ATLANTA -- It's been a homecoming of sorts this week for Marlins rookie second baseman Derek Dietrich, who attended Georgia Tech.
Dietrich played his college ball in downtown Atlanta, about 10 minutes away from Turner Field. While in school, he occasionally attended Braves games, where he watched players like Brian McCann.
During an at-bat on Tuesday night, Dietrich talked briefly with McCann.
"I would watch him when I was at school," Dietrich said. "He was catching when I stepped in the box. He even said, 'I just saw that you went to Georgia Tech.' He was like, 'What years?' and stuff."
Several friends who still live in the area visited Dietrich at the ballpark on Tuesday night.
"It's fun being back, that's for sure," Dietrich said. "It's even sweeter to be here as a professional, in the big leagues, for the Marlins. I really enjoyed playing here at Georgia Tech."
Dietrich even caught up with Braves right fielder Jason Heyward. In high school, the two played together during the Aflac Games and East Cobb tournaments in the Atlanta area.
The Rays drafted Dietrich in 2010. While in Tampa Bay's organization, he got to know B.J. Upton, who is now with Atlanta.
"There are some friends who still work here in Atlanta, or are living here," Dietrich said. "A couple of my friends came to the game last night. It's nice to have family and friends here."