Like home: Jur­rjens gets chance with fa­vorite team

The Covington News - - Sports - By Paul New­berry

KIS­SIM­MEE, Fla. — Jair Jur­rjens was only 6 years old when his fa­ther passed on a fam­ily tra­di­tion.

Fast asleep at their home on the idyllic is­land of Cu­ra­cao, Jur­rjens awoke to all sorts of com­mo­tion go­ing on in the liv­ing room. He hus­tled out to see his older brother car­ry­ing around their fa­ther, the two of them glee­fully cel­e­brat­ing a vic­tory by their fa­vorite team.

Fran­cisco Cabr­era had just come through with a two-out, two-run sin­gle in the bot­tom of the ninth that sent the At­lanta Braves to the 1992World Se­ries.

“My dad was a Braves fan since Hank Aaron was play­ing there,” Jur­rjens said. “He woke me up when Cabr­era got that base hit. He woke up the whole neigh­bor­hood.”

From that day for­ward, Carl Jur­rjens’ boy was a Braves fan, too. He faith­fully fol­lowed those pow­er­ful teams of the 1990s, cheer­ing on play­ers such as Terry Pendle­ton, Jeff Blauser and his per­sonal fa­vorite, David Jus­tice.

So, as one might imag­ine, there was an­other cel­e­bra­tion on that tiny is­land just north of Venezuela when Jair — now all grown up and quite a pitch­ing prospect — was ac­quired by the Braves dur­ing the off­sea­son.

“I was very, very happy,” Carl Jur­rjens said Wed­nes­day, speak­ing by tele­phone from Cu­ra­cao.

Twenty-two-year-old Jair (pro­nounced Ji-EER) is one of the At­lanta’s top pitch­ing prospects, given a le­git­i­mate chance this spring to land a spot in a ro­ta­tion that al­ready in­cludes

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