LOS ANGELES — The ball ricocheted off a warning track and sailed into a stand, prompting a pitcher change. This sent a capacity crowd into a frenzy.By himself at second base in Dodger Stadium with his family cheering him from a luxurious suite, and his new fans chanting his name.
Fre-ddie! Fre-ddie! Fre-ddie!
“I had goosebumps at the dugout.”The center fielder It was late Thursday night. “I did.”
It was eighth inning of the Dodgers home opener. The score was tied and Freeman had launched an eight-inning ground-rule double into left-center field gap on a cutter that was following a slider close to his head. Play was stopped but the chants kept going, becoming louder each time a new one was announced.The game was checked in by the reliever.
Freeman, the local producer who felt betrayed by theHe signed a six-year, $162million contract with the Dodgers, primarily so that his family could be there on nights like this.
He raised his left arm to the heavens, reached for his helmet with the other hand, and he rubbed his chest in gratitude.
Freeman declared, moments later, “That's as special it gets right here,” shortly after his leadoff single sparked the six run inning that led to the 9-3 win for the Dodgers. You have those feelings before, when you are out on the line for intros. But those feelings usually disappear once the game begins. The fans being able to create an emotional moment for me in eighth inning is something that I will never forget.”
Chelsea Freeman was Freeman’s wife and handled the ticket requests. She also packed a suite with Freeman’s grandfather, father, aunts, uncles, siblings and grandparents along the third base line. Freeman said he didn't know how many relatives came out, but he did say that it was quite a few — much like the spring training.
Freeman said, “This was what it's all bout for me — family.” “It was special for them to be there to share this moment with me tonight.
Freeman was raised in Orange, California. He is about 30 minutes south of Dodger Stadium. His career progressed, and he became one of the most respected hitters in baseball. However, Freeman was often ridiculed in his home park. As a visitor to the Dodgers, he batted.296/.353/.512 during 33 regular-season games. He also terrorized them in the postseason. In four meetings, including the 2021 National League Championship Series which the Braves won, Freeman batting.308.
The following offseason was stressful as well as uncertain. Teams were prevented from engaging with players by a 99-day lockout. Freeman claimed that the Braves checked in only twice before and after it. Both times were informally. However, Alex Anthopoulos, Braves general manger, disputes this accounting.
When the Braves traded him for his first-base replacement, Freeman described being “blindsided.” Freeman dismissed Anthopoulos' tears. He is now in a new location that, in some ways, feels familiar and trying to move forward.
Thursday was a huge step.
Freeman stated, “It's definitely nice.” “The past month has been quite special, right from the first match at [the team's spring training complex]They have been welcoming me with open arms from the beginning to tonight.
“First Dodger Stadium match with the Dodgers. It couldn't have been better.”