Kindness puts local on field with ATL Braves


It’s an age-old adage: “Kindness counts.” Still, it’s age-old for a reason.

Rhett Dorsey, a 23-year-old from Swainsboro, has been an Atlanta Braves fan for as long as he can remember. That’s why when the Braves returned to Truist Park to try and seal the deal on the National League title, he and his mom, Tanisha, made a beeline for tickets.

Sure enough, they lucked up and found themselves at Battery Park early this past Saturday, Oct. 23, for what would be a decisive Game 6 as the home state team punched its ticket to the World Series for the first time since 1999.

During pre-game, the Dorseys grabbed themselves a table in the shade to eat and a few drinks to boot. A few moments later, a “nice lady” asked if she could have one of their stools so her own party would have enough seats. Because it was just the two of them compared to a larger party, Tanisha and Rhett happily obliged.

A few minutes later, the woman’s husband came by and asked the mother-son duo to hold the table for their group if they decided to leave.

At this point, gates for the game wouldn’t open until three hours later. Then came a small yet significant decision that would have a huge effect later—one that Rhett will remember for the rest of his life.

“I thought about it, and I asked Rhett, ‘Should we just invite them to our table?’ We did just that, not having a clue who they were,” Tanisha explained.

The Swainsboro natives would soon find out; the group they invited over—out of pure generosity and kindness—ended up being Atlanta Brave Tyler Matzek’s mom, stepdad, and brother.

A few hours of conversation turned into what the Dorseys can only describe as a connection that felt like it had existed for a lifetime.

“They were the most caring, nicest, and down to earth family,” Tanisha continued. “We literally talked about family, jobs, travel, hobbies… You name it!”

During that same conversation, Matzek’s mother, Kathy, expressed her personal belief that everything happens for a reason.

That belief would be proven to be true a few hours later. What began as a day well-spent making memories as a mother and son turned out to be far more memorable than the two could’ve ever imaged.

In addition to Matzek’s family sharing the 2009 MLB first-round draft pick’s life story, his career, and the steps that brought the pitcher to Atlanta, a simple decision made by the Dorseys also landed them an invitation to join in the on-field celebration right after the game ended.

“We finally got an opportunity to meet Tyler. He was just as nice and humble as his family. He took the time for pictures and sent Rhett home with his goggles used in the champagne celebration in the locker room. Rhett calls them ‘World Series goggles’ now,” Tanisha said. “Long story short, this is what I call ‘kindness counts. In return for a seat in a shaded area of Battery Park, this family gave us the opportunity of a lifetime: a pass to the on-field celebration, normally reserved for players, family, and media only. Prior to Saturday, we had never met them but now, we have friends for a lifetime.”

Matzek buried the Dodgers with electric relief appearance in NLCS Game 6. In fact, without him, some experts think the Braves might’ve had to play a Game 7 after all.

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