Even in 43 years of broadcasting, Pete Van Wieren never fully grasped his affect on those listening.
Radio and television booths are removed from the fans and keep the broadcasters cut off, personally, from their work. They just call the game into microphones.
But now, the longtime Braves broadcaster understands, in a small way, the reach of his career.
With the release of his autobiography, “Of Mikes and Men,” Van Wieren embarked on a series of book signings in its promotion, meeting fans firsthand. That tour continues Saturday at Coolray Field when Van Wieren will throw out the first pitch and sign copies of his book before the Gwinnett Braves take on the Charlotte Knights at 7 p.m.
Van Wieren will sign copies of his book from 6 to 6:30 p.m. in the team store, take a break to throw out the first pitch, and return to the team store for more signing from 7:15 to 8 p.m.
“The fans are the most important part of the game,” Van Wieren said. “But we are basically separated from them. This has been a great way to connect with fans from all over the country.”
Van Wieren was part of creating that national reach of the Atlanta Braves as part of the television team on TBS when it became a national network. That is one of many topics in his book.
“A lot of it comes from the amazing transformation baseball took in Atlanta,” Van Wieren said. “Basically it answers all the questions I was asked through the years.”
G-Braves announce grant program
The Gwinnett Braves will begin awarding monthly grants to local nonprofits beginning next month.
The grants include $1,000, 50 tickets to a G-Braves game, a table on the Coolray Field concourse and an official check presentation. Daily Post editor Todd Cline, G-Braves general manager North Johnson and G-Braves community and public relations director Courtney Lawson will review and award the grants.
Each month will focus on a theme and groups may apply for any months they fit the qualifications. Every group that applies will receive 20 tickets.
Applications and more information are available at www.gwinnettbraves.com.