Freddie Freeman envisioned spending his entire career with the Atlanta Braves, which has made the past three months an emotional adjustment after signing a six-year, $162 million contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Freeman was excited to reunite with his former Braves teammates when they visited Dodger Stadium in April, but returning to Atlanta this weekend has taken a different toll on the All-Star first baseman.
Freeman was overcome by emotion when speaking with media prior to first pitch of the series opener and again when Braves manager Brian Snitker presented his 2021 World Series ring during a pregame ceremony.
While Clayton Kershaw is understanding of Freeman’s ties to the Braves, he hopes the Dodgers are a priority and believes similar feelings about the franchise will emerge, according to Gabriel Burns of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution:
“It was very cool (to see Freeman’s reception Friday night),” Dodgers starter Clayton Kershaw told The AJC. “He’s obviously been a big contributor for our team. And I hope we’re not second fiddle. It’s a pretty special team over here, too. I think whenever he gets comfortable over here, he’ll really enjoy it. It was a good night for him (Friday).”
Both during the series at Dodger Stadium and now again in Atlanta, Freeman has dismissed the notion of needing any sort of closure. He instead has explained playing for the Braves brought about countless memories that were capped off with winning a World Series last year.
After Sunday, Freeman and the Braves will again go their separate ways until a potential meeting in the postseason.
Freeman appreciates Dodgers fans
Although Freeman has openly discussed his affinity for the Braves organization, their fans and city of Atlanta as a whole, he additionally has expressed an appreciation for Dodgers fans as well.
Freeman first did so after making his Spring Training debut with the Dodgers, and again when fans chanted during the first home game of the season.
“The fans to be able to create a moment for me in the eighth inning is something I’ll never forget,” Freeman said in April. “It was a special night for me and the family.”
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