Braves commemorate 'The Slide'
Kyle Drabek walked out to center, where Sid Bream was
hanging out with some former teammates.
Bream saw Kyle and turned and the two hugged before chatting a few moments.
Bream had been more than a teammate to Kyle's father — former major league
pitcher Doug Drabek — he had been "basically a godfather" to Kyle
when Bream and Doug Drabek played for the Pittsburgh Pirates in the late 1980s
and after Bream moved on.
"I used to hang out with his kids all of the time," Kyle said.
So Bream, who joined the Braves in 1991, and Kyle used an unusual set of
circumstances to stage a reunion on Saturday.
Bream was in town for a weekend of festivities with other Braves alumni and to
commemorate the 20th anniversary of "The Slide" that beat the Pirates
in Game 7 of the 1992 NLCS, a game that was started by Doug Drabek.
The Braves gave away 20,000 bobbleheads which featured Bream’s slide on
Saturday. Kyle pitches for the Toronto Blue Jays, and started Friday's game
against the Braves.To add even more strange coincidences to the weekend: The
Blue Jays defeated the Braves in the World Series later that fall.
"I find this kind of weird," Kyle said.
Added Bream, "It was a weird feeling to have those two teams here and Kyle
Drabek on the mound last night."
Doug Drabek and the Pirates had a 2-0 lead heading into the bottom of the ninth
on Oct. 14, 1992. Atlanta’s Terry Pendleton doubled to lead off the inning, David
Justice reached on an error and Bream walked to load the bases.
Stan Belinda relieved Drabek before Ron Gant hit a sac fly to left to cut the
deficit to one. Damon Berryhill walked to reload the bases and pinch-hitter Brian
Hunter popped up for the second out.
Pinch-hitter Francisco Cabrera then delivered a single to left that scored
Justice and Bream, who slid in to home just before Pirates catcher Mike
"It's just like it was yesterday for me," Cabrera said. "When
people in the streets see me, they say, 'Hey Francisco, I remember the hit.' It
helps me remember, too.
"It's nice to see Sid. I know he made a great effort to score from second
base, so I appreciate that he did that. That's why right now I'm a hero."
Kyle said he, his older brother Justin and their dad have watched replays of
"I've probably watched it three or four times with (my dad)," Kyle
said. "He gets fired up and yells at the TV when stuff happens. He wasn't
mad at the game. It was more about his pitches. He would scream, 'Here comes
the hook. Here comes the hook.'
"He enjoyed the game. He loved watching it with me and my brother. It was
real fun for us to watch it with him."
Cabrera lives in his hometown of Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, where he
works for the Cleveland Indians as a hitting instructor in the summer league
there. He said he hadn't visited Turner Field in several years.
Doug Drabek is the pitching coach for the Visalia (Calif.) Rawhide, the
advanced Class-A affiliate of the Arizona Diamondbacks.
"Doug pitched a tremendous ballgame," said Bream, a businessman and
public speaker in his post-MLB life. "He was phenomenal that night, and we
just happened to get to him in the bottom of the ninth. It's special to me to
think (Kyle) is up here and has an awesome potential to be a quality pitcher in
the major leagues. I'm excited for him."