Snitker reflects on debut as Braves' manager

Wednesday is one-year anniversary of skipper's first game at helm for Atlanta

Snitker reflects on debut as Braves' manager

ATLANTA -- After receiving the call informing him he was going to replace Fredi Gonzalez as the Braves' manager less than two months into last season, Brian Snitker turned to his wife, Ronnie, and said, "I've got to pack," without providing any immediate indication as to why he was heading to Pittsburgh while his Triple-A Gwinnett team was in the midst of a homestand.

As Snitker prepared for Wednesday night's game against the Blue Jays at SunTrust Park, he was once again reminded this was the one-year anniversary of his first game as a Major League manager. Reminiscing about this life-changing, whirlwind experience still causes him to chuckle.

"I remember that first night [after being told] not sleeping," Snitker said. "I think I remember more that second morning, [former Braves manager] Bobby [Cox] calling me. I said, 'What time is it?' He said, 'It's like 11:30 [a.m.],' and I was like, 'I'm glad you called because I might not have ever woke up.'"

Snitker nearly had to remove Aaron Blair during the first inning of his first game as a big league manager. He then spent the next couple of months realizing his new responsibilities were far different than any he had experienced while spending each of the previous 39 seasons within the Braves' organization as a player, big league coach and Minor League manager.

But as the summer progressed, Braves players came to appreciate Snitker's leadership and successfully campaigned for him to remain in the role once the season concluded with 20 wins in the final 30 games.

"Time flies," Snitker said. "It's been a lot of fun."

Mark Bowman has covered the Braves for since 2001. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.