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Rookies make coffee run in full uniform

CHICAGO -- Instead of just sitting around the dreary visitor's clubhouse at Wrigley Field on Sunday morning, the Braves had some fun by sending a group of rookies to the coffee shop across the street to get an array of drinks while in full uniform.

"There were some Cubs fans in there that wanted us to hold their babies, and there were some autograph guys," Braves rookie reliever Andrew McKirahan said. "It was good fun."

As Jace Peterson, Mike Foltynewicz and the other rookies walked across the street, some of the Braves' veteran players heckled them while standing on a ramp inside the stadium. Jonny Gomes used a megaphone to draw attention to his young teammates.

"It's just something to keep them in check and keep them humble," Gomes said. "It's a boys club type of deal. I remember every single moment like that. I don't remember all of my doubles, but those boys club moments and team stuff is good to remember."

Many other Major League teams have done something similar to their rookies while playing at Wrigley Field. Gomes believes the ritual should be viewed as much more than a hazing exercise.

"When it's all said and done and you're sitting by the campfire, everybody is going to be asking you questions, so you better be able to hold camp for a while," Gomes said. "Not all the stories are going to be about the time you hit a double or struck a guy out in the eighth inning. Whether they like it or not, something like that is just a moment for them to remember."

Mark Bowman is a reporter for
Read More: Atlanta Braves, Mike Foltynewicz, Andrew McKirahan, Jace Peterson, Jonny Gomes