Like home: Jurrjens gets chance with favorite team
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