Thursday, April 6, 2017

Atlanta Braves open 2017 Major League season with eight-game road trip

Alabama football coach Harold "Red" Drew
By the time this week’s paper hits the streets, the 2017 Major League Baseball season will be well underway.

The first three games of the season were played on Sunday and a full slate of Opening Day games followed on Monday. The Atlanta Braves opened up against the Mets around noon on Monday at Citi Field in New York and lost, 6-0.

The Braves actually open their season with an eight-game road trip, and they won’t play their first home game of the season until Fri., April 14, when they will play their first ever regular season game at their new ball park, SunTrust Park.

I can remember going to Braves games at the old Fulton County Stadium when I was a kid, and also saw the Braves play at Turner Field. Last summer, I went to a game at Turner Field and still thought it was a pretty good place to watch a game.

SunTrust Park is actually located in Cobb County, Ga., about 10 miles north of downtown Atlanta. All I can figure is that the Braves stand to attract larger crowds (and make more money) by playing in a stadium that’s not in the middle of downtown Atlanta.

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On Monday, one of our readers mentioned to me that he remembered hearing once that Evergreen once had three players who were on Alabama’s football team when the Crimson Tide played in the Orange Bowl in the early 1950s.

As best that he could remember, those players were Jeff Moorer, Doug Potts and Sam Cope.
I vaguely remembered having something in one of my old Sports Flashback columns about this and when I looked it up I found that in the Jan. 15, 1953 edition of The Courant there was a story about Evergreen’s Jeff Moorer playing in the Orange Bowl for Alabama.

According to that story, Moorer was the son of Mr. and Mrs. J.R. “Randy” Moorer and he played the entire fourth quarter on offense in the Orange Bowl. The Courant noted that it was believed at that time that Moorer, who played offensive guard, was the first ever Evergreen athlete to play in a bowl game.

The 1953 Orange Bowl was played on Jan. 1, 1953, and Alabama beat Syracuse, 61-6, in Miami. Alabama, coached by Harold “Red” Drew, entered that game ranked No. 9 in the country, and Syracuse was ranked No. 14.

The only “roster” that I was able to find for the 1952 team at Alabama was a depth chart-type document that listed players by only their last names. While I did find Moorer listed as a sophomore guard, that document didn’t list Cope or Potts. That is not to say they weren’t on the team, they just weren’t listed on the depth chart I found.

Those who remember their local football history will know that Potts and Cope (along with Moorer) were among the best football players to ever walk the halls of Evergreen High School. Potts definitely played with Moorer at Alabama because I’ve found references to the fact that they both started, side-by-side on the offensive line at Alabama. Elsewhere, I found information that indicated that Cope was perhaps a year younger than Potts, and they were both a little younger than Moorer. In the early 1950s, freshmen typically weren’t considered varsity players, which may explain when Potts and Cope were listed on the old roster I found.

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