Freddie Freeman's Fall Classic moment with the Atlanta Braves has finally arrived

Enjoy some of Freddie Freeman’s greatest moments at the plate as the Braves face off against the Astros in this year's World Series. (2:01).
According to Freddie Freeman, his batting practice sessions are among the most boring in baseball. He only hits line drives into left-field, and that's it. Imagine a slicing liners that barely touches the glove of a shortstop, and you will get an idea of the ball's trajectory. Now imagine this happening repeatedly with metronomic precision. Every swing is the same. You'll be able to see its meditative qualities. It's almost like watching someone paint a wall with a casual brushstroke, every stroke traveling the same distance.

However, the swing is an architectural marvel built from the ground up. The swing emanates from his feet, travels vertically up to his arms, and then seems to accelerate, against all notions physics, after connecting with the ball. It's like a chain saw trimming a tree limb.

This preparation and that swing are intended to make it easy for the Braves' first baseman, and reigning National League MVP. He is making his 12th season in Atlanta and his first World Series appearance. It is not possible to create a swing so complex and repeatable by chance.

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Freeman would set up an LCD screen at El Modena High School, Orange, California and then sit on a bucket with 40 baseballs. His teammates would leave and go home. Freddie would then sit on the bucket while he waited for his father, a CPA, to arrive at the field. Fred Freeman would sit behind the L screen and throw his son three buckets worth of baseballs, 120 pitches. Freddie hit the 40th to the opposite field, 40th up the middle, and 40th to where his father had them. He has never, not now, worked to get the ball to right field.

Freeman's consistent planning and execution -- his trust in the process -- was evident more than ever during the Braves' unlikely run to the World Series. A postseason's tightened focus exposes players' flaws in a harsh and unforgiving manner. It's like the fluorescent lighting of a seven month season. There is very little evidence to support the conclusions drawn. Freeman, who scored the winning run with a solo homer on the eighth inning of Game 4's 5-4 victory over the Brewers, was forced to defend himself against his 0-for-8 record with seven strikeouts in two of the National League Championship Series games against the Dodgers. It should be noted that the Braves won both games.

He was still alive when the Dodgers found him. He was unable to extend his arms and he had to slow down his reaction time by being hit with fastballs. He was so close to the World Series and free agency that he didn't even know what he was doing. He looked off-balance and rushed on his long, smooth swing path. He took pitches that he wouldn't normally take, and he swung at ones he would not normally destroy.

It was over before any answers could be found. In Game 3, the slump-proof swing was back. Freeman used the first-bucket philosophy, the batting practice philosophy, and went 3-for-4. He beat the shift by hitting the ball to the left field every four times, three singles. The swing became more aggressive and angrier from there. The third-bucket strategy was 2-for-4, with a long homer to the right-center and a second to the right. Game 5: A majestic 425-foot homer to the dead center. The decisive Game 6 saw six hits, two homers and 12 at-bats. In Game 6, the Dodgers took control of the game, walking him four times in five plate appearances.

Brian Snitker, Braves manager, referred to Freeman’s eight first at-bats in the NLCS as "Freddie’s thing", like he was afraid of giving it too much credibility. He said, "That was just a blip on our radar." "You can't keep an elite player such as Freddie down for an extended time."

However, there was a new storyline: The seven strikeouts in eight at bats were followed by the miraculous resurrection. The bright fluorescent lights were switched off and replaced with a soft, flattering glow. Future success would be measured against previous failures, and there would not be any escaping this.

After Game 5, Freeman stated that "it doesn't need to be different." It's just baseball. There were a few bad games. I haven’t done anything else. It's eight at bats. In my entire career, I have done worse than that over eight at-bats. This is the problem: I only have two games. Video was shown to me, and it proved that nothing was different. This has been my job for a while, and I have been 0-for-8 before. I will be 0-for-8 once again, but hopefully not in this postseason.

He did not do anything differently. Different has never been an option since he was a child, waiting in a bucket for his dad. Why would he choose to start this World Series, at the edge of possibly his last World Series with the team he knows?

Freeman treats his first base as his front porch and will make sure you feel at home no matter how long your stay. Jayne Kaminoncea-USA TODAY Sport

It's difficult to imagine Freeman in the World Series and even more difficult to see him in another uniform. Freeman is often referred to as the "face" of the Braves franchise. Atlanta's participation in the World Series is considered poetic justice for his many years of service to a team with a shaky mission. This makes it seem like a clumsy plot twist that Freddie Freeman and Freddie Freeman will be playing in a World Series.

Freeman, 32 years old, was selected by the Braves from El Modena with their second pick in the second round of the 2007 draft. This scuttled his plans to attend Cal State Fullerton, and instead he followed his father into the CPA profession. In 2010, he made his Braves debut as a 20-year-old, gangly and wide-eyed player with an elegant swing. The $135 million, eight-year extension he signed following the 2013 season will expire and he will be available for bid to the highest possible bidder.

Freeman repeatedly stated that he would prefer to stay a Brave. At the end of the regular season, he said that he found it shocking that he was in this situation. The Athletic was informed by Alex Anthopoulos, Braves general manger, that the goal is to sign Freeman. He has made it clear that he wants to stay.

Freeman's $17 million per year salary, as with many extensions signed by young players is a bargain. After turning 27, Freeman was a sixth-place MVP and the team lost 93 games. Any contract that he would have received after 2016 would have been free. Even five years later, Freeman still has many productive years ahead. He is a durable player, missing only six games over the last four seasons. He has also finished in the top five of MVP voting three times. This includes the award for his.341 and 1.102 OPS in 2020’s 60-game season. His consistency is almost legendary. His OPS+ has never dipped below 130 in the nine previous seasons. The big league average is 100. He hit.300 this season with 31 homers, scored 120 runs and had an OPS+ score of 133. This was his lowest OPS+ since 2015.

His personality is unaffected by any of this. He is an inveterate smiler, unfailingly polite, and almost comically humble in his plaid-shirt-and-jeans kind of way. He treats his first base as his front porch and will do everything he can for you to make you feel at home, no matter how long your stay. He is so friendly and willing to give compliments to anyone, it can be difficult to find his place in the competitive fire.

There are many moments when words can't describe the magnitude of an experience. He said something to Trea Turner, the Dodgers' second baseman, when he doubled in Game 4. Albert Pujols hit a home run in Game 5's second inning. The happy conversation escalated into a hug between the two men, with both of them laughing and twirling their heads in laughter. It was a moment that sent chills down the spines of hard-line traditionalists.

Freeman celebrating catching the throw by Dansby Swanson, which made the final out in the NLCS. Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

The often fractured baseball world, which is constantly grappling with the ethical dilemma of Houston Astros, appears united behind Freeman's opportunity. Austin Riley, a 24-year-old third baseman, said that Riley has been through some of the most difficult times with the team during their inability to win. "If you asked any player, he would say that it would be an incredible honor to be able for us to do this for him."

Some of these players have just met. In the second half, the Braves acquired players, most notably Joc Pederson and Jorge Soler. The smiling, welcoming clubhouse sage was the one who provided the ballast in the shifting seas.

Riley stated, "Freddie is the definition of a professional player in baseball." He is so calm in any situation, day in and out. It's not what he says, it's how he conducts himself. He's the same guy whether he's 4-for-4 or 0-for-4 every day. I believe that's what makes guys gravitate towards it.

Baseball is known for its ridiculous superstitions and reliance upon mystical theories. For example, slumping and hitting are teamwide contagions. In a little bit of evidence-based mysticism, the Braves believe that Freeman's work ethic makes him contagious. Freeman, Riley, Swanson and Riley all played at least 159 games in the season. Ozzie Albies, the fourth baseman, only played in 156. Snitker's inability to give his best players time off could explain this. Snitker believes that Freeman's work ethic is what causes this. Riley stated that the greatest lesson Freddie taught him was how to handle failure and success. You need to be able to deal with both success and failure every day in this game.

It was fitting that Freeman caught the throw of Dansby Swanson, which accounted for the final out in the NLCS. His arms were raised in the air and his back was in a funny, backward turn. He then screamed into darkness. He continued to hold the pose for longer than he expected, perhaps to enjoy the moment or as a sign that he was disbelieving.

Freeman stated that this was the definition of pure joy. "I don’t know how to feel. We usually sit at our lockers thinking about the season and getting ready to tackle next year. But this year, we actually accomplished it.

He stated that he could not find the words to describe what it meant to him. That alone -- Freddie Freeman speechless -- speaks more than any words could ever say. There are many things going on. The World Series and the possibility that these may be his last games in a Braves uniform. It's likely that he will find a way out to forget it all. He will remember the things that work, what has always worked, and then he'll go on to do it again and again.