Sean Kazmar story ‘absolutely incredible,’ says teammate Freddie Freeman

Credit: Atlanta Braves

Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman couldn’t stop praising the minor-league veteran who got his first at-bat in the majors since 2008 with Atlanta.

Credit: Atlanta Braves

Count Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman as a member of the growing Sean Kazmar fan club.

Kazmar, 36, was the story of baseball last weekend. After spending over 12 years in the minor leagues since his last MLB appearance, the Braves promoted Kazmar to the majors Saturday. He pinch-hit in the game that afternoon, his first major-league appearance since Sept. 23, 2008, with the Padres.

Freeman knows Kazmar from his annual stints at big-league spring training. Kazmar is almost always among the Braves’ final cuts, as he spends the exhibition slate with the major leaguers before joining Triple-A Gwinnett, where he’s played since 2013.

Saturday was a tremendous moment for Kazmar, who said afterwards he’d go through the trials again if it meant he could experience what he felt that day. Kazmar’s wife and mother were even in attendance at Wrigley Field. Kazmar saw four pitches and grounded into a double play, but he completed his long trek back to the bigs.

Speaking Tuesday, his first time talking with reporters since Kazmar’s promotion, Freeman couldn’t stop praising the minor-league veteran. Kazmar is still on the Braves’ bench as of Wednesday morning.

“Absolutely incredible,” Freeman said. “We’ve known Sean for seven, eight years now in this organization. Sean has always been the guy who seemed to pick me up in spring training and go into first base for me. I always paid his clubhouse dues in spring training and did all that. Now, it’s going to be the other way around. He’s getting big-league money. He’s going to start paying my clubhouse dues. What an amazing story. It’s just so fun. We care about Sean so much. I think everybody got to see how much we care about and love Sean. We were all so excited for him when he got that at-bat.

“It’s a lot to go through, to stay in the minor leagues and continue to play just for the chance to get back again. Just for him to get that chance, and for Snit (manager Brian Snitker) to give him an at-bat again, that’s huge. It makes everything worth it for him and it makes it worth it for us because we love Sean so much, too. It was such a meaningful day for him and also for us because he’s been through so much. That’s what this game is about. That is so amazing. I’m so happy for him. Hopefully we can get him another at-bat and get him a hit here soon.”

Braves Lineup: The AJC presents a daily look at one thing to know about the Atlanta Braves today.

In Other News