Dan Uggla was super cool to Carter.

This past Saturday (February 5, 2011) the Atlanta Braves Caravan made a stop in Nashville at the Academy Sports and Outdoors in Madison. We were expecting a lot more fans to be there this year since Nashville resident Dan Uggla and All-Star Martin Prado were scheduled to appear. We arrived two hours early and were #210 in line. We felt pretty sure we’d get to say hi and get a few things autographed for Carter’s collection.

It took almost an hour to reach them, but it was well worth the wait. After talking to Uggla and watching him interact with Carter for only few seconds, I’ll have to say I’m a big fan of the Braves newest 2nd baseman. Upon seeing Carter in the line, Uggla immediately perked up and greeted Carter with a “Hey there big guy, how are you doing today?”

Carter decided this year he wanted the Braves to sign the Brian McCann bat he got at a game last year. It’s not a full size bat, but probably little league sized. I will admit, it looks pretty cool with all their signatures on it.

I told Uggla that I was excited to see him with the Braves, since we both grew up in the same small town – Columbia, TN. Based on his demeanor and attitude, you can tell he’s a small town guy. Martin and the rest were equally cool and I didn’t know until the day before that Braves pitcher Mike Minor grew up about 30-minutes from me in Chapel Hill, TN.

There were at least 500 people there this year. That’s a big difference from the 100-200 that were there last year for Jason Heyward and Mike Minor—that was a month or two before most people knew who Heyward was.

With Jill and I tagging along, Carter was able to add 5 more baseballs to his collection and a few autographed cards. Hopefully we can add a few more baseballs over the season at a few games.

Overall, I’m ready for baseball to get started. After watching a few specials/countdowns on the MLB Network and the Braves Caravan, I’m ready for Spring training and the season to get underway. We’ve already looked at the schedule and have an idea of which games we’ll try to hit this year.

With Uggla added to the lineup and Chipper hopefully making a return at 3rd, 2011 looks to be a great year for the Atlanta Braves.

Check out my February 2011 photos for a few more images from the day.

Seven years ago today (tonight), you arrived in our world changed it forever. It’s true what everyone says, the birth of your child will change you. There’s no way to describe the feeling in a way that will make someone understand the relevance of the experience.

It’s been an amazing and crazy seven years. As I looked back at the photos in the video above, I not only wonder where that baby went, I wonder what you will look and be like in another seven years. Everyday is an adventure with you. I love seeing all the things in you that you have picked up from your mother, from me and the others around you every day.

I look at this young man who can name every dinosaur and recite every detail about them and see myself 30 years ago. I watch you read an entire book in a day’s time and remember when I used to do the same. I look at your face and see the beauty of your mother’s features transformed into a handsome young man. Watching you play baseball, I see “grandma’s” enthusiasm for the game transferred onto the field, having picked up a love and understanding of the game after spending summers watching it with her. I see “grandpa’s” engineering mind in your amazingly complex Lego and Lincoln Log creations. I see you holding “Granny Pete” to her promise to go looking for the Crystal Skull when you turn 16. I look at you now and see all that and more.

My mind cannot fathom what I will see in another seven years.

As we celebrate your birthday this year, I hope the Braves won the game against the Cardinals that we went to see. I hope they make to the World Series, so we can see Game 2 together. I hope you have added another autographed baseball to your collection. I hope we found the pack of Braves Logo Bandz that you wanted so badly. I hope you have enjoyed every minute of this weekend and the things we did together as a family. Most of all, I hope you know how much your father, your mother, your brother (yes, even Riley) and the rest of your family love you.

Happy 7th Birthday son.