For Dansby Swanson, the Braves' 2021 World Series title was 26 years in the making.
When Atlanta beat Cleveland in 1995, the shortstop from Georgia was just one year old and grew up close to the Braves' ballpark. Now, at 27, the hometown hero achieved his childhood dream as he hit a two-run homer in the fifth inning to lift the Braves to a 6-0 lead.
"I've said it before and I'll keep saying it—I'm an Atlanta lifer," Swanson said. "I live and die the city of Atlanta. And there's no place that deserves it more than the city of Atlanta.
"...You can't even put into words how much this means not for me but for this entire organization, the entire city. You see the fan base; they're here."
The icing on the cake? The last ground ball hit of the 2021 World Series landed in Swanson's glove.
"Destiny, I guess," Swanson said. "The good Lord, he has blessed me with so much. Wouldn't be here without him. Just the peace that he gives me, it's remarkable. Especially in moments like this, you can never go wrong trusting in that. Like I said, I'm just so thankful to be here, truly."
Entering the postseason, the Braves had the fewest wins of any playoff teams. Now, they are the 15th different MLB franchise to win a World Series in the last 21 years.
Swanson believed "all year" that this moment was possible.
"There were times where it seemed bleak," Swanson said. "There were times where you couldn't see the light at the end of the tunnel. But we knew that if we kept working and if we were able to kind of put together a team—which we did after some of the injuries—that this would be possible. And it wouldn't happen without the leadership on this team. It wouldn't happen without the coaches, staff, the analytics department, front office. You name it, it wouldn't happen without them.
"We really did it. It's the toughest team I've ever been a part of."
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