MACON, Ga. — Starting this week, the Atlanta Braves will fight to be this year's World Series Champions.
The Braves haven't held that title since 1995 and haven't made it to the series for the chance since 1999.
Now, they'll do it with manager Brian Snitker behind them.
The Atlanta Braves aren't the only Braves he's coached.
Before he was the manager of the Atlanta Braves, he was the manager of our once hometown team, the Macon Braves.
It was just 23 years ago that you would see Snitker on Luther Williams Field, high-fiving players at third base, and coaching them all the way up to being first in the league's South Division.
Snitker managed the team in 1997 and 1998.
"All the time I spent in Macon. It was good form me and my development. I got really good feelings about my time in Macon," Snitker said to 13 WMAZ in 2018. "It was part of the process you go through. That was part of my journey... was Macon, and it was a good one."
Jim Tessmer remembers those seasons. Tessmer worked in marketing and ticket sales for the Macon Braves from 1991 to 2002.
"A great guy. A great manager," Tessmer said.
He says Snitker is different than most managers you see in the leagues.
"He'll just come up to you, shake your hand. He'll have a beer with you after the game and, you know, he's just he's just a genuine guy," Tessmer said.
During his first season as manager of our hometown Braves, Snitker ended the season with a record of 80 wins and 60 losses, but Tessmer says it wasn't all about making wins on the diamond for the now-Major League coach.
"A lot of players came and went that year. It wasn't about winning. It was about developing players. The philosophy was who cares if we win a championship. If we do, that's fine. If we don't, that's also fine, but how many players did we develop to go to AA and AAA?" Tessmer said.
Jason Marquis, Marcus Giles and Mike Hessman are just some of the players that went onto the Major Leagues shortly after playing for the Macon Braves during Snitker's seasons.
Tessmer says you play the game to win but also to develop yourself and your character.
He says that's what Snitker has done in his nearly 45 years with the Braves organization--starting as a player in 1977, then a coach, minor league manager, and in 2016, a major league manager with the Atlanta Braves.
"He was thought of as, 'Who's Brian?' You know, really, 'Can he manage in the big leagues?'" Tessmer said about what others were saying when the Braves were looking for a coach in 2016, "And turns out, he can."
The World Series starts Tuesday when the Braves face the Astros in Houston Texas for game 1.
They'll stay in Houston for game two Wednesday night.
Then, they have a day off.
On Friday and Saturday, the Braves will play at home for games four and five.
All those games start just after 8 p.m. each night.
If necessary, game 5 will also be at Truist Park, while games 6 and 7 would be in Houston.