Breaking News

Sports Columns

January 28, 2013

What's Going On: Hop on the caravan

Atlanta Braves pull into town this afternoon

Back when the Atlanta Braves started the 1982 season with a 13-game winning streak on their way to winning the old National League West, I could easily name every single person on the roster and probably be able to tell you exactly what each player was hitting and which pitcher had the best earned run average on the team.

Pressed today, I think I could still get most of the starting lineup with Chambliss and Horner on the corners, Ramirez and Hubbard up the middle, Murphy in center and Claudell Washington out there too. My memory fades on who the other outfielder was, and I think that was a little too early for Bruce Benedict to be behind the plate, but you get my drift. And if you can name the first names of all of those guys, then you are probably about my age and didn’t buy baseball cards just for the gum.

One of the things that always seems to stick with people as they age are the memories provided by sports, and they try to pass those memories and make a few new ones with the next generation that comes along. My father told me of the time he met Mickey Mantle, and I am sure one day I will tell my boys about interviewing Tom Glavine and John Smoltz and Greg Maddux when they make their way into the Baseball Hall of Fame.

Like a lot of kids who grew up in the South, my roots with the Braves go back to when cable television finally made it down my road in rural Bryan County in the early 1980s. Every game was there to see on the SuperStation with its scheduling quirk of starting shows on the 05s. I remember coming home in August of 1984 to find Pasqual Perez and the San Diego Padres engaged in a war of the worlds with fights galore and Horner stepping out of the dugout wearing a cast and acting like the bouncer when things go wrong at the local hot spot.

Those are just some of the memories.

For this generation and for anyone who is still a screaming kid hanging over the rail at Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium begging for an autograph, the Braves are coming to you today.

Starting at 3:30 p.m., Craig Kimbrel, Jordan Schafer, Gus Schlosser, Frank Wren and Brian Snitker are scheduled to appear at the Dalton location of Academy Sports and Outdoors for the 2013 Braves County Caravan. Dalton is just one of several stops on the Caravan, but it is definitely an advantage of having a new Academy store here in town.

An autograph session will last until 5, so grab your little one, grab your favorite piece of Braves memorabilia and have it made even more special with an autograph. The event is free and open to the public.

Here is a look at what else is going on this week:

• On Tuesday, it’s the rematch. After losing the first encounter in Tunnel Hill, Dalton’s boys basketball team will try and ruin Northwest Whitfield’s attempt at a perfect Sub-region 7B-4A record. In the first meeting, the Bruins held on for a 63-57 win.

The girls game was not nearly as close, and the winning side was different. Dalton’s girls routed Northwest three weeks ago, and the Lady Bruins can climb back into the thick of the sub-region race with two wins this week. They face the Lady Catamounts and then are at home Friday against Southeast Whitfield, who also has a win against Northwest and is tied atop the sub-region standings. The girls game on Tuesday begins at 6 p.m. with the boys starting right after. On Friday, girls start at 7 p.m. with the boys following.

• Friday also is the start of area traditionals for wrestling teams.

All three classes with local teams will begin Friday and conclude Saturday. Murray County hosts the Area 3-2A tournament, Coahulla Creek and North Murray travel to Central Carroll High for the Area 2-3A tournament and Dalton, Northwest and Southeast head to Gilmer for the Area 7-4A tournament.

• Today, Dalton’s swimming team will host Northwest Whitfield and Chattanooga’s Notre Dame in a three-team meet. It will begin at 6 p.m.

Chris Whitfield is a sports writer for The Daily Citizen. He got Craig McMurtry’s autograph when he made a rehab assignment with the old Savannah Braves. Contact him at

Text Only
Sports Columns
  • Larry Case: Camping a sure cure for the big city blues

    In case you haven’t noticed, we are looking right down the gun barrel at winding down on another summer.

    July 25, 2014

  • Chris Whitfield's Fairways & Greens: Nob North prepares for 'big date'

    Like anyone getting ready for a big date, golf courses get dressed up when it is time for a major event. But while a woman may put on a little makeup and a man may add a spray of cologne, Nob North Golf Course in Varnell is getting something more akin to Botox.

    July 24, 2014

  • 7on7 day 2 '14 17 mlh.jpg Devin Golden: Friday signals gridiron days’ official start

    Seven-on-seven football was a good placeholder, but it’s time to begin talking about the real thing.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Loran Smith: Golf now in era of McIlroy after Open

    Royal & Ancient officials, under whose auspices the Open championship is conducted each year, were blessed with a sun-kissed start of the final round of the 143rd playing of this historic event.

    July 21, 2014

  • Loran Smith: McIlroy at his peak at Hoylake

    HOYLAKE, England — It’s the setting which enraptures those who appreciate the things that accompany a championship, The British refuse to let a downpour or two, intermittent and inconvenient, to make them fret.

    July 20, 2014

  • Loran Smith: Change is needed for major titles

    HOYLAKE, England — This is a good time to be Bubba Watson — long off the tee which brings golf aficionados through the gates, two Masters titles which puts him in the pantheon of the greats at Augusta, deal-makers hovering about, more perks than a palace prince, exempt status to the end of the decade and a cash flow that resembles a raging river.

    July 19, 2014

  • Loran Smith: Harman is living his childhood golf dream

    HOYLAKE, England — One thing about golf that has remained constant since Young Tom Morris won his fourth Open in a row in 1872 — when Ulysses Grant was president of the United States and Brigham Young was arrested for bigamy (he had 25 wives) — is that a little man can play the game.
    Football players are becoming bigger — often illegally — and basketball players are growing taller, but a golfer can excel at any dimension if he hones his skills enough to get the ball in the hole in the fewest strokes. Golf is not a behemoth sport; there are no concussions, no strikeouts and no fistfights. Let the game prosper.

    July 18, 2014

  • Loran Smith: Brits know how to hold classy affairs

    HOYLAKE, England — Summertime is a royal time for the British, who have more sporting options in a six-week period than some societies have in a lifetime.
    If you think the U.S. is keen on sport — with the NBA finals lasting into June and baseball and golf dominating the scene — consider what takes place in the land of our forebears. Wimbledon gets underway the last week in June for a fortnight of resonating excitement. Wimbledon is like Augusta National or Churchill Downs — a memorable experience regardless of who walks away with first prize.

    July 15, 2014

  • A Look Ahead: State golf coming to Nob North

    My history as a golfer can be summed up with some well-known words from 17th century philosopher Thomas Hobbes — “nasty, brutish and short.”

    July 14, 2014

  • CharlesTodd.jpg Devin Golden: Todd leaving a legacy of success

    To many, Charles Todd is known as “coach Todd.” Some of the divers, swimmers and water polo players who have been on his teams in the Dalton area over the years shorten that to simply “coach.”

    July 11, 2014 1 Photo