First baseman Freddie Freeman spoke immediately after Snitker, complimenting the front office and his teammates for a “team effort.” He likewise thanked the fans for supporting them when the team was treading water earlier in the season – the Braves didn’t obtain a winning record until Aug. 6.
Freeman continued, crediting the fans’ attendance as part of the reason for the team’s destiny-altering trade deadline. The Braves added four outfielders – Joc Pederson, Eddie Rosario, Adam Duvall and Jorge Soler – in July, with each proving pivotal to their title run.
“Little did you (the fans) know you were contributing to the greatest trade deadline in the history of baseball, in my opinion,” Freeman said as “Fred-die” chants filled the ballpark. “Your guys’ support came out and got the World Series MVP (Soler), the NLCS MVP (Rosario), the RBI leader (Duvall), “Joctober” (Pederson), (catcher) Stephen Vogt. And we got Charlie Morton, extended (catcher) Travis d’Arnaud, and that’s because you guys supported us all season long. So when you say, and people talk to you about the Atlanta Braves won the 2021 World Series championship. It’s not us. You guys stop that. You say, ‘we did it,’ because you guys are the reason we’re standing on this stage. So thank you. We love you all. Champions forever.”
Thousands of Atlanta Braves fans were on hand in Downtown Atlanta to cheer their newly crowned World Series Champions. Video by Ryon Horne
Speaking of extensions, Freeman’s contract status wasn’t lost on his teammates. Freeman, the face of the franchise, is set to become a free agent in a few days. His situation will be the storyline of the Braves’ offseason until he signs a contract.
Shortstop Dansby Swanson on stage: “I really don’t have many words to describe (this feeling). I’ve been waiting 26 years for this, and I only have a couple things to say: First thing is this trophy. This is ours, Atlanta. This is everybody’s. And the other thing, it might get me in trouble, but re-sign Freddie.”
Not long afterward, d’Arnaud said: “Braves Country, we did it. We are World Series champions. And lastly, Dansby said it best: Re-sign Freddie.”
The crowd spoke: Its loudest reactions throughout the day were in response to Freeman speaking or after his teammates suggested re-signing him. It also erupted when Pederson, wearing Coca-Cola shorts, again proclaimed that the Braves “are those (expletive).”
Freeman and the July outfielders are all free agents. The Braves certainly have a busy offseason ahead, but they put a bow on their championship with Friday’s festivities.
And some of them even looked ahead to October and November of next year.
“Atlanta, the crowd you brought today was unreal,” third baseman Austin Riley said. “I’m thinking Round 2 next year. What do you say?”
Simpson later led the crowd’s “re-peat” chant. Welcome to the new Braves era. It’s no longer about “finally” winning a postseason series; it’s about repeating as world champions. And Friday, Atlanta celebrated its long-awaited title in front of its team for the final time until they start a new season in March.