Rich has a Bachelor's degree in journalism from Penn State. WE ARE!!!
Au Revoir Freddie Freeman
Whoever said “Don’t cry because it’s over. Smile because it happened.” is full of shit. I’ve had some time to digest Freddie Freeman leaving Atlanta and I don’t see myself getting over it any time soon.
If he commanded mega bucks on the open market I get it. But he didn’t. His six-year $162 million contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers makes me think that something happened to fracture this relationship between the Braves and Freeman. I mean, the contract they gave Freeman’s replacement Matt Olson is for $168 million. So it clearly wasn’t about money. It was about something more. And that’s what has prompted this whole blurb in the first place.
Freeman was (is?) an icon in Atlanta. It isn’t sacrilege to say he was akin to other franchise icons like Chipper Jones and Hank Aaron. In fact, Freeman was the last remaining Brave to have taken the field with Chipper. He was synonymous with Atlanta. The face of the franchise. A face that helped the team win their first World Series since 1995 when I was just 12 years old. It’s a memorable season that will last a lifetime. It’s also a relationship, in my opinion, that should have lasted a career.
It’s easy to count the stats. Freeman was a three-time Silver Slugger award winner, a five-time All-Star, Gold Glover, league MVP and, of course, a World Series champion. His .893 OPS ranks 5th all-time in Atlanta history. His 367 doubles rank behind the two Hall of Famers I mentioned earlier in Aaron and Jones. Just last season he put together a line of .300/.393/.503 with 31 homers, eight stolen bases and a league-leading 120 runs. But we all know he was more than just the numbers.
He is well-respected across the game. Just take a look at any time an opponent reached first base against the Braves. No matter who it was, they appeared to have a great chat with Freddie. He also gave us this memorable moment with Anthony Rizzo while Freeman was caught in a run down.
His smile was infectious. He seemed to have this aura around him. When the game was on the line, there was nobody else you’d want at the plate. And now, for the Braves at least, it’s gone.
During his 12-year run as a Brave, Freeman brought this fan nothing but joy. It’s not easy saying goodbye. I will take solace in the fact that his last at-bat was a home run in the clinching game of the World Series. His last defensive play was catching the final out. We are more than four months removed from that title. I am smiling because it happened but, I can’t help but cry that number 5 won’t be on the field when the season kicks off next month. Best of luck in L.A. Freddie. Braves Country will miss you.
This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.
© 2022 Rich