Auburn football coach Gene Chizik and his 11-year-old son Cally paid a visit to Turner Field Wednesday and spent batting practice mingling with Braves, as a guest of assistant trainer Jim Lovell.
He got handshakes from Auburn fans like catcher David Ross, who played baseball at Auburn, and assistant hitting coach Scott Fletcher, whose son Brian played outfield for Auburn before being drafted by the Royals.
One person Chizik spent a bulk of his time talking to behind the batting cage was Braves trainer Jeff Porter. Porter’s wife Kathy was killed in a car accident on New Year’s Eve when they were driving to see Auburn and Virginia play in the Chick-fil-A Bowl on New Year’s Eve. Chizik had sent the family a cloned oak sapling from the famous Toomer’s Corner to plant in their yard in honor of Kathy.