Los Angeles Dodgers’ Freddie Freeman says plaudits at home debut ‘something I’ll never forget’

LOS ANGELES – The baseball ran off the warning line and sailed into the stands, causing a change in the field, sending the capacity crowd into a frenzy and leaving Freddie Freeman alone on second base, in the middle. Dodger Stadium, with his family screaming from a posh room and his new fans enthusiastically chanting his name.

Okay! Okay! Okay!

“I got goosebumps in my peach nose,” said Cody Bellinger, who runs the Los Angeles Dodgers. “I actually did.”

It was the eighth inning of the Dodgers’ home opener, the score was tied and Freeman hit a rule double into the midfield space on the left, on a mower that followed a slider near his head. ta. The game stopped, but the chants continued, growing louder as a new Cincinnati Reds painkiller entered the game.

Freeman, the local product, who feels snubbed by the Atlanta Braves and signed a six-year, $162 million deal with the Dodgers largely so his family can be present on nights like these, no. may not admit it.

He raised his left hand to the sky, grabbed the top of his helmet with the other, and patted his chest gratefully.

“It was special when it got right there,” Freeman said shortly after, after his double lead triggered a six-game inning that sent the Dodgers to a 9-3 victory. “You’ve had those emotions before, coming out on top for the intro, but usually when the game starts those emotions go away. So the fans can create a moment for me. in the eighth inning is something I will never forget.”

Freeman’s wife, Chelsea, handled ticket requests for the home debut and packed a suite of rooms along the third baseline with Freeman’s father, grandfather, aunt, uncle and siblings. Freeman doesn’t know how many family members ended up showing up but says he knows a lot – like during his short spring training.

“This is all about me – my family,” says Freeman. “And for them to be able to share that moment with me tonight is something special.”

Freeman attended high school in Orange, California, about 30 miles south of Dodger Stadium, before the Braves recruited him in the second round of the 2007 draft. As his career advanced and he established himself, Having established himself as one of the greatest athletes in the sport, Freeman was mostly reeling in the Dodgers football field. He beat .296/.353/.512 in 33 regular games of the season as a visitor there and consistently terrorized the Dodgers in post-season, beating .308 throughout. four separate meetings – including the 2021 National Championship Series, which the Braves won while en route to the championship.

The season that followed was as tense as it was uncertain. The 99-day lockdown has prevented teams from interacting with players. Before and after, Freeman claims, the Braves only checked twice, both times unofficially, although Braves general manager Alex Anthopoulos objected to that accounting.

When the Braves traded in for his first junior replacement, Matt Olson, Freeman described as “blinded.” When Anthopoulos shed tears, Freeman brushed them off. Here he is now, in a new place that he somehow feels familiar, trying his best to move forward.

Thursday is a big step forward.

“It’s definitely nice,” Freeman said. “Last month was quite special, since the first game at [the team’s spring training complex] until tonight, they’ve welcomed me with open arms.

“The first game at Dodger Stadium against the Dodgers, I don’t think it could have gone any better than that.” Los Angeles Dodgers’ Freddie Freeman says plaudits at home debut ‘something I’ll never forget’

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