The last time I saw Jameis Winston, the newly-minted Heisman winner was on the giant screen at Auburn Arena, tearing apart the Tigers’ defense on the final drive to win the national title.
The last time I saw Jameis Winston, we had driven 113 miles to Alabama, with the hopes that the freshman phenom would lose and Auburn’s magical season would continue.
The last time I saw Jameis Winston, he had a rose tucked behind his ear and was lifting the crystal Coaches’ Trophy.
Now, Famous Jameis was stepping into our neighborhood.
In a baseball uniform.
Nearly once every week since the college baseball season started, Abby, Andrew, and I have squeezed out 20 minutes of our day to walk a block down Fowler Street to Russ Chandler Stadium to watch Georgia Tech take on its ACC foes for a few innings.
But with March Madness finally coming to a close and the weather in Atlanta quickly heating up, Justin, Eric, Andrew, and I decided to make the most of an 85-degree Sunday and watch the Yellow Jackets take on the top team in the land, the Florida State Seminoles. Russ Chandler was packed with Noles fans who had traveled well for the weekend series, so we decided to find seats in the bleachers on the Tech side of the field.
As we walked up the steps to our seats, one man reached across the aisle after seeing Justin’s Auburn hat and shook his hand, saying, “Thank you, sir, for beating Georgia this year.” Southerners and their SEC football, I tell ya…
The game was a close one, with Tech and the Noles bouncing back and forth. Personally, I was just ecstatic to sit outside on a beautiful, warm day, watching the best game with some of the best baseball fans I know. The crowd down the first base line started to get a little restless as none other than #44 ran down the line into the bullpen to warm up — Jameis Winston.
Jameis — who hadn’t played Friday and had missed Saturday’s game to fly back to Tallahassee for the spring game — was about to step into the game. Winston stepped into the batter’s box as a pinch hitter and drew a walk. At the end of the half inning, Jameis trotted out to left, standing right in front of us. In one of the most entertaining moments of the day — while the speakers blasted Outkast, the Backstreet Boys, and Neil Diamond — Jameis danced around before striking the Heisman pose, a moment that Justin said later made SportsCenter. Winston then came on for the save in the ninth, his fifth of the year.
With a big College World Series road trip on the horizon (check out @OmahaOrBust on Twitter and Instagram for a sneak peek), I’m sure it won’t be the last time I see the Seminoles, but it was certainly a great way to kick off the road to Omaha.