Friday night was Freddie Freeman’s first game back in Atlanta since signing with the Dodgers, and it was an emotional night for both him and the fans.
First, the organization prepared a pregame video that they showed on the jumbotron, which included all of Freeman’s biggest moments in a Braves uniform.
Once the video ended, Freeman was introduced on the field, and the crowd gave him a huge standing ovation as the first baseman fought off tears.
His final accomplishment in Atlanta was winning the World Series, and Freeman finally received his World Series ring.
Braves manager Brian Snitker presented Freeman with his ring on the field as fans chanted “Freddie!”
Finally, Freeman talked with Bally Sports sideline reporter Kelly Crull about what this night meant to him.
“Last time I was on this field, there was a big stage in the middle of this field, because we accomplished something so special,” he said. “From the bottom of my heart, and my family’s heart, we thank you for the support you’ve shown my family and I for the last twelve years.”
Freeman told the crowd that even though he plays for a different team, he will always be a member of the Braves family.
“I’m just so thrilled to be back and to see all of you guys again,” he said. “I know I’ve got a different uniform on, but I still love each and every one of you guys.”
The first baseman ended his remarks explaining how special it was to return after winning a championship.
“I continue to look forward to coming back each year and seeing you, but especially this weekend after we reached the pinnacle last year of winning that World Series. I’ve been looking forward to this for three months.”
Then, the game began, but Freeman got one final standing ovation from the crowd before entering the batter’s box.
He walked in the at bat, allowing him to at least try and get back to playing baseball. However, this was an emotional night that he, his family and Braves fans will not forget. Freeman signed a six-year, $168-million deal with Dodgers in the offseason as a free agent, but he will always be a Brave.
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