Photo: David McGregor
Former Atlanta Braves manager Bobby Cox watches pregame festivities on Bobby Cox Night at Coolray Field on Monday night.
LAWRENCEVILLE -- Julie Weaver has absolutely no clue what she said to Bobby Cox on Monday.
Weaver, a Gwinnett Braves season ticket holder, came to Monday's game just wanting to take in the Bobby Cox Night festivities. She wound up taking part in them.
As Cox, the legendary former manager of the Atlanta Braves, strode onto the mound at Coolray Field donning an all-brown outfit -- brown loafers, brown slacks and a brown Tommy Bahama shirt -- Weaver walked along with him.
After he threw the ceremonial first pitch, Cox autographed and gave the ball to Weaver, who went back to her husband and lower-level seat beaming.
"We just chatted," she said afterward, laughing. "I have no idea what I said."
Gwinnett Braves manager Dave Brundage was shooting for his 1,000th win as his team took on the Louisville Bats, and the Triple-A team's 1,000,000th fan crossed through the gates before that.
The real focus, however, was on honoring Cox as he visited Gwinnett.
Fans gathered early and stood in line to get the limited-edition Cox figurines handed out upon entrance to the game, and signed a roughly 6-foot-by-2-foot "Thank You Bobby" banner once inside the gates.
Three fans were lucky enough to find "Golden Tickets" inside their figurines, giving them access to a pregame meet-and-greet with Cox.
Pam Billingsley of Buford wrote a heartfelt message on the banner, which was presented to Cox later in the game: "I've loved you for years and you can never be replaced."
"I've watched him for many years," Billingsley said before the game, "and we came here because of our dedication and love for him."
"We love him to death. We can't wait to see him."
Cox spent 25 years at the helm of the big league Braves, accumulating 2,504 wins, 15 division crowns and one World Series title.
In the fourth inning, broadcaster and former Braves player Brian Jordan asked Cox a series of questions submitted by fans via Facebook, his responses aired live on the stadium big screen.
The final question was a simply worded, "Gilligan's Island" themed one submitted by Joshua Albertson of Flowery Branch: Ginger or Mary Ann?
Cox's response drew a roar of laughter.
"Don't tell my wife this," he said, "but I like them both."