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A 4th of July I’ll never forget

It was a little before midnight, July 4, 1985, when we sneaked out of my friends’ house, two 15-year-old boys with keys to a boat and warm beers in our pockets. Some three hours later we returned, quietly paddling the old Sea Ray into his dock slip — just to be safe.

As we walked toward the house we noticed a reflection from the basement television. We were busted.

“You won’t believe this game,” said my friend’s dad, oblivious to our curfew infraction. We had just missed Rick Camp’s game-tying, two-out home run — the most improbable hit in Atlanta Braves history.

It came at 3:30 a.m. in the 18th inning of a game that lasted six hours and 10 minutes. Camp, an amiable country boy from Trion, had never hit a homer in 164 previous at-bats and finished his nine-year career with just 13 hits — good for a .074 batting average.

Camp would end up the losing pitcher, but he saved our hides. My friend’s father, so distracted by the 16-13, 19 inning game, forgot all about us sneaking out.

 

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