Aug. 21, 2011
– Saturday night at Turner Field was a night for pitching debuts.
Arizona Diamondbacks starter Wade Miley made his first pro start and didn’t fare so well — taking the loss in the Atlanta Braves’ 8-1 victory.
Perhaps it was the nerves of his Major League debut.
Or maybe it was the tough act he had to follow, in Georgia Tech President Dr. G. P. “Bud” Peterson, who made his Turner Field debut minutes earlier, throwing out the ceremonial first pitch.
Peterson, as would be expected, received a nice reception from the crowd, which included his No. 1 fan, wife, Val, and his father-in-law.
Although a wide receiver for Kansas State University in college, President Peterson, donning a white Georgia Tech polo shirt embossed with a gold GT logo, showed he could bring it on the diamond, unleashing his pitch to Braves relief pitcher Cristhian Martinez.
It was a nice touch as part of a weekend in which the “Home of the Braves” opened its doors to the White and Gold, as Thursday and Sunday nights were two of three “Georgia Tech Nights” at Turner Field during the 2011 season.
Sting Daily caught up with Georgia Tech’s President shortly after his pitch. He talked about the pitch, the school’s relationship with the Braves, and what excites him most about the upcoming year at Georgia Tech.
SD: That was a nice pitch. What did you throw?
PETERSON: About 45 miles an hour, maybe 30. (laughs). I just tried to get it all the way there. I’ve thrown the first pitch out once or twice at Georgia Tech.
SD: How would you describe Georgia Tech’s partnership with the Braves?
PETERSON: Georgia Tech and the Braves have a great partnership. We work together on a lot of different types of things. Our athletic department is very closely aligned with what they’re trying to do. A couple of great teams, great institutions.
SD: It was a nice weekend for Georgia Tech Days, especially with first-place Arizona in town.
PETERSON: Yeah. It’s great for the Braves and we have all our students coming back. We start classes on Monday so it’s an exciting time all the way around.
SD: With football season almost here, do you have a prediction on this year’s team?
PETERSON: I’ll leave that up to the Athletic Director and the Coach. We’ve got a pretty young team this year but we’re looking forward to a lot of great things from them.
SD: What is the one thing that you’re most excited about regarding what’s going on with Georgia Tech — athletically or otherwise?
PETERSON: I think it’s the quality of the students. We just get the best students. They’re amazing students. They come from all over the country, in fact, all over the world. They bring their talents here to Georgia, they help in so many ways, the economy, they help with service projects. It’s just great to be part of Georgia Tech.