Cox seemed to enjoy the pregame festivities, even if those feelings probably ebbed once it became apparent the Philadelphia Phillies would sack the Braves again, putting Atlanta's playoff hopes in peril. Now, Cox's Braves are tied with the San Diego Padres for the NL wild card, and wouldn't necessarily advance to the postseason even if they salvage Sunday's game with Philly. It's more complicated than that now.
Ah, but Saturday was Bobby's day.
"There's no doubt that he's the most influential man in Atlanta sports history as far as I'm concerned — he and Hank Aaron," said Jones, who Cox (as Atlanta's GM) chose to take with the first overall selection in the 1990 First-Year Player Draft. "There have been icons that have come and gone. But I don't think any will have the lasting impact throughout the entire game that Bobby has had."
That's elite company — Hammerin' Hank and Bobby Cox. In terms of influence, I'd also mention Ted Turner and, particularly, team president John Schuerholz (who happens to be pictured mid-clap on the left).
Schuerholz and Cox made one of the great pairings in baseball history. Schuerholz's influence in remaking the Braves was no less important than that of Cox. A World Series championship in 1995, five NL pennants, 14 postseason appearances and more than 2,500 career regular-season victories.
It all makes Cox worthy of this day. And it doesn't happen, not like this, without Schuerholz.
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- John Schuerholz