A.J. Minter’s grandfather was part of D-Day in Normandy, France, during World War II. More recently, his brothers have served in the military. His uncle was a police officer.

The Braves reliever appreciates first responders and the men and women who serve our country.

And on Tuesday, Minter visited firefighters at Cobb Fire Station 19 to display his gratitude for their hard work in helping those in Cobb County. Minter brought lunch catered by Chick-Fil-A and presented an autographed, personalized jersey with the station number and “The Rock” nickname.

“It was cool to hear Station 19, where I went, it’s the busiest fire station in all of Cobb County,” Minter said. “They respond to more calls than anyone. Obviously, it comes with a lot of danger along with it. It was cool to see – it’s like their own unique locker room. Everyone’s assigned duties: chef, cleanup. They have their own bunkers where they sleep. Gotta keep it nice and clean. … Everyone has their duties, and if one person doesn’t do their own duty, then the whole clubhouse kind of falls apart. So it’s kind of cool to see.”

Minter toured the fire station and answered questions about his pitching routine. The fire department gave him a special Cobb County Fire belt buckle as a gift.

This visit won’t be Minter’s last. He plans to take monthly visits to local police and fire stations in partnership with the Atlanta Braves Foundation. He also would like to spend time at a military base.

Minter is an Atlanta Braves Foundation donor and asked that his contributions go toward supporting first responders. The visits are new for him this season.

Minter sees first responders daily. Police officers and other service folks are in the Braves’ dugout.

“Every time I go out in the dugout, we all go give them fistbumps – kind of like they’re part of the team,” he said. “You just see these guys every day, you build relationships. I don’t know. It’s just always been something near and dear to me, police officers and firefighters, military. I’m just always giving back to them. They not only sacrifice their lives, but they sacrifice time away from their families and meals and missing holidays.”

Minter wanted to give back, so these visits are a way to do so.

They are in an effort to show appreciation for “the people who put their lives on the line for us,” he said.

Braves could ‘shoot for Friday’ with Ozzie Albies

Ozzie Albies (broken toe) is hitting and moving around well, which is encouraging considering he’s eligible to come off the injured list Friday, when the Braves begin a series versus Cleveland.

“I felt like he probably could’ve played (Monday),” Snitker said before Tuesday’s game in reference to a question about how comfortable Albies looked taking full batting practice Monday afternoon.

The Braves hope everything goes well, Snitker said, and that they can “shoot for Friday.”

Albies isn’t certain he’ll be ready that day. He doesn’t know what’ll happen. But he’s feeling well, and everything is on track.

If he’s cleared to play, he can even fight through a bit of discomfort to do so.

“You’re gonna have to, a little bit,” Snitker said. “It’s gonna be uncomfortable, I would imagine, yeah.”

Stars respect one another

Recently, Ronald Acuña Jr. began waving his hand in front of his face as a celebration. It’s an ode to WWE wrestler John Cena, who made that famous by saying, “You can’t see me.”

Well, on Tuesday morning, Cena posted on Instagram: It was a photo of Acuña doing the celebration after reaching his base.

On Tuesday afternoon, Acuña reposted Cena’s post to his own Instagram story to highlight it.