ATLANTA -- The Burgundy Boys got to drink Friday night. Inside the Atlanta Braves' clubhouse, six glasses sat breathing while they awaited one of the founding members of baseball's most exclusive wine club. He had picked out the bottle, a $1,200 Bordeaux, appropriate to celebrate the occasion in which he happened to throw five no-hit innings in a World Series game. When he arrived, they lifted their glasses, clinked in the middle and toasted to the hero of the night.
"To Ian," they said.
Ian Anderson is 23 years old. He looks not unlike a college student who forgot to shave. Since he joined the Braves at the end of August in 2020, he has impressed his teammates in multiple regards. The most obvious is with his right arm, which unfurled an effectively wild and wildly effective array of fastballs, changeups and curveballs in the Braves' 2-0 victory over the Houston Astros in Game 3 of the World Series, staking Atlanta to a two-games-to-one lead. The other is as a connoisseur of fine wines. Behind the baby face and beard is a budding oenophile, one whose propensity to learn on the fly translates from mound to glass.
"He's an old soul," Atlanta reliever Luke Jackson said, "and he's got a good palate."