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2021 World Series Game 1 GameThread: Atlanta Braves at Houston Astros

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Houston and Atlanta kick off the 117th World Series at 8:09 PM ET tonight in Minute Maid Park.

World Series Workout Day Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images

Troy Snitker could have leaned on his father’s long-standing relationships in the game as he worked towards getting a job in baseball, but he wanted to earn it on his own.

Troy’s father, of course, is Atlanta Braves’ manager Brian Snitker, who played three seasons in the Braves’ system before becoming a coach and a manager in Atlanta’s organization.

With the connections his father had, Troy would likely have found a job with the Braves, but went his own way.

Drafted in the 19th Round in 2011, Troy played two seasons in Atlanta’s system (2011-12), before retiring from his playing days and becoming a coach at North Georgia and then a hitting coach in Houston’s organization.

Then he was hired as a co-hitting coach by the Astros in 2018 before becoming the hitting coach in 2019.

“I told him too, I said, you’re going to sell yourself,” the elder Snitker said as he and his son prepared to face off in the 2021 World Series.

MLB: World Series-Workouts Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

“I can help get you in the door, but he didn’t want me to do anything. He knew the Braves would hire him or [former Atlanta GM and current Kansas City president] Dayton [Moore] would if he did something with the Royals.

“He sent out all the letters. He taught himself Spanish through the Rosetta Stone and was attracted to the Astros.”

That Troy earned the job on his own impressed his father.

“I’m very proud of him. He went about it the right way. He’s always been just a really hard, dedicated worker. He got his foot in the door, like a lot of us have over the years, and it’s just where he’s at.”

Troy told reporters on Monday that he learned that work ethic from his father.

“I think that’s the biggest thing that I’ve taken away from him,” he explained. “Being able to watch him from a young age at the ballpark. He’s just so consistent. I think that’s the biggest thing. He’s so consistent, hard working. He’s the same guy every day when you’re in the clubhouse with him.

“I think that’s what I got to be around for so many years, and just to see it in action, see how he treats people, he has so many positive qualities about him, but he’s always the same guy — no matter whether they’re winning or losing, he takes the same mindset to the field every day.

“Just he’s been through so much in his career where if he — there were plenty of times where he could have easily decided to go do something else, but he stuck with it.

“I’d say his hard work is the biggest thing that I try to emulate with him.”

Did he imagine at any point that one day his team would face off against his father’s in the Fall Classic?

“Growing up, I don’t think it’s anything we ever even dreamed of,” Troy said.

“To be in the big leagues at the same time while he’s a major league manager and I’m in the big leagues here, just that alone would be very special. Past our wildest dreams to get to this point to both win the pennant and get the face-off, it’s something that we never could have dreamed of as a family.”

Troy’s boss on the bench with the Astros, Dusty Baker, talked on Monday about getting to share the experience with his own son Darren, 20 years after he took the San Francisco Giants ballclub to the World Series in 2002.

Darren, of course, was a 3-year-old batboy with the Giants, who made quite the impression when he ran on the field while the ball was in play and was pulled to safety by J.T. Snow.

GIANTS67-C-24OCT02-SP-MAC --- J.T. Snow grabs a hold of Dusty Baker’s 3-year old son Darren, as he came dangerously close to home plate as David Bell was about to cross the plate after Snow. The San Francisco Giants play the Anaheim Angels in Games 5 of Photo By Michael Macor/The San Francisco Chronicle via Getty Images

Darren, now 22, and a prospect in the Washington Nationals’ organization, after he was drafted in the 10th Round this past July, has been at the ballpark with his father this fall, after completing his first pro season at High-A Fredericksburg in the Nats’ system.

“Well, time passes very quickly,” Dusty said. “And we are remembering that time. Everybody remembers that except him. He’s the only one that doesn’t remember it.

“People remind him of it all the time. Sometimes he gets tired of talking about it, but it is part of my history, Giants’ history, baseball history, and his history.”

“Now he’s trying to make his own history with the Nationals as a player,” Dusty added. “And I’m just glad that he was able to be here for this. I got to see him before the game. I think this is only the second time that he hasn’t been able to be in the dugout because he was in the dugout in other organizations. People sent me pictures of him when he was small with the Cubs and a little bit older with the Reds and a little bit older with Washington.

“They sent me one picture of him, I remember when he signed his first autograph, you know what I mean? He’s been practicing that since he was a little kid.

“Now he’s a man. He’s a young man. He’s excited as anybody in the state of Texas or even in baseball.”

Will Snitker’s Braves or Baker (and Snitker’s) Astros take the early lead in the clubs’ best-of-seven series?

The 117th World Series starts at 8:09 PM tonight in Houston’s Minute Maid Park...