Freddie Freeman was an emotional mess upon making his return to Atlanta as a visiting player.
Los Angeles Dodgers first baseman Freddie Freeman’s first interview with the Atlanta Braves media went exactly how you thought it would go upon his much-anticipated return trip to the baseball cathedral he used to call home.
Drafted out of high school by the Braves in 2007, Freeman had only played for the Atlanta organization up until this past offseason. His departure from the Braves was well-documented and so beyond painfully awkward for everybody involved. He had a chance to be his generation’s Chipper Jones for Braves Country, but a sixth year and a couple million brought an end to that…
Zach Klein of WSB-TV captured the raw emotion totally engulfing Freeman on all he left behind.
Kelly Crull of Bally Sports shared Freeman’s tear-jerking press conference, one where he could not keep it together throughout its entirety for the life of him.
Crull’s colleague and former Braves pitcher Paul Byrd perhaps best encapsulates one of the most emotional press conferences we have seen in sports in quite some time.
“I’ve never seen an athlete have so much trouble turning the page. For those who think players only care about the money … Freddie Freeman,” tweeted Byrd during Friday’s press conference.
While Freeman tried his best to maintain composure throughout an incredibly exhausting offseason for him, his decision to leave the Braves in free agency has hit him like a ton of bricks.
One day, we will know the truth behind why he decided to give up his chance at being a legend…
Atlanta Braves: Freddie Freeman brought to tears upon return to his former city
Before Game 1 of their weekend series kicks off, Freeman will be given his 2021 World Series ring in front of all of Braves Country at Truist Park. One would expect shortstop Dansby Swanson and manager Brian Snitker will be among the select few to present Freeman with the championship ring he absolutely and triumphantly earned. But after that, the Braves have a big series to win…
While Freeman supposedly made the best decision for him and his family, this weekend in Atlanta has to be killing him. ATLiens remember Freeman first being called up in 2010 during Bobby Cox’s final season. We all remember Chipper saving him on an ATV during the Snowpocalypse. And we will never forget him winning the NL MVP and becoming a world champion in an Atlanta uniform.
Sadly, the days of his oldest son Charlie playing youth baseball at NYO are now long gone. He and his siblings will grow up knowing their dad is an all-time great baseball player. They will probably have great memories of their dad doing great things in Dodger blue. He may have his No. 5 jersey retired by both organizations in the wake of him getting into Cooperstown in his early-to-mid 40s.
But L.A. will never love him like Braves Country did, and that’s what makes this so incredibly sad.
Braves Country will treat Freeman with the respect he deserves, but it never had to end like this.