
The lessons he learned along the way made him ready for the opportunity at this time in his life.
-- it's a long way from luther williams field, along with stops in greenville and richmond and durham and other minor league fields, to suntrust park.
Brian snitker's honor on tuesday of being named this year's national league manager of the year was special because of that journey, and because deep down, quite simply, brian snitker is a brave.
He is the braves way, and all that organization stands for.
And let's hope, he has more success to come as it might be the best promotion this team has ever made.