Hello and welcome to another Wednesday of deep thoughts. Well, we made it back safe and sound from Atlanta, although I have to admit that it was tough to see the team head south to Ft. Myers without us. To be honest, although we had a great time in Atlanta, we were ready to head home.
Last summer, I bought my son three nice Marucci wood bats. I don’t know if you have priced professional grade bats, but they are all around $100. Of course, there is one thing about wood bats…they break. So, we were headed to Atlanta needing to restock the broken bats. Blake was swinging a Marucci BBCOR bat this spring, but we found out in June that the bat had been decertified. I made a quick inquiry to the folks at Marucci and learned that one of the options for the bat was a swap for three professional wood bats…hell yeah! But, with only 4 days, I did not have time to mail the bat to them and get the wood bats in return. Oh…wait a minute; isn’t Marucci located in Baton Rouge? I love it when a plan comes together! The trip to Atlanta was now routed through Louisiana. The tournament started on Friday July 6th, so we left Austin on the 4th of July and headed to Baton Rouge. Since we got in fairly early, we decided to take a brief tour of LSU. I have to admit, I have been on many college campuses, but the LSU campus is a beautiful place. We even got a chance to go by and see Mike the LSU tiger. A friend of Julie’s went to school at LSU and see recommended a seafood place called Don’s. Our first meal on the road and the special was all the shrimp you could eat…so we did…yummy!
We arrived early at the Marucci factory, swapped the bad bat for three new wood bats and we were off to Atlanta. But not before a brief visit to the Bass Pro Shop store on the way out of town. In case you wondered, Baton Rouge is not the halfway point when traveling to Atlanta from Austin. Although the drive was long, the scenery was green. Seriously, all you can see is trees. Of course there are some cool rivers and creeks that you cross; but much of the trip was like driving through a dense forest. I did find many nice spots that I would have loved to stop and drop a hook, but of course that was not possible.
We got to Atlanta just in time to check in and go grab a pizza at Uncle Vitto’s. The NY style pizza was as good as I remembered. An excellent way to start the week! The Action White team ended the week 4-2-1 and could have easily been 6 and 1, but of course…that is baseball. A few facts about the Atlanta tournament: 1323 of the 1530 players drafted in 2011 played in a perfect game tournament…85%! 294 of the 331 players taken in rounds 1-10 played in a perfect game tournament…89%. There were roughly 300 teams from all over the US playing in this tournament. I literally ran into Craig Biggio the first morning. I was half asleep and looked like hell…so I kept walking. His son plays for a Houston team called the Heat.
The bottom line is that kids from all over come to get in front of college scouts. The Air Force Academy, FIU and Valpo were watching Blake. As I said last week, there is still more road to travel, but the journey is winding down. Very soon, we will be gearing up for football…damn time flies.
From what I hear, this place is bat shit crazy during the fall...they don't sell booze, but they don't care if you bring your own.
Julie and Blake with Shaq's statue. Really pretty cool...
Not everyone was happy to take pictures with Mike the Tiger.
Marucci, has bats displayed of Pujols, Bautista, Texiera and others...
New bats in hand, Blake is now a happy camper...
This place really is the Mecca for the outdoorsman
Bass Pro Shop, you have to love their truth in advertising.
A cammo crib...perfect!
Of course everyone would love a big bass for a mail box, right? LOL...
Perfect for the redneck man cave...
This was a common sight along the way. A big bridge going over a river.
Once off the bridge, it was trees again. This was a really cool series of rivers just north of Mobile headed for Atlanta.
Arriving in Atlanta after a long car ride. Some in our car got to take a nap...
A very solid choice for Georgia BBQ!
I was interested to see how they do BBQ in Georgia. The ribs and chicken were great, but I like how we do pork and beef in Texas better.
They do it right at the Williamson Brothers. They actually cook their meat so that the customers can see it cooking...cool!
The East Cobb Baseball complex offers all of the latest baseball goodies.
A highlight for Blake...meeting Domingo Ayala
If you have never checked out Domingo Ayala, it is a hoot...he is a legend among baseball players.
Headed in for a giant pizza
Another giant pie at Big Pie in the Sky in Kennesaw, Ga.
The dessert case at the Marietta Diner. A very solid place to eat. I had a turkey melt that was perfect.
This is downtown Marietta.
This beautiful setting was only two miles from a great baseball field. It is odd how these great schools just pop in in the middle of no where.This was just north of Cartersville, Ga.
Sully hanging out with the scouts...
The Action White team gather after their 1 to 0 victory. Ended the Atlanta tournament on a high note!
Another visit to the West Cobb Diner.
My sirloin with potatoes and asparagus. Eating my veggies Johnny!
Sully opted for the sirloin with mac n cheese and asparagus.
I asked Sully if he wanted dessert...nuff said.
It has been said that you save the best for last. For our week in Atlanta, this was certainly true. Sully joined us for the last game and he got to see a very well played 1 to 0 Action victory over a game team from Tennessee. After the game we had our best meal of the entire trip. Now you can tell we were eating good meals, so that is saying something. We started off the meal with fried pickles with cheese and honey mustard dribbled over the plate and an artichoke-spinach dip. Fantastic is too mild of an adjective to describe the appetizers.. Sully said, " I am not much of a fried pickle fan"...I think he has changed his mind after tasting these delicious treats. $12 for a sirloin with veggies...a great deal for such an amazingly good meal. I just wish the West Cobb Diner was closer to Austin.
Next week, I will get back to sports, but I do have a few pics of the trip home. That is all I have but will leave you with a bit of Jack Handey:
“The difference between a man and a boy is, a boy wants to grow up to be a fireman, but a man wants to grow up to be a giant monster fireman.”
“If God dwells inside us like some people say, I sure hope He likes enchiladas, because that's what He's getting”
Thanks for stopping by and feel free to leave a few deep thoughts of your own...