Meeting Dansby Swanson
Five local youth baseball players got the opportunity of a lifetime when their coaches and association boards chose them as their park’s Wellstar Positive Athlete of the Year.
Their reward for being selected for the honor was getting an inside tour of Truist Park in September and spending an hour on the field with Atlanta Braves All-Star shortstop (and Kennesaw native) Dansby Swanson. He also autographed more than a few balls, hats and jerseys during his time with the future major leaguers.
Braves rookie sensation Vaughn Grissom made an unexpected appearance and talked with the kids while also signing some items for them.
Player selection for the event was based on attributes such as displaying great sportsmanship; encouraging fellow teammates and competitors; being respectful to coaches, parents and umpires; and taking pride in their park by keeping it neat and litter-free.
The Acworth and Kennesaw players and associations that participated were Levi Wheeler from Acworth Baseball, Lucas Smith and Christian Scragg (there was a tie among the board members who voted) from Kennesaw Baseball and Softball, Eli Furnish from Oregon Park Baseball and Patrick Layne from West Cobb Baseball.
Acworth Baseball Association
Levi Wheeler is 12, lives in Acworth and plays for the Bronco Cardinals.
- What was it like to meet Dansby Swanson? Love it.
- What did you do during your time with him? Got to ask questions about him and had pictures taken.
- What is something you learned from him? What a nice guy he is.
West Cobb Baseball Association
Patrick Layne is 14, lives in Marietta and plays for the West Cobb Cardinals.
- What was it like to meet Dansby Swanson? Really cool experience. He was very nice and humble.
- What did you do during your time with him? Talk with Dansby and ask questions. He also autographed items for me.
- What is something you learned from him? Dansby spoke about some infield drills and being a faith-based person.
Kennesaw Baseball Association
Lucas Smith and Christian Scragg are both 7 years old, live in Kennesaw and play for the Bananas and Kennesaw All-Stars.
- What was it like to meet Dansby Swanson? It was the coolest thing I have ever done!
- What did you do during your time with him? It was interesting to hear all he had to say and all the advice he had to give. We got to talk a lot, and he signed a bunch of things.
- What is something you learned from him? I learned to never get down on yourself, to never give up and to always try harder.
- What was it like to meet Dansby Swanson? I was really excited to meet Dansby since he grew up playing at the same park I do (Adams Park). He was really nice and took the time to answer everyone’s questions.
- What did you do during your time with him? I gave him some shirts and hats from Kennesaw Baseball. He also signed my jersey and a baseball for me. I asked him if he was excited to get Ozzie (Albies) back, and he said “Yes, he is like my little brother and always brings the energy.” We sat and listened to him answer questions everyone had.
- What is something you learned from him? I asked what he thinks the most important drill is, and he said, “It’s really important to work on hops, and that baseball is a game of highs and lows and that we have to learn from the lows to appreciate the highs.”