The Atlanta Braves fandom still has a lot of love for Freddie Freeman.
Freddie Freeman spent the first 12 years of his MLB career with the Atlanta Braves. That stretch included five All-Star appearances and one MVP award. It also ended, in poetic fashion, with a championship in 2021.
Not long after Atlanta reached the mountaintop, Freeman departed for the Los Angeles Dodgers in free agency. LA offered him more money, and the Braves made an understandable pivot to Matt Olson at first base. In his first season with the Braves, Olson homered 34 times and batted in 103 runs. Atlanta isn’t lacking production at the position.
That said, the bond between Freeman and the Braves was a special one — and there were, inevitably, some hard feelings when he decided to leave. Even with justifiable financial motives, breaking up with your favorite player can often feel like breaking up with a loved on. It’s never easy.
Freddie Freeman gets a massive standing ovation from the Braves crowd
Still, that love lingers. Atlanta has not and will not forget what Freeman contributed to the city’s first World Series victory since 1995. When Freeman returned to the batter’s box in Truist Park on Monday night, he was greeted with a powerful standing ovation from the Braves faithful.
The Braves’ fanbase could see more of Freeman as the year progresses — not only in the regular season, but potentially in the playoffs. Atlanta currently holds the best record in the National League at 29-17. Second best? The Dodgers, not far behind at 29-19.
If Atlanta embarks on another deep postseason run, odds are the Dodgers will cross their path at some point. With Freeman and Mookie Betts at the forefront of a powerful lineup, LA is certainly capable of dashing the Braves’ competitive dreams. The opposite is also true; the Braves have arguably the two leading candidates for NL MVP in Ronald Acuña Jr. and Sean Murphy. It’s hard to imagine a more high-stakes matchup this season.
While Freeman may have closed the door on the Braves chapter of his career, don’t be surprised if he is destined for iconic battles with old friends further down the line.