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Conrad fondly recalls time spent with Braves

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ATLANTA -- One of Brooks Conrad's most memorable days as a Brave was a sunny Thursday afternoon at Turner Field on May 20, 2010, when he became only the second pinch-hitter to hit a walk-off grand slam to overcome a three-run deficit in a 10-9 win against the Reds.

Conrad's slam capped a seven-run rally in the bottom of the ninth for the largest comeback in franchise history.

"That was my first career win," Braves closer Craig Kimbrel said. "It was cool. Came in and pitched in a blowout and ended up winning."

But Conrad was no one-hit wonder with the Braves, as he served as a valuable bench bat for parts of three seasons. He was key in the final playoff run under manager Bobby Cox, hitting .288 (19-for-66) with a .356 on-base percentage in the final 34 games of 2010.

"Very special," Conrad said of his years with the Braves. "That was kind of really my first time up in the big leagues. I got my first opportunity with Atlanta, so I've had some really good times here, and I definitely miss it, but getting back here with another team is a lot of fun."

Conrad was especially happy to return to Atlanta on a weekend in which Cox, his manager for more than half of his Major League career, was one of six inductees into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y.

"Getting to play for him was the opportunity of a lifetime," Conrad said. "He truly, genuinely cared about each and every one of his players. You don't really see that a whole lot."

After playing in 13 games for the Padres, Conrad was optioned to Triple-A El Paso on Monday to make room on the roster for Jedd Gyorko.

Joe Morgan is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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