This article was written by Jeffrey A. Portnoy
This article was published in the The National Pastime: Baseball in the Peach State (Atlanta, 2010)
The author shares his story of attending arguably the most memorable game in Braves history: Game 7 of the 1992 NLCS.
All baseball fans can attest to the truism that baseball is a game that hinges on timing and inches. To the fans of a team eclipsing 100 victories, a season feels joyous and swift. Other seasons are made interminable by loss after loss. Line drives either just clip the foul line or miss wide by inches. Fly balls barely slip beyond the center-field wall and the reach of a desperate glove. Fans endure, despair, or revel in these slimmest of margins. My baseball experience as a young fan mirrored these highs and lows, and my team just missing World Series championships dominated the landscape of my baseball history and fate. Cubs fans always—and Boston fans until recently—certainly understand.
I was fortunate to grow up in St. Louis, one of the truly great baseball towns, when kingly Stan Musial was in his prime (and the teen idol of my future mother-in-law). I had an occasion this past summer to travel from my home in Atlanta to St. Louis for a weekend series with the Colorado Rockies, stay at a downtown hotel within walking distance of the newest incarnation of Busch Stadium, and see a game with friends, one of whom was three stadiums shy of having been to a game at every Major League Baseball venue. Sadly, the Redbirds were crushed. But for the entire weekend, downtown was an undulating pedestrian sea of Cardinals jerseys and hats. Even during the Braves’ glorious run of championships and brilliant pitching, the energy in Atlanta rarely sustained the depth of the baseball passion of any given midsummer’s eve in St. Louis. Of course, when Atlanta was truly galvanized during the early years of the Braves’ 14-year streak of championships, the tomahawk chop and the chants of the often sleep-deprived Atlanta fans were phenomena to behold.
In the 1950s, like many youngsters, I pretended to the parental unit that I was off to sleep when in actuality I was listening to Harry Caray and Jack Buck broadcasting the Redbirds’ games on KMOX. My transistor radio and its earphone, an unwieldy and wax-stained dinosaur by today’s standards, was a precious item, especially during World Series games on school days in the afternoon. I am still bemused by Cubs fans laying claim to Harry Caray. That raspy, gravelly, nasal voice, seasoned and steeped in Busch beer inning after inning, was the sound of CARDINALS baseball as he Holy Cowed: “It could be . . . it might be . . . it is: A Home Run!”
Musial and his memorable wriggle and swing were priceless. The defense was often brilliant, especially with Curt Flood prowling the outfield and Tim McCarver behind the plate and (fortunately) not a microphone. And that infield: Ken Boyer, Julian Javier, and Bill White! (Of course, for Ken Boyer, my youthful bitterness still smolders. He never had a clutch hit during his entire career! And with that last sentence, I have achieved a life goal of avenging in print all those childhood nights of disappointing at-bats by Mr. Boyer. But then again, none of us are perfect or perfectly bad. Some fans might even remember and cite Boyer’s grand slam home run in the 1964 World Series; of course, facts cannot override cherished childhood prejudices.)
Yes, times and parenting were different then. As ten-year-olds, my friend Martin and I would ride our bicycles to my grandparents’ apartment on one of the main drags in St. Louis, where we would catch the Redbird Express bus, journeying to and from old Sportsman’s Park by ourselves to see a game. Once, we had the amazing good luck to be directly behind home plate, where we could watch the ever-glowering, always intense Bob Gibson at work, pitching a gem and yet another Cardinals victory. I doubt that any pitcher in all of baseball possessed a more intimidating demeanor, a fiercer, harder, meaner stare. Of course, all was not idyllic; one evening as the bus idled at a light in one of the rougher parts of town after a twilight doubleheader, we witnessed a knifing, in what appeared to be a love triangle gone tragically awry.
All those childhood years of following the Cardinals culminated in their being World Series champions in 1964, the team’s first title since 1946, but timing was not my friend. My family had moved in 1963 to Jackson, Mississippi, to an industrializing South. My father opened the first integrated factory in that state. (Think In the Heat of the Night without the murder plot.) By then, my transistor radio had lost much of its allure; despite the station’s long reach into the region, KMOX did not find me, nor I it. I felt exiled from that championship run and the subsequent ones in 1967 and 1968.
The game in the South, I quickly discovered, is not baseball: It is football. This perception is obvious to anyone with a passing interest in sports and was something that I would witness countless times as an adult after I moved to Atlanta in 1977. Two-a-day practices by the University of Georgia Bulldogs or even a prominent high-school team too often usurped a dramatic pennant race from the headlines of the Atlanta Journal or Constitution sports section. The physicality and brutality of football prevailed over the nuances, subtleties, and intellection of baseball. Still today in Old South Mississippi or New South Atlanta, except for a few cherished interludes thanks to the Braves, football remains transcendent: Football is king.
Several desultory years later after living in Jackson and elsewhere up the Mississippi River, I graduated from a high school in Minneapolis, but I could barely muster an interest in the American League and the team of the Twin Cities. My indifference to the Twins from the late 1960s later became something more malignant, however, when in 1991 they defeated the Atlanta Braves . . . because of dome baseball exacerbated by those ridiculous diapers that Twins fans waved. All baseball is not equal. National League does not equal American League to those with an allegiance.
That allegiance, not to the National League but to the Cardinals, was to face a brutal challenge. I moved to Atlanta in the late 1970s to attend graduate school at Emory University. The woeful Braves lost game after game before slight crowds (unless Phil Niekro was throwing his knuckleball in the vicinity of flailing hitters and an oversized catcher’s mitt). Attending games was easy. We could sit anywhere and loll comfortably across four seats. We could spot and wave to friends in distant corners of the stadium because they were the sole occupants. And the traffic congestion for which Atlanta is now infamous was never an issue going to and from Atlanta–Fulton County Stadium. Although Harry Caray and I were both many years removed from St. Louis by then, I found solace in Skip Caray, Harry’s son, broadcasting for the Braves and the transplanted St. Louis Hawks. Mindful of their history, the new Hawks proudly hung from the Omni’s rafters the retired jersey of Bob Pettit, who had been a scoring machine in St. Louis and the recipient of the NBA’s first MVP Award. I had seen him play many times in St. Louis with my uncle. Skip and I were connected. Although Skip did not voice the verbal idiosyncrasies and mispronunciations of his dad, he exhibited a biting wit in his early days that was wonderfully appealing and contemporary, especially when the flailing of those two dismal franchises made them ready targets. Unfortunately, I think his cynicism softened in his later years, eventually becoming the irksome shtick of Skip identifying fans catching foul balls as being from some locale or another in the surrounding area. That some talk-radio fans thought him psychic or asked him on pregame radio shows what his trick was, or even how he knew, could elicit Skip’s biting humor of old (or a quick hanging up of the phone), but those questioners also served as depressing and unwelcome commentary on the state of education in America.
A modicum of success finally graced the Braves in 1982. That year, the NLCS pitted the Cardinals, who had captured a playoff berth early, against the Braves, the last team to clinch, thanks to a Dodgers loss to the Giants on the final day of the regular season. St. Louis had last appeared in the postseason when they lost in the World Series to the Detroit Tigers in 1968; the Braves’ most recent trip to the playoffs was in 1969, the first year of divisional play. The St. Louis roster was formidable: Keith Hernandez, Willie McGee, Darrell Porter, Bruce Sutter, and the acrobatic wizard himself—Ozzie Smith; the Braves answered with the crafty Niekro on the mound, the portly but powerful Bob Horner, and a free-swinging Dale Murphy, who would garner the first of his two consecutive NL MVP Awards for his season’s work. I had tickets for Game 3 of the best-of-five series, the first two of which were happening in St. Louis. Niekro, of course, opened in Game 1 for the Braves and pitched masterfully as the Braves led 1–0, three outs from an official game. But then the rains came and refused to depart, washing away a likely victory by the Braves, the chance for Niekro to dominate the series, and any real hope that the Braves could vanquish the hot-hitting Cardinals, who would score 17 runs in the series compared to a paltry five by Atlanta. Baseball, that game of inches, was measured here not in slicing line drives toward the foul line but in precipitation.
Finally, after all those years of waiting, I was witnessing live playoff action for the first time. Before me was the team of my youth facing the team that, as an adult, I was coming to admire and then love. The Braves relied on a woebegone charm to attract charitable and tolerant baseball fans, because too often their play was far from stellar; just being consistently competent would have sufficed in those years. The Braves would not return to the playoffs again until 1991. What the Braves did have going for them was Ted Turner’s superstation. Because they were omnipresent, they became yet another team proclaiming themselves “America’s Team.” The whole country could witness their daily antics or feats, and the power of the familiar to generate loyalty should never be underestimated.
As I sat in the right center-field stands for 1982’s Game 3 with a native Georgian who had grown up with the Braves, I conceded, at first only to myself, that I was a fan torn by competing attachments. This dilemma gnawed at my brain and belly with a discomfort tinged with betrayal. The tension of the game itself, however, was short lived. Hernandez, Porter, George Hendrick, and McGee scored off Rick Camp in the second inning before manager Joe Torre pulled him. The feeling that the overmatched and rainthwarted Braves could not and would not counter that flurry was palpable, and the game took on that pastoral serenity that baseball offers when the conclusion is foregone, the weather is delightful, the field looks immaculate, and the joy of baseball becomes observing the nuances rather than fretting over the outcome. After that torching of Camp, I could candidly admit to my compatriot how difficult shedding the affections of youth can be. I felt an odd contentment. That yearning of my youth was partially fulfilled. This formidable St. Louis team, before my own eyes, was only four victorious games over the Brewers, the Braves’ replacements in Milwaukee, from being crowned the 1982 World Champion St. Louis Cardinals.
The Braves of 1982 seemed to have taken an important, albeit incremental, step as an organization to being a franchise with promise. Promises, of course, may be easily and cavalierly made, but the fulfillment of a promise is another thing entirely, a matter of time at first and then of timing. The change from worst to first (with staying power) came at last to the Braves in 1991, with the gradual emergence of a pitching staff that would dominate a baseball generation for a 14-year run of division and league championships like no other in sports history. Three future Hall of Famers fueled the momentum: Tom Glavine, John Smoltz, and then Greg Maddux.
The nature of hometown newspapers is, of course, to offer bountiful coverage of the local teams and exhibit a depth of knowledge about them, especially when compared to the cursory reporting on the franchises in other cities, which invariably seems limited to game results unless the scandal du jour lurks there. Thus time and coverage contributed to my growing attachment to the Braves throughout the remainder of the 1980s. But just as I had been separated from my resurgent Cardinals in the early 1960s, I was whisked away from Atlanta and the Braves in 1989 for postgraduate employment in the English department and honors program at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. For three years I watched UNLV’s Running Rebels dominate their opponents on the basketball court and win one glorious NCAA Championship with Jerry “Tark the Shark” Tarkanian at the helm, chomping on a waterlogged white towel. Larry Johnson, a future star in the NBA, soared above the competition, looking every bit like a grown man playing against boys. Presented with all the flash and pyrotechnics that Las Vegas could muster, UNLV basketball was clearly Showtime. Perhaps because a readership of gamblers found little to inspire a wager in the flailings of the Braves, coverage in the Las Vegas newspapers of Braves baseball was minimal. The Braves ended the 1990 season with the worst record in all of baseball (65–97). Las Vegas was a basketball and betting venue, a city pretending to be every other city: New York, Paris, Venice. The Las Vegas Stars, then a minor-league team of the San Diego Padres, were a delightful refuge from the tawdry, the tacky, or—to those generous of spirit—the postmodern glitz that is quintessentially Vegas. But the Stars (now the 51s—named for Area 51, that tourist destination in the Nevada desert for spotting aliens traversing the universe in UFOs—and an affiliate of the Toronto Blue Jays) were not going to satisfy my urge to witness championship baseball at the major-league level.
Meanwhile, back in Atlanta, the emerging storyline during the summer of 1991 was coming into focus; the Braves were clawing their way out of the basement and starting to roll. With surprising victories and unexpected rallies, the Braves became as hot as summer in Hotlanta or in the oven-like desert of southern Nevada. Telephone conversations with family and friends in Georgia buzzed with talk of the surging Braves. For a time, if football two-a-days were not exactly taking a back seat, they were only riding shotgun and not driving Atlanta’s sports vehicle. The magic of the Braves season, from all accounts, was astonishing, and I was missing it. My future wife, however, was not. Then finishing her graduate degree at Georgia State University in Atlanta, she was descended upon for every postseason game by a visiting family member from Florida or Alabama, wanting to share her playoff-ticket package and accompany her to each and every game. The magic was magnetic.
I was, of course, not on the scene to share in the fun: I missed out once more. The phrase “back-to-back seasons” resonates with ominous tones in Georgia. Typically the reference conjures the inept flapping of the afflicted Atlanta Falcons, who since their inception in 1966 never until 2009 enjoyed two winning seasons in succession, but the 1992 Braves would break that curse: They were poised by midsummer to repeat as champions. A 13-game win streak from July 8 through July 25 propelled them into first place, and around that same time, through those quirks of fate that often redirect professional careers, I was offered a position as a faculty member and honors program director back in Atlanta, at DeKalb College (now Georgia Perimeter College). I was returning for the Braves’ stretch run and a firsthand experience of the magic and the jubilation fueling the season and the city. For a second year in a row, these were heady times for baseball fans in Georgia, and this time I would be part of the madness.
While I may have missed the first go-round against the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 1991 NLCS, with stars Andy Van Slyke and a sleek, unenhanced, and playoff-beleaguered Barry Bonds, fate would not allow me to miss the 1992 reprise and what many observers, myself included, consider the greatest moment in team history for the Atlanta Braves: Game 7. The series began with an auspicious reversal of 1991’s first game when the Braves had succumbed 5–1 at Three Rivers Stadium. In 1992, the Braves, with Smoltz pitching, easily prevailed, 5–1, at Atlanta–Fulton County Stadium. Game 2 featured timely run production by Ron Gant, David Justice, and Terry Pendleton: Braves 13, Pirates 5. And for the second year in a row, my friends caravanned to Pittsburgh for the games played there, witnessing mixed results: The Braves averted a hometown sweep by winning one game behind the pitching and second victory of the eventual series MVP, Smoltz. Ahead three games to two and with Glavine and Smoltz slated to pitch Games Six and Seven at home, the Braves and their fans surveyed the prospects and enjoyed considerable optimism . . . until inning two of the sixth game when the Pirates scored eight runs on the way to Glavine’s second loss of the series and a blowout win, 13–4.
Perhaps the two late runs in the ninth inning of Tuesday night’s Game 6 intimated that the Braves bats were resuscitating, and that prospect, conjoined with Smoltz and his two previous victories facing the twice-defeated Doug Drabek, offered some strands of hope. The headline in the Atlanta newspaper read: “It’s now or never!” I, however, despaired; I did not have tickets to the game until the call came at noon on Wednesday. On the line was Hippie, one of the owners of my favorite neighborhood bar, the Euclid Avenue Yacht Club, in Atlanta’s Little Five Points. (The nautical motif, of course, in landlocked, often drought-riddled Georgia is irony incarnate.) Why he called me with the offer of two free tickets he could not use himself for Wednesday night’s Game 7 I will never know for sure, and this many years hence, I know Hippie will not remember why either. Nevertheless, thank you, fate, and thank you, Hippie.
The atmosphere at the stadium before the game encompassed all the clichés—charged, electric, dramatic, fraught—but clichés many times bespeak a truth. Jimmy and Rosalyn Carter shared the owner’s box with Ted Turner and Jane Fonda. Everyone was in place, including me. The ethereal Emmylou Harris sang “The Star-Spangled Banner,” which concludes with the perfect phrase for baseball games played in Atlanta: “and the home of the Braves!” And at the conclusion of the song, my friend Robert Byrd, a long-time season-ticket holder, uttered the refrain he, with his delightfully morbid charm, would sound often that night: “Oh, we’re doomed.” I was privileged to hear Bobby repeat that phrase as I was preparing to write this piece. Bobby found the video recording he had made of the game; it was located deep in the recesses of a storage closet, in a box of VHS cassettes commandingly labeled “Keep These.” We watched the tape of the game on his television while drinking beer from much-used and faded, but authentic, 1992 NL Championship Series stadium cups. In anticipation of the ninth inning coming our way, we left a Bud out on the kitchen counter to open and drink warm, in true late-inning stadium fashion, when Pendleton led off the final inning with a double to right field.
The first inning established the dominant motif for much of the game for Braves fans: anxiety and misery. The Pirates loaded the bases in the first and scored one run on a sacrifice fly by Orlando Merced; for only the second time in the series, they were ahead of Smoltz. Braves fans were not the only ones feeling queasy. John McSherry, the veteran plate umpire, was ill, and he went to the box of Bill White, president of the National League and a former Cardinals first baseman, to discuss being replaced; McSherry’s hospitalization that night was perhaps a sad and ominous precursor to his fatal heart attack at Riverfront Stadium in Cincinnati on opening day of the 1996 season.
That lone run gave license to two fans from Pittsburgh sitting one row behind and to the left of us. Somewhere, batches of these alien fans are cloned and then dispatched throughout home parks, one pair to every section. The mold is familiar: beer-bellied, loud-voiced, slovenly dressed, drunk, obnoxious, and emboldened when their team leads. (My caravanning friends to Pittsburgh, of course, were cast of finer stuff, a different, higher order of beings.) The futility of the Braves bats continued as the innings ticked past, tension and misery rising: “Oh, we’re doomed.”
Each pitch elicited a mercurial mood swing. The fans would cheer after a strike hurled by Smoltz or hold their breath in misery whenever he threw a ball, a Pirate reached base, or a Brave was put out. The fans were aching to chop and chant, and they would do so frantically for a bit, but then dread would prevail and misery return.
Van Slyke singled in Pittsburgh’s second run in the top of the sixth to extend the lead to 2–0. Bobby captured the collective gloom: “Oh, we’re doomed.” But in the bottom of that inning, the Braves displayed some much-desired signs of life. They filled the bases with no outs. The Braves chant and tomahawk chop exploded into the night; the sound was wild and passionate, then deadened and silent. Jeff Blauser lined into a double play that erased the runner at third, and Pendleton hit a line drive to Bonds for the third out. The increasingly inebriated pair from Pittsburgh again gave voice to their elation and the promise of certain victory.
The bottom of the seventh sparked some hope for the Braves and their fans. Runners occupied first and second with one out, but even this did not seem like much of a threat after the failure to score under better circumstances in the previous inning. My ominous premonition came true; the Braves on base were left stranded once more.
In the top of the eighth inning, David Justice’s great one-hop throw from right field on a double by Jeff King erased Merced at the plate, reinspiring some hope, as great defense can sometimes engender, that this talented Braves team might yet reappear with bats wielding timely hits before all opportunity and remaining outs were extinguished. At the very least, the succession of Braves pitchers to that point—Smoltz, Mike Stanton, Pete Smith, and Steve Avery—had kept the Pirates to only two runs. The bottom of the eighth, however, came and went. The Braves had mustered only five paltry and unproductive hits and nary a run, and those two Pirate tallies on the scoreboard appeared insurmountable. “Oh, we’re doomed.” Drabek was pitching a masterful game.
The changeover to the bottom of the ninth brought Braves fans to their feet yet again, and the chanting and clapping and chopping began in fervent prayer. More disaster had been averted in the top half of the inning when Jose Lind sent a long and terrifying fly to Gant at the wall in left field for the first out, and a runner was later stranded on second after reaching it on a walk and wild pitch by Jeff Reardon. Leading off the bottom of the ninth, Pendleton laced Drabek’s third pitch into the right-field corner for a double, making amends for his rally-ending out in the sixth inning. The chanting and clapping resounded with new vigor and mounting tension. Justice followed with a relatively routine grounder to second, but Lind, a talented fielder who had committed only six errors during the regular season, perhaps succumbed to the contagious tensions and pressures emanating from the Braves fans. His backhanded stab at the ball deflected it past him. Pendleton scurried to third on the error. Ray Miller, the Pirates pitching coach, and the infielders converged on the mound. Waiting to come to the plate was Sid Bream, hailed all the while by the screams of “Sid! Sid! Sid!” Bream had left Pittsburgh in 1991 for Atlanta, where his gangly frame and thick and distinguishing—if not quite distinguished—moustache immediately made him a favorite of Braves fans. Bream walked on four straight pitches. Manager Jim Leyland replaced Drabek with Stan Belinda. Gant, who had hit a grand slam in Game 2, jolted the crowd when he backed Bonds up to the wall in left. Pendleton tagged and scored, but the other base runners could not advance. Perhaps our fortunes were turning, but the anxiety was increasing—only two outs remained. Catcher Damon Berryhill, the late-season replacement for an injured Greg Olson, fouled off the first pitch and then walked on four straight, thanks to incredibly close calls by Randy Marsh, the umpire who had replaced the ailing McSherry.
Now, with the bases loaded, the crowd noise—the chopping and chanting—intensified. Brian Hunter, who in 1991’s seventh game against Pittsburgh hit a two-run homer in the first inning, was the pinch hitter and primed to be a slayer of Pirates once again. After fouling off the first pitch, he looped a soft liner that fans longed to see glide beyond the reach of Lind in short center, but he cleanly snared this ball. The crowd quieted for a moment after that out but then regrouped, and the chanting and cheering resumed with passion.
To the plate, thrust forward by manager Bobby Cox, came twenty-six-year-old Francisco Cabrera, the sole remaining position player on the Braves bench. He had spent much of the season in Richmond with the Braves farm team, where he hit .272. His major-league experience in 1992 amounted to 10 at bats in the 12 games he played.
The drama was palpable, and the crowd was roaring. But my pal Bobby Byrd’s thoughts of “Oh, we’re doomed” had dissipated. He confidently pulled the baseball card of one Francisco Cabrera from inside the front of his Atlanta Braves cap. Since his youth, Bobby had kept the baseball card of a favorite player for that year inside his baseball cap to maintain its shape and keep the front erect. Francisco Cabrera was his choice in 1992 because he was a hitter. Not much of a fielder was he, but he was a pure hitter. As Cabrera came to the plate, Bobby stood. He held Cabrera’s card at shoulder’s height with a straightened arm and slowly pivoted, showing that card to everyone around him.
After two balls and a vicious liner foul to the left that would have easily won the game if fair, Cabrera laced a line drive through the infield to Bonds in left field. Justice easily scored from third, and he and Otis Nixon, who edged over from the on-deck circle, frantically signaled to Bream to slide once he had laboriously galloped past third from second and rambled toward the plate.
Walk-off home runs are a memorable means of capping a victory; they have all the climactic finality of a heavyweight’s knockout punch. But even home runs cannot compete with a play at the plate in the ninth inning of a Game 7 when the World Series is on the line and the outs number two. The beneficiary—or victim—of five knee operations, Bream slogged toward home as if in slow motion, as if the steam driving him was barely sufficient to maintain his momentum. Bonds’s throw to the plate was off to the first-base side by several feet, and catcher Mike LaValliere’s diving tag was late.
Justice seemed to be the first to hug and then throw himself upon Bream, and his teammates piled on top in wild jubilation. Fans were screaming at their loudest pitch. There was high-fiving and hugging and kissing everywhere in the vicinity. Out of the corner of my eye, I noticed the two suddenly sobered Pittsburgh fans slinking away. Soon they would understand the curse of Bream and Cabrera and the Braves, as they were destined to endure the plummeting fortunes of the Pirates and their ensuing 17-year streak of losing seasons. Perched on one knee, Bonds watched the infield madness for several minutes before departing the field, and Van Slyke, with his cap propped high on his head, remained sitting in center field as if in a daze, staring presumably in disbelief.
The crowd cheered and screamed and stomped and high-fived and hugged and kissed some more. The decibel volume reverberated like the amplifiers of Spinal Tap, which were calibrated not to 10 but to 11. No one wanted to leave. No fans could leave, at least not until they were too hoarse to scream anymore, and that was easily 30 or 40 minutes after Sid! Sid! Sid’s! slide. The Braves would not win the World Championship that year against Toronto; in fact, they would win only once during their glorious streak, and thus finally bring home the first championship for a major league team in Atlanta’s history. In 1995, the Atlanta Braves defeated the Cleveland Indians in six games. Of course, I had tickets to Game 7. But of that or of missing any other game I will never complain: I had been a part of the Game 7, and this moment was truly the finest as a team for the Braves and their fans.
Broadcasting on the radio, Skip Caray immortalized this baseball event with his exuberant celebration after Bream’s slide: “Braves Win! Braves Win! Braves Win! Braves Win! Braves Win!” Even now that call remains the one most often played to conjure the magic and majesty of the Atlanta Braves, and at the end of each Braves victory in our household, and I suspect in many others where Braves fans reside, we acknowledge a fresh Braves victory and remember that fateful ninth-inning turn from despair to sheer joy with that same call: “Braves Win! Braves Win! Braves Win! Braves Win! Braves Win!”
JEFFREY A. PORTNOY, professor of English at Georgia Perimeter College, writes on popular culture and British literature of the Restoration and eighteenth century. His work on honors education has appeared in the “Journal of the National Collegiate Honors Council”.